- A lubricant (oil or WD-40)
- A blow-dryer with a hot setting
- A plastic spatula or some fishing line
- A soft, lint-free cloth
- Rubbing alcohol or warm soapy water
- Car polish and wax
Begin by wetting the bumper stickers with the lubricant. This may make the sticker slippery enough to slide off the bumper with just a little pulling. You can try using the spatula to separate the sticker from the bumper. Another option is to use the fishing line. Work the line under a corner of the sticker and then, using a rocking motion as you work under the sticker, separate the sticker from the bumper.
If the lubricant is not enough to loosen the sticker, try applying heat. Do this by using the hair dryer to blow on the sticker. The adhesive will melt and become more pliable. Work up one corner of the sticker and gently peel it away, applying continuous heat if needed. An alternative to the hair dryer is to leave the car outside on a hot day. I had abumper sticker that simply wouldn't stay on because I kept parking out in the sun.
Once the sticker has been removed it will probably leave behind a sticky residue. To remove the residue, use a lint-free cloth and rubbing alcohol. Rub the area until it feels smooth to the touch. Rubbing alcohol could be damaging to the car's finish, so an alternative is to use warm soapy water. This step in the process will probably take patience and a lot of scrubbing. A gentle scraper (like a fingernail or the plastic spatula) can be used to remove large amounts of adhesive.
The location of the sticker may change some of your cleaning methods. If the sticker is on a window, you shouldn't have to worry about using rubbing alcohol. If the sticker is on the body of the car, or if it is on a painted bumper, refinish the area with polish and wax once you are finished cleaning off the adhesive.
Your final step is to think twice before you put another sticker on your car. Some types of stickers are made to be easily removed; they are made of flexible, durable plastic that won't become brittle. Other stickers have less adhesive while others are magnetic. By planning on how long you want the sticker on your car, you can prevent some of the headache of removal later.
Allen Wyatt is editor and publisher of Tips.Net, a network of helpful, time-saving, and cost-saving tips. In the minds of many, cleaning is a necessary evil--you do it because you have to. It doesn't have to be tough; at Cleaning.Tips.Net you discover new ways to make your cleaning easier, faster, and less expensive. There are hundreds of free how-to tips waiting for you right now at Cleaning.Tips.Net.
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