Taking Stickers Off Car Window Effectively, and Where You Can Buy UV/Saltwater-Resistant Boat Decals
Question: There are a bunch of stickers on the windows of the car I just purchased. How do I get those off without damaging my “new” car?
Answer: Glass has one big advantage to many other surfaces. You don’t necessarily need to use heat to remove decals from it. However, you can use heat if you choose to, a hair dryer on high heat or a heat gun on low heat will both suffice.
However, I’ve removed thousands of stickers and graphics from vehicle windows as well as from storefront windows or the like, and it is much easier to use a razor blade scraper than heat to remove stickers.
There is one very important factor, though, in using a metal blade on glass. It can and will scratch the glass unless you remember one very important thing. You must use a soapy spray or a cloth soaked in soapy water to keep the glass very wet, and continue to keep it very wet and slippery as long as you have any contact with the metal razor blade on the glass surface, or you WILL scratch the glass. And if it’s your car, you’ll be very unhappy with yourself as long as you own the car, but if it’s your client’s window, you may very well be asked to replace the window. And that is NOT a good thing.
The other advantage of heat free sticker removal such as explained above is that you don’t need any glue remover. Your blade will remove the decal, glue and all.
I want to expand this question a little to an area you didn’t ask about, and that is window glass, which you need to make sure is window glass. Optically clear polycarbonate or impact resistant acrylic is also used for windows in some areas and applications, and if you use a razor blade on one of these surfaces, you will be replacing windows. And these are about twice the price of glass windows, last I checked. So make sure what you’re dealing with is really glass, not a glass look-a-like plastic window.
Question: I want to know where I can purchase some custom decals for my boat. They need to be saltwater resistant and sun-fade resistant for as long as possible.
Answer: If you are looking for simple graphics like a name for the back of your boat or some striping, there are usually dozens of sign shops in any major city that can die cut the graphics or letters on a vinyl plotter to apply to your boat. 2mil high performance vinyl is also saltwater resistant and will hold its color for at least 7 years, but usually longer.
If you are looking for printed stickers, say some sort of fancy lettering for the back of your boat or multi-colored and variegated striping, these would need to be digitally printed, normally, and therefore you’re going to need a vinyl that is OK with saltwater, but more importantly, an over-laminate that is rated for salt resistance.
It would be ideal in this instance to find a sign and decal printer that is familiar with the various materials that can be used around saltwater. So, my best advice is to ask any shop that says they create saltwater resistant stickers for boats to show you the spec sheets or at least provide references for other boat owners who frequent saltwater.
Check here to find ideal deals of custom die cut vinyl decals for various displays including boats.