If your choice in music has changed, you no longer support a political candidate, or you just want to clean up your vehicle's exterior, you may need to remove a few bumper stickers. You may also need to remove some stickers from a used vehicle you just purchased or if you want to make room for new ones.
Although most bumper stickers are made to withstand a wide variety of harsh climate conditions, such as snow, sleet, hail, rain and extreme summer heat, you can still remove the heavy-duty adhesive with using a little elbow grease and the right products.
You may get lucky and be able to remove the vehicle decorations with a simple household product that you already own, but there is a chance you might need to invest in some stronger adhesive-fighters. No matter what product or technique you use to remove the unwanted bumper stickers, make sure it is recommended for use on vehicle paint or you may damage the exterior.
Here are some ways to remove the stickers from your car or truck:
1. Boiling Water
The first and simplest line of defense to try is boiling water before you move on to the harsher products. Put protective rubber gloves on your hands and saturate a clean, soft cloth with the boiling water. Wring the excess liquid out and then press the cloth onto the sticker for at least one minute.
Remove the cloth and begin peeling the sticker off from one corner. If it doesn't easily budge, repeat the process, leaving the cloth on the sticker for two minutes the next time.
Another heated option you can try is a hairdryer. Turn the appliance's heat setting to "low" and hold it five inches from the sticker for about a minute. The heat may soften the adhesive, making it easier to peel off. Again, begin pulling the sticker from one corner and if it doesn't come off easily, repeat the process.
2. Rubbing Alcohol or Vinegar
As additional options, fill a plastic spray bottle with one part water and one part either rubbing alcohol or distilled white vinegar, depending on what you have on hand. Thoroughly saturate the sticker with the mixture, and allow the liquid to penetrate for one minute before beginning the peeling process.
If you can get the corner unstuck, keep peeling the sticker off diagonally, applying more of the water mixture as you go.
3. Lighter Fluid
As a last resort if none of the other, less-harsh techniques are working, try removing the sticker with lighter fluid. Put protective gloves on, place a small amount of the lighter fluid on a cloth, and press it onto one of the sticker's corners.
Use a soft tool, such as a rubber spatula, to pry the sticker off of the vehicle. Apply more lighter fluid as you go until the sticker is completely off.