How to Remove the 10 Most Difficult Things from Car Glass
The professional car glass repair team at Anthony Volk has compiled a handy guide. Here are cheap, DIY methods for removing the ten most challenging things from vehicle windows and windshields.
1. Window Tint
Here’s how to remove window tinting film. Use a hairdryer or heat gun to loosen the adhesive on the window tint. Put it on the high setting and hold it about two inches from the glass. Lift the edges away from the glass with a plastic scraper. Work in sections, heating the tinting film and peeling it off. Use a clean lint-free rag and WD-40 to rub off any adhesive still sticking to the window. Finally, clean the car window with glass cleaner and paper towel.
Stickers and decals on car glass don’t need to last forever. Most stickers can be scraped off easily after soaking them in soapy water or a solution of laundry softener and water. It’s safer to use plastic scrapers because razor blades may scratch the windshield.
For stubborn vinyl decals, try heating the area first with a hairdryer or heat gun. With the high heat setting, warm the decal and the adhesive will begin to detach. Then, use a plastic blade to scrape the decal off the windshield. Adhesive remover, like Goo Gone, can help get rid of any remaining residue. Finally, clean the car glass with a lint-free rag.
3. Tree Sap
Sticky tree sap can be a real challenge to clean off car glass, especially if it has been smeared by the wipers. We recommend using simple rubbing alcohol*. If you have a can of bug remover product, this usually works well too. Pour a small amount of diluted alcohol on a rag, then lay it on top of the sap and let it sit for one minute. Next, use the rag to rub the area. Continue to add more alcohol solution and wipe with the rag until it’s all gone. Clean up using glass cleaner.
4. Spray Paint
Don’t despair, spray paint on a windshield isn’t permanent. First, scrape the paint off the glass with a plastic blade. Use long strokes across the glass in one direction, not back and forth. Next, use a small amount of acetone nail polish remover to attack any remaining paint on the glass. Pour it onto a microfiber cloth and gently rub the painted area. Finally, rinse the windshield and wash the car thoroughly.
Chewing gum can be difficult to remove from any surface. A quick trick for getting it off a windshield is to use ice to harden the gum. Once you have pulled off as much as possible, put a few ice cubes in a plastic bag and place it on the remaining gum. Hold it there for a few minutes. Then, peel the remaining gum off the glass. If the area is still sticky, spray it with a bug remover product and rub it in with a clean rag. To clean up, use soapy water and a sponge.
The one downside of the summer is bug splatter on the windshield. Specific bug removal sprays, such as Turtle Wax or BEST Bug-Off, are available and usually do the trick. However, a great DIY alternative is using WD-40.
Soak the dirty spot with the oil and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, scrub the glass with the scratchy side of a regular kitchen sponge. Finally, wipe that area of the windshield clean with a microfiber cloth.
7. Acid Rain Stains
Acid rain can cause a lot of damage to vehicles. Though it may not pose any great risk to windshields or windows, it can certainly decrease visibility. For tough acid rain stains, there is a cheap solution. Clean the car glass with white vinegar and water. You can fill a spray bottle with one cup of vinegar diluted in one quart of water. Use a clean part of a microfiber cloth or paper towel each time you wipe the glass. It should dry clean and streak free.
8. Water Spots
It can be frustrating to see pesky water spots on your windshield right after a car wash. To get rid of them, make a vinegar solution with equal parts plain white vinegar and distilled water. Apply this solution to the water spots and let sit. After about one minute, rinse and dry the windshield with a dry paper towel.
Everyone hates standing out in the cold and slowly chipping away at ice on the windshield. One handy way to dissolve the ice quickly is to spray it with a rubbing alcohol* solution. Keep a spray bottle filled with ⅔ rubbing alcohol and ⅓ water in your garage. A quick spray across the windshield will dissolve the ice and, unlike regular water, it won’t refreeze to the glass.
10. Wiper Marks
Clean windshield wiper streaks away using alcohol-based glass cleaner and a lint-free rag. It’s important to clean under the wipers. Then, spray a fresh rag with the glass cleaner, lift the wipers up and clean the blades. As you’re doing this, check the condition of the wiper blades. Streaking might be a sign that it’s time to replace them.
*Be sure to dilute the rubbing alcohol properly – at least 15%. It should never be used at full strength because it can damage the car’s paint.