If you haven’t removed stickers from a car before, then it can be a task that isn’t much fun….
The good news is, even if you have a car with some old retro stickers on it, that you want to remove, then I can explain the best sticker removal tools
I’ll split this blog about the best sticker removal tools into two parts. Ways to do it for free or low cost, and the paid version.
Before we get started, there are a few variables that impact the way car stickers can be removed.
Factors affecting Car sticker removal
Generally car stickers that have been on the surface less than 12 months are much easier to remove, then stickers that have been on for years.
The reason, once a car sticker is on the surface for more than 12 months, and out in the weather, it becomes bonded onto the surface and much harder to remove.
Generally, hot weather is the main culprit of making stickers hard to remove. The heat makes the adhesive in the sticker bond to the surface, making it very hard to remove
2. Quality of the car sticker
Generally there are two types of car stickers to remove
- a. Small Car stickers, such as bumper stickers as in the below picture
These are an unknown when it comes to removing due to the inconsistency of the adhesive quality.
Some of these stickers are made in the USA, though a lot are made in China, where the adhesive quality can vary from good to very poor.
What this means is when it comes to removing these bumper style stickers, you may get situations where the adhesive is very poor quality and really sticks to the surface. This makes it harder to remove the sticker, even if it’s less than 12 months old
- b. Professional stickers used in car advertising
Generally professional installed car stickers that are used for advertising use a reliable sticker/ vinyl lettering from 3M.
The good news is that the quality of adhesive is reliable and using the most appropriate sticker removal tool will get the job done quite easily (if you want a sneak peak, check out this video for removing car stickers).
This means, if you have a job to remove car stickers that have, for example 3M vinyl lettering, then you can be fairly confident of being able to get the job done with little fuss
- c. Reflective
The outliner to all these scenario’s is reflective car stickers. These are the type used on police and ambulances, that shine when at night when a light is shone on them.
This style of car sticker is much thicker than usual car stickers and takes a lot of time to remove. The job or removing reflective car stickers can be achieved, though expect to take 2 – 3 times longer than the average job
The Best Sticker Removal Tools
- 1. Free Option
Okay, if you have plenty of time and prefer to save a few bucks, rather than getting the stickers off your car more quickly, then there are a few options that cost next to nothing
- Hair Dryer or Heat Gun
If you have access to a hair dryer or heat gun, you can use this to remove a car sticker. The basic approach is that by heating the sticker, the adhesive becomes more like jelly and loses its bond between the sticker and the surface.
What you need to do is
- Clean the surface of any dirt or grime
- Turn on the hair dryer and slowly move it back and forth across the sticker, about 6-12 inches or 15 – 30 centimetres from the surface
- After the sticker warms up, slowly start to peel off the sticker
If you have a plastic scraper, it makes the job much easier to remove the car sticker
- Plastic Scraper
This method only works on newer car stickers where the bond between the sticker and the car has not bonded yet. It works by getting under the lip of the car sticker and slowly removing it.
Our opinion, the plastic scraper is best used in combination with a hair dryer, rather than by itself
FYI – plastic scraper can be bought for under $5 from your local home depot or hardware store
Note: the above free (or low cost) sticker removal tools definitely work on newer stickers, though any car with car stickers more than a few years old, or been out in the sun, WILL HAVE LITTLE SUCCESS using the Hair Dryer.
The reason being, the adhesive can’t be heated to turn into a gelly structure, as over time, it has bonded to the surface and turned into a cement like state. This means the only feasible way to take off the sticker is via Whizzy Wheel
- 2. Sticker Removal Tools (paid options)
- a. Car Sticker Removal Professional
These are small businesses that come around and remove your car stickers for you. They usually charge between $30-75 / hour and for some reason, seem to have a minimum charge of 2 hours work. This is to cover their call out fee.
They use a mix of products to remove car stickers, including heat guns, plastic scrapers, whizzy wheels and citrus degreaser
The upside of using these guys is they also leave the surface looking very clean by taking off any left over adhesive. They usually use a product such as citrus degreaser that is great at getting off any left over glue or adhesive.
If you are short on time, and money is and cost is a secondary priority, these type of guys are fantastic. Usually expect to spend between $60 – $250 to have your car stickers taken off, depending on the size of the job
- b. Whizzy Wheel
It may seem bias, though this is the best car sticker tool on the market to take off car stickers.
It’s a soft rubber wheel, that connects to any standard drill and quickly takes off the car sticker when apply to the surface. The way it works is by
- Attach the Whizzy Wheel to a standard drill using the arbor that comes supplied with the Whizzy Wheel
- Turn on the drill to approx. 2500-4000 rpm
- Moving the Whizzy Wheel back and forth across the sticker as it’s quickly removed
A lot of people use the Whizzy Wheel after unsuccessfully trying to take off a car sticker using a Hair Dryer. The wheel really works best and proves itself when taking off very old car stickers that have been baked on.
The below video shows it in action – easily taking off an old car sticker
Here at www.decalstickerremover.com we love helping people remove car stickers and letting you make the choice about what is the best car sticker removal tool
If you want to use the whizzy wheel, then fantastic and we will love shipping one out to you asap.
If you just need some car sticker removal advice, then we are happy to help aswell. Please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me personally on 00 11 61 421 001 613 (or 0421 001 613 if in Australia)
We help people from all over the world to remove car stickers, with the majority of our customer being in the United States (Texas and Florida), Canada, Europe, New Zealand and plenty in Australia
Chief “Decal Removal” Officer