How to Remove Bumper Stickers, Emblems, and Decals

Remove decals, emblems, and stickers from your car with soap, a hair dryer, razor blade, and adhesive remover.
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Eventually, your honor student will graduate or your favorite political candidate will leave office, and you’ll want to remove the supportive decals, emblems, or stickers from your car. Whether the stickers are affixed to the paint, a chrome bumper, or a window, this 5-part process will get the job done. Part 1 tells you how to clean the part of the car that has the emblem or sticker, Part 2 explains why need to apply heat, Part 3 describes how to scrape off the sticker, Part 4 advises on how to remove the remaining adhesive, and Part 5 tells you to wash off the car.

Part 1 of 5: Wash the area where the sticker, emblem, or decal is affixed to the car

Materials Needed
  • Bucket
  • Car wash soap (do not use dish soap)
  • Hose with spray nozzle
  • Wash cloth or sponge
Step 1: Dilute the car wash soap with warm water in the bucket. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Step 2: Wet the decal and area around it. Use a strong stream of water from the hose.
Step 3: Wash the dirt off of the stickers with the soapy wash cloth or sponge. Clean the area around the stickers or decals, too.
Step 4: Rinse the soap off. Don’t leave any soapy residue behind.

Part 2 of 5: Apply heat to the stickers or decals

Materials Needed
  • Hair dryer
Step 1: Move the car away from the wet area.
Step 2: Set the hair dryer on its hottest setting. Most hair dryers have at least a low, medium and high setting.
Step 3: Heat up the sticker or decal. Start at the center of the decal. Hold the hair dryer there for a few seconds.
Move the hair dryer over the rest of the decal slowly to evenly heat the whole thing.
Go over the edges last. Hold the hair dryer about 1/2 inch away from the sticker.
  • Tip: Do not hold the hair dryer right up against the sticker.

Part 3 of 5: Scrape off the sticker or decal

Materials Needed
  • Single-edged razor blade or box cutter for glass
  • Stiff plastic card for painted or chrome surface – use an old grocery store card, credit card, or ID
Step 1: Slide the plastic card or razor blade under the edges of the sticker, emblem or decal. Work the edge loose so that you can grasp it between finger and thumb.
Step 2: Pull the edge of the sticker up gradually. Keep steady tension on the sticker as you pull up on the edge and work the card or blade further underneath.
  • Tip: The sticker will probably come off in pieces.
Step 3: Keep working at the sticker until you get the whole thing off. Heat the sticker up again with the hair dryer if it becomes cool while you are peeling it up.

Part 4 of 5: Clean off the remaining adhesive

Materials Needed
  • Goo, sap, adhesive remover, such as Goo Gone
  • 2 soft, clean, dry cloths
Step 1: Pour the goo remover onto the fresh cloth.
Step 2: Apply the adhesive remover to the adhesive. Let it sit to work at the adhesive for a minute.
Step 3: Wipe the adhesive remover and adhesive off. Use a fresh, dry cloth.
Step 4: Repeat Step 1, 2 and 3, if the adhesive doesn’t come right off. It may take a few applications to get all of the adhesive off.

Part 5 of 5: Wash the area where the bumper sticker, emblem, or decal was affixed to the car

Materials Needed
  • Bucket
  • Car wash soap (do not use dish soap)
  • Hose with spray nozzle
  • Towel
  • Wash cloth or sponge
Step 1: Dilute the car wash soap with warm water in the bucket, or use the same soapy water you mixed up to wash the sticker or decal.
Step 2: Wash off the adhesive remover. Do not leave the residue on the car.
Step 3: Rinse all of the soap off.
Step 4: Dry the area with the clean, dry towel.
Once the emblem or sticker is off the car chrome or paint, your car should look a lot cleaner and be more attractive to buyers if you’re putting it up for sale. If you’re adding a new bumper sticker, the surface should be ready for your next opinion or political view!
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