How To Remove Old Window Tint

Removing window tint consists of simple but multiple procedures. There are several methods available for the removal process; among them, using a hair dryer to weaken the glue and peeling the tint is the most popular. However, there are more to these methods. Let’s get to know them.

What is Window Tinting?

When you apply semi-transparent or transparent thin film to the glass windows, it’s called window tinting. Window tinting is mainly used for aesthetics, privacy, glare reduction, UV protection, and heat reduction.

Understanding Different Levels of Window Tint

The level of window tint represents the darkness or opacity level of the tint film. The shade, level, or tint is usually considered the VLT, or visible light transmission percentage. There are mainly 5 levels of tint, depending on the passing of visible light through the window. The levels are:

1. Limo Tint

Very low light transmission with the highest VLT of 5% is called limo tint or limousine tint. It’s the darkest tint available on the market and provides excellent protection and privacy. But you can’t see properly with the tint, and accidents can occur frequently. That’s why this tint has legal restrictions. People only use it for aesthetic purposes.

2. Dark Tint

For the visible light passing percentage of 5-30% dark-tinted windows are used. It has very good heat and UV protection and a high level of privacy. But this tint level isn’t good for visibility, and some places have legal restrictions against this tint.

3. Medium Tint

30-50% of visible light can pass through moderate or medium tint levels. It’s a balance between good UV protection and visibility. This tint level has increased privacy and protects against hot, sunny days.

4. Light Tint

In light tinting, a low level of tinting is provided so that most of the visible light can pass while providing you with some UV and heat protection and reducing glare. The VLT percentage is about 50-70% for the light-tinted window. Mainly, the rear and side windows of vehicles are light-tinted.

5. No Tint

No tint means there is a very low level of tint on the window that we can’t consider tinting, or that there is no tint at all. Usually, more than 70% of visible light will pass through a no-tinted window film.

When Should You Change the Tint on Your Car Windows?

There are several times when you should consider changing the tint. They are:

  • When the tint is starting to fade away.
  • To follow legal requirements.
  • If there are huge bubbles and peeling.
  • After any damage or accident.
  • To improve the tint’s workability.

Is Removing Window Tint Difficult?

Window tint removal is a bit of a complicated and delicate process, as if not done properly, it will make a big mess. Specifically, if the tint is too old, the quality is bad, or it is improperly installed, removing the tint gets more difficult. You better consult a professional for it.

Does Removing Window Tint Pose a Risk to the Defroster?

Defroster lines are located at the vehicle’s rear window. When you remove tint from that area carelessly, it can damage the defroster lines. You’ll need to be extra careful when using heat and sharp objects. It’ll be best to hire a professional.

Essential Tools and Equipment for Tint Removal

The tools you may require for tint removal are:

  • Heat gun or hair dryer
  • Adhesive remover
  • Utility knife, blade, or plastic scraper
  • Soapy water spray bottle
  • Safety equipments
  • Clean, lint-free cloth

Best Way to Remove Window Tint From Cars

Removing old window tint from car windows can be a bit of a delicate process. There are a few steps you need to follow carefully to remove the tint properly without damaging the glass. The steps include:

  • Select a proper place to work that will not impact the work procedure, and prepare that area.
  • Use a heat gun or hair dryer to heat the tint gently to make the adhesive weaker for easy tint removal.
  • Then start lifting the tint from a corner with your finger, but if the glue is so firm, try using a utility knife.
  • Remove the adhesive residue and clean the area when you completely peel off the tint.

Alternate Methods to Remove Window Tint

There are a few alternative methods to remove window tint; they are:

  • You can remove the tint by leaving your car under the sun for hours to weaken the glue.
  • Another method is softening the tint glue using a steam cleaner or garment steamer.
  • Commercial tint removers can be applied to the tint to remove it easily.
  • Ammonia and water mixtures can also remove tint.

How to Remove Glue from Window Tint?

When you remove the tint from the window, the adhesive between the window and tint doesn’t always go away completely with the film. You’ll need to remove the glue whether you apply another film or not, as the glue can accumulate dust and also form bubbles under a new tint.

To remove the glue, you’ll need an adhesive remover to apply directly to the area and let it penetrate the glue for a few minutes. After a few minutes, try to gently scrape the glue with a plastic scraper or blade. Be careful not to scratch when using a blade. Then use a damp cloth with soapy water to wipe away residue and repeat the process if necessary.

Tint Removal Cost

The cost of tint removal varies depending on the area, the type of tint, and the vehicle type. If you go to any professional service for the tint removal, it can cost 75 to 200 dollars on average for any small or medium vehicle. The cost can go up for larger vans or SUVs as they have more windows.

Also, for any related repair and replacement of vehicle parts, there can be additional costs in some cases. However, if you do the job yourself, the tool and material costs will be around 20 to 50 dollars. However, any mistake in your work may lead to higher repair costs.

DIY vs. Professional Installation: Which Is Better for Tinting?

Tinting on the window can be done by professionals or by DIY. Both of these processes have their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, with DIY methods, you can do the process at any time and for any brand; the total cost will be cheaper, and you’ll gain important experience regarding tinting.

However, DIY is more prone to damage if you don’t have effective skills and experience, and there will be no warranty benefit. On the other hand, professional installation is more expensive, requires a specific schedule, and has its own guidelines for tinting and brand selection. But you’ll get the best tinting solution with a long-term warranty.

So we can conclude that the DIY method is only suitable when you’re skilled enough and it’s only a small project. But for any big and important vehicle, you should contact professionals.


Always be extra careful when removing the tint; use as many safety precautions as possible. Hire professionals if it’s suited for you. But if you want to do the work yourself, make sure to get advice from professionals.

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