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How to Remove Tint from Car Windows – 3 Popular DIY Methods 

  • Car Care Tips
  • Celine Jerly
  • 6 minutes

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Need a quick solution to remove the tinted film from your car window? Before you start scrapping and peeling, take a quick look at these DIY methods everyone recommends. Find out when and how to remove tint from car windows.  

Window tints do a decent job of protecting your car interiors from UV and heat. But how long do they last? The general assessment is up to 5 – 10 years, depending on the weather it is frequently exposed to and the quality of the tint. However, cheap car window tints won’t last more than a couple of years.  

If you are trying to figure out how to remove tint from your car windows without taking it to the shop, these DIY methods come highly recommended. But first, make sure it is time to replace your window tint.  

When should you replace your car window tint? 

You can determine if your car window tint needs replacement by inspecting it yourself. If you notice discoloration, peeling, or bubbling on your windows, it’s time to replace it.  

On average, standard car window tints are replaced every five years. It will last longer if your car has higher quality tints with ceramic, metal, or polyester. Warm weather and products used to clean the glass also affect the lifespan of your window tint.  

Ammonia in cleaning products and heat exposure melts the adhesive over time, which causes air bubbles and, eventually, peeling or scrapping. Silver/green-tinted film also discolors over time, reducing UV protection’s effect.  

You can take several measures to increase your car’s window tint lifespan – starting with the professional installation of high-quality tints. However, you’ll need to replace the window tint eventually. The following DIY solutions for ‘how to remove tint from your car windows’ come in handy.  

How to remove car window tint

Removing tints from car windows just needs a bit of patience and the right tools, which are easily available. But, installing a new tint needs some experience – if not done properly, you’ll be replacing the tint again soon.  

You can learn how to remove tint from your car windows safely. But to replace it, we highly recommend opting for a professional service.  

Can you wash your car after getting the windows tinted? Click here to find out.

affordable brushless car wash

Keeping safety in mind – for you and your car – try these DIY methods for removing tint from car windows with the right tools.  

#1 – How to remove car window tint using a blade 

It is easy to pick up that blade and get to work on your already peeling car window tint. But don’t forget the risks – you can easily damage the glass too. Keep a lot of soapy water handy as it could make your job easier.

Here’s how to remove tint from your car windows using a razor or knife. 

Always start from a corner – gently lift the edge of the tint film and start peeling. If your car window tint has seen its day, you won’t face much resistance. This method works for tints already detached from the glass with the adhesive melting and air bubbles forming due to longer exposure.  

Make sure not to hurry with this DIY window tint removal method; do not scrape and tug aggressively. If any portion of the tint is stuck, you can use soap and water to loosen up the adhesive and try again.

Not working? Try the next method 

#2 – Steam it or heat it off 

To get the tint off your car window, you must loosen up the adhesive. Applying moderate heat does the job quicker. Hence, using a steamer is our favorite for DIY-ing car window tint removal. You can also use a heat gun or hair dryer. But even at the highest setting removing the window tint with a hair dryer requires more time than a steamer.  

Here’s how to remove tint from your car windows using a steamer or heat gun: 

  • Roll down your car window to keep the edge of the tint film at the top visible. 
  • Steam the entire window thoroughly from inside and outside, especially the edges.  
  • A steam cleaner tool is most effective for this method, but you can also try a fabric steamer.  
  • Make sure to hold the steamer/hair dryer/heat gun a couple of inches from the window. 
  • Keep steaming till the adhesive starts dissolving.  
  • You may notice the edges of the tint film curling. Or use a knife or your fingernail to gently lift up the edge. If the steaming is effective, it should come off easily.  
  • Apply more steam/heat to loosen up any areas that remain stuck as you peel.  

remove car window tint with soap and water

#3 – Removing tint film with ammonia 

Make sure to prioritize safety when using any chemical near your car. In this case, wear safety gloves, masks, and glasses before starting the window tint removal process. Use tarps, plastic sheets, or even garbage bags to protect your car interiors. Don’t forget to cover the window frame and other parts of the door.  

Here’s how ammonia is used in removing tint from car windows: 

  • Cut garbage bags or plastic sheets to fit the shape and size of your car window. 
  • Spray soapy water outside your window to stick the cut-up sheets. 
  • Spray ammonia on the other side (inside) of the window glass. Once fully sprayed, cover with cut-up plastic sheets or garbage bags. Use tape to hold them in place if they are not sticking. 
  • Wait for the ammonia to soak in and dissolve the adhesive for at least two hours.  
  • Once the tint film loosens, lift the edge with your fingernail or knife and start peeling. 
  • If the ammonia has soaked in well, there won’t be resistance. You can use the knife or fingernail to carefully lift up any stuck areas.  

Instead of ammonia and plastic sheets, you can use hot water-soap mix and newspapers. The newspaper soaks up the soapy water quickly and dries – so keep spraying it with the liquid. It’s best to do this outside on a sunny day, as the heat helps speed up the process. After a couple of hours, scrape off the newspaper; usually, the tint comes off with it. Use a non-metallic scraper to avoid scratching the window glass.  

Removing window tint residue 

Whether you use steam or ammonia, adhesive residue on the glass is possible. Also, the tinted film might not come off clean if you peel it with a blade. So, to clear any residue, you’ll need to use isopropyl alcohol or more ammonia. You can also try nail polish remover if there isn’t much to clean. Finally, wash the glass or wipe with a cleaning solution to complete the job.  

As mentioned above, do not attempt to install a new car window tint yourself without the necessary experience or skills. If not properly done, the tint film might not stick well, and you’ll be looking for DIY removal tips again! 


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