How to Remove Window Tint for Under $30




Introduction: How to Remove Window Tint for Under $30

In this instructable, I'll cover how to remove window tinting from your car windows.  It takes about 5 minutes for side windows and 15 for a rear window.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You're going to need some stuff.

1 - Razor Blade ($1 for a 5 pack)
1 - Upholstery Steamer ($29 at the store at most)
1 - Set of Gloves (you should already own these)

Pretty short list.  Make sure the gloves are heat resistant.  I'm using Nomex Aviator Flight Gloves with a leather lining.  The Nomex won't melt from the heat and the leather protects my hands from direct contact.  Also, it's better to get a steamer with a hose and head, it's easier to work with.

Why steam?  The glue from window tint comes off MUCH easier with heat.  You can use a heat gun or a hairdryer, but to transfer heat the fastest into the glue I used steam.  When the water molecule in the form of steam lands on something, it changes from a gas to a liquid.  When it does this, it transfers all of that extra energy to keep it in gas form into the object it lands on.  Using steam like this, you can transfer heat into stuff that you can't (or don't want to) light on fire but need to make really hot.  This is also why steam will burn you really bad and you need to wear gloves while doing this.

Step 2: Begin!

Now, fire up the steamer and start steaming one of the top corners of the tint.  Get it nice and steamed up, then use your razor blade to lift up the corner and grab it with your gloved fingers.

Step 3: The Magic Happens

Now slowly pull on that corner while working the steamer underneath the tint to create a little steam hood.  Try not to let the tint get back on the window because it will stick again, then you have to take it off again.  Continue this all across the top of the window, then work downward.  When you reach the bottom, roll the window up and finish it up.

Step 4: You Done!

The process goes pretty fast.  I would also recommend not breathing in the steam; it smells like glue and is probably bad for you.  Just throw the tint away when you're done.  If there's any left over glue on the window use some Windex with ammonia and a razor blade to remove it.  When I did mine, there was no glue left at all.

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    6 years ago

    I didn't mention this in the instructable, but the whole thing took like 5 minutes per window. Also, I returned the steamer to the store when I was done, so it really cost me $1 for the entire process.


    Reply 6 years ago

    Tying to be nice here....

    You do realize that we absorb the cost of people doing the return scam. I know it's only 30 bucks but multiply that by the other million unscrupulous people doing it and it adds up.


    Reply 2 years ago

    From my previous work in retail (Best Buy), as long as the item was in new condition and the customer didn't report some unverifiable problem with it, we could put it back on the shelf as new without a markdown. The problem was when people would buy a giant TV for a big game then return it saying something vague like "Channel 3 sometimes flickers and ghosts, but not all the time and it takes an hour before it starts". Then we'd have to send it back to the manufacturer to get "refurbished" or sold on the auction site. I'd usually just flat out ask if they just didn't want it and it was fine because I knew we were absorbing those costs, too.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Steam, probably the best way so far that I've tried. Used a smallish clothes steamer from the local Walmart - Conair GS23 Garment Steamer. It's got a rather small tank but it's big enough to do a full car door window. I had previously tried to strip the tint off using a variety of techniques and chemicals including bag/409/sunlight, MEK, along with a variety of other solvents. Keep the steam nozzle close to the window - 1 inch or less, and keep playing it along where the tint is lifting off the window.

    409 and paper shop towels, the blue ones, are a great way to clean up any residue that may be left, then just normal window cleaning with the product of your choice.

    Most steamers have a power light and a steam light, make sure they're both on before you start. Realistically, should be able to do a car in about an hour tops doing it this way.