How to Safely Remove Decals and Badges from Your Vehicle

At one time, you were just happy to be buying a car. You didn’t necessarily care about the decals from the dealership displaying its marked-down price or used status. However, as the newness of the car wears off, you decide you want to remove these. One afternoon, you venture outside with nothing but a knife and some determination. Surprisingly, the decal refuses to budge. You may have scraped up the edges, but you still can’t peel the thing off.

What now? Don’t worry, you don’t have to take the car in to your mechanic or another car detailing professional for a potentially pricy removal. You can actually do this yourself with the right technique. A knife won’t cut it, pardon the pun. Instead, you’ll need a cleaning cloth, some sort of glue remover (check your local home improvement store or grocery store; you can also order your favorite brand online), a hairdryer, an outlet in the garage or near the car (extension cords can help here), soap, and water.

Your first step is to give your car a good cleaning. You can skip the rest of the vehicle if you want and just focus on the area with the decal. Simply mix some soap with water in a bucket, grab a sponge, dip it in, and clean. This isn’t done just to make the car look shiny and new. It actually cleanses that area fully so the removal process goes quickly and smoothly.

Next, use your cleaning cloth to dry the car. It’s recommended to spring for a microfiber one, since this cloth is soft enough to prevent scratching the paint job and will still quickly soak up water. Just to be on the safe side, always dry gently.

It’s time to plug in the hairdryer. Make sure your hands are completely dry before dealing with electrical outlets. Keep the extension cord and the hairdryer away from any water at all times. Once the hairdryer is safely plugged in and running, crank it up as hot as it will go, focusing on the badge or decal while doing so. It only takes 60 seconds for the decal glue to start melting, so don’t exceed that time.

With the glue nice and pliable, the stickers should come off with ease. Don’t rush this process though, as you could end up tearing off parts of the decal and making the job that much harder for yourself. If parts of the decal just don’t want to budge, try the hairdryer trick again until they do.

Now you’re left with…a lot of leftover glue. Don’t stress. Using that glue removal product you bought, remove the last traces of the glue. You may need to use some elbow grease depending on how stubborn the glue is. It’s as simple as that. Your car is now ready for reselling or just for driving decal-free; and the next time it gets dirty, be sure to contact us!