How to Remove Old Window Tint That Has Gone Bad?

remove window tint that has gone bad

Struggling with old window tint that’s become an eyesore? Whether it’s peeling, bubbling, or just plain worn out, removing old window tint that has gone bad can breathe new life into your windows and improve the overall appearance of your space. But before you dive into the process, it’s essential to understand the proper techniques to ensure a successful removal without damaging your windows. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps on How to Remove Old Window Tint That Has Gone Bad, providing you with valuable tips and tricks to achieve professional results. Whether you’re tackling a single window or an entire building, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started!

Why Does Window Tint Go Bad?

Window tint can go bad for two reasons. Window tint usually consists of 2 to 3 layers. When window tint starts to go bad, the layers start to separate. One is the color film and the other is a clear coat to protect it against scratches. Window tinting can also go bad if the glue becomes brittle due to heat. After the chemicals break down, the glue will begin to bubble. When you see bubbles on cars, this is what it means. 

What Has to Remove

Clean the old window tinting to restore the original window condition. The first step is to remove any window film that has stuck to the glass. First, you have to remove the window film. If it is bad enough it may want to come off very small pieces.

removing window tint

How Long Does Window Tint Last Before It Goes Bad?

The window tint’s lifespan is determined by a few factors. The quality of the window tint you buy is one factor that can determine how long it will last. The higher the quality of the raw materials, the better the brand. The cheaper the window film, the quicker it will go. This is because they are made with inferior materials. It also depends on where you live. If you live up in Detroit, window tint is likely to last forever. However, if your home is in Florida or Arizona, the heat will shorten the life of the film.

Thirdly, the length of time your window film lasts will depend on whether your car is in a garage or parked directly in sunlight during the day. The life of your car will be much longer if you park it in a garage and leave it there for 8-10 hours a day.

If you want to extend the life of your window tint, it is best to use a high-quality brand with a long warranty. You can also park your car under a shaded tree or garage during the day.

Why Is It Difficult to Remove Old Tint

When the material breaks down, I have to try to pull it out and it breaks into smaller pieces. Then he says it is harder to remove because it sticks to your window. When you try to remove the old window tinting, it comes out in small pieces.

Can You Save the Defroster Wires When Removing the Tint

If you remove window tint yourself and don’t hire a professional to do it, the biggest concern is whether or not they can save their defroster cables. Defroster wires may not be as important in the South but they become more important up north, where there is a lot of morning frost.

We start with the side door. This will tell us how difficult it will be to remove the window tint. We know that if the side window is broken into small pieces, the likelihood of the rear defroster failing to work increases. This only happens in about 20% of cars. The window tint that is really bad has been on for over 12 years. Anything under seven years should be easier to remove depending on the brand. If you want to know if your window tinting is of good quality or cheaper quality window filming in California, you can test it on a small window.

a hand removing window tint quickly without heat

Remove Window Tint in 3 Different Ways

1. Using a Razor Blade

This method usually requires more energy and physical effort. You use a spray bottle filled with soapy water, and some small blades to wet down the window and begin scraping off the film. This is similar to how you would scrape paint from the glass. If you make sure to keep the glass wet, it won’t scratch. The only downside is if your window has a defroster on the back it will stop working if it is scraped.

2. Soaking With Water and Using a Banking System

Second, soak the cloth in a grease-removing product like 409. You can also use professional chemicals. Cut a black bag to fit the shape of your rear window. After soaking the window in the chemical, place the black bag on top of the tinted glass. Every 20 minutes, keep soaking it.

If it still sticks, you will need to soak the window tint until it comes off smoothly. It is best to do this with a temperature of over 80 degrees or use a heat lamp. The heat accelerates the chemical’s absorption through the window tint.

3. Using Professional Steam Machines

This third process requires a steamer. Professional Window Tint shops don’t have Steam Machines that cost around $1,000, but you can use an inexpensive clothes steamer. When you begin peeling and steaming the tint, what you should do? Heat and moisture from the steamer usually weaken the adhesive and keep the window tinting together. The sun is a great way to get the glue off the glass.

Final Stage

After you’ve removed all of the window tinting, some glue residue may remain on the glass. If you do not want to damage the wires on the back of the glass, use a one-sided razor. Get some degreasers, or grease removers 409 and some steel wool 0000. This is the best steel wool to use as it will not scratch glass. Double check the corners after all the glue is gone to ensure there’s no hidden glue.


Decide which process you will use. List all the chemicals and tools you will need. Start early in the morning when the weather is warm and sunny. It’s not something I would do on a cloudy or rainy day. The process will take some time depending on the temperature and the age of the window tint. But it will end up saving you a lot. 

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