What do these seemingly unrelated phrases have in common? If you guessed that they’re all common assortments of phrases that you have probably seen on a bumper sticker or two around town, you would be correct. And while we can appreciate that these may have served a purpose at one time, what happens if you purchase a used car that has bumper stickers that you don’t identify with, or if you ever outgrow your own bumper stickers?
If you guessed that you would simply peel the sticker off, you are about to be sorely mistaken. Not only can it sometimes be difficult to physically pull a sticker off of a car, but forcing a sticker to detach from the bumper could actually cause serious damage to your car’s painted exterior. In this article, we’ll go over the proper way to remove unwanted decals from your car so that you can save yourself an expensive trip to the auto body shop.
What are the Different Types of Bumper Stickers?
You may hear the terms “bumper stickers” and “decals” thrown around interchangeably, but are they actually the same thing? In short, no. Actually, to make things even more complicated, while every decal is a sticker, not all stickers are decals. Allow us to explain.
Stickers, or bumper stickers, first became prominent following WWII with the increase in popularity of the personal automobile. They are generally (but not always) made of a vinyl material, which makes them hearty enough to withstand outdoor weather. The average car sticker will last for about eight years.
Decals, on the other hand, are a special type of sticker that is generally designated for outdoor use. They will generally be packaged with one film of paper on the front of the decal and one layer of paper on the back of the decal. Decals usually come with a pre-applied adhesive surface that tends to make them more durable than stickers.
Are Bumper Stickers and Decals Hard to Remove?
They can be, yes. In fact, if they weren’t, we wonder if you would have to find yourself on this page in the first place! The decorative accents that seemed like a good idea many years ago can actually be surprisingly stubborn and difficult to remove.
As we mentioned earlier, stickers are designed with an average of eight years of use in mind, and decals can pack even more longevity. Therefore, it’s not a malfunction when they don’t come off easily. They are instead doing exactly what they were designed to do.
The Best Way to Remove a Car Bumper Sticker
Luckily, when it comes to car stickers, where there’s a will, there’s away. Or, at least, where there’s a will, there’s a number of different tried-and-true remedies that can be applied to your car to save you considerable money and headaches. Here are some of our favourites:
1. White vinegar
Is there anything that vinegar can’t do? While it may have once been our go-to only for science fair volcanoes, there is no denying that vinegar is a cheap and environmentally solution for many of the problems of modern life.
In order to remove a car sticker or decal using vinegar, you will want to first allow the sticker in question to become drenched in vinegar, and to then soak for some time. Once the sticker is limp, you should then be able to gently remove the sticker with a light material such as a paintbrush, (old) toothbrush, or even a paper towel.
2. Hot Water
Using hot water to remove a car decal is another option that is environmentally-friendly. And, it’s even cheaper than vinegar!
In order for your water to be hot enough to make an impression on the sticker, you’ll want to have it boiling. Then, once the water is hot, you can pour it over your car’s sticker. Once the hot water has come into contact with the sticker, its sides should give way slightly, allowing you to then peel it off using the edge of a credit card or a plastic knife.
Note: if you live somewhere with freezing weather, take great care when following this solution in the open air. Although it may seem strange, boiling water can actually make surfaces even more susceptible to ice, which could cause problems for you and your automobile, especially if your stubborn sticker is on your windshield.
3. Goo Gone or WD40
If the above options do not work, it may be time to take a trip to the hardware store. Among all of the different products on the market, the ones that have proven the most effective at removing sticky residue are Goo Gone and WD40. It is generally safe to use both of these on your car’s body.
Auto Body Shop in Vancouver
If you have tried the above options and are still unable to remove a sticker or decal from your car, don’t feel discouraged! It’s not a reflection of your abilities, as car stickers sometimes will truly not budge. As your go-to auto body shop in Vancouver, Super Euro is here to help. We would love to discover how we can help remove unwanted decorations from your automobile for you so that you can drive away happy.