Informational Guide

How To Get Stickers Off Car Paint

Considering 60% of people have put a bumper sticker on their vehicle, you might be one of the people struggling to find a solution to remove it. We know how to get stickers off car paint with some common products. Our guide will help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.  

The terms decal and sticker are used interchangeably, but they aren’t necessarily the same thing. Every decal can be labeled a sticker, but not the other way around. The decal is a decorative sticker that's taken from one surface and transferred to another. It has three layers – mounting film, transport paper, and the decal. 

A sticker is generally one layer of material, so it doesn’t last as long as the decal. Both can be difficult to apply and remove, depending on how big it is. They both tend to include sticky materials to ensure they last, making it difficult to figure out how to take off stickers from car paint. 

car stickers

How To Get Stickers Off Car Paint (Remove Decals Without Damaging Paint)  

Use Soapy Water 

How do you get stickers off car paint? The safest way is with some soapy water. Mix a tablespoon of dish soap in a bucket of water and use your car wash sponge to gently scrub it off. Depending on how long the decals have been on the car, this is the best way to figure out how to remove stickers from a car without damaging the paint.  

However, this method isn’t going to work as well if the stickers have been sitting on the car for a long time. After the sun bakes the sticker to the car paint, it becomes much harder to get it off.  

Use Hair Dryer (Heat Application) 

If you want to know how to remove stickers off car paint and the dish soap didn’t work, try a hairdryer. In some cases, you can heat up the sticker enough that the glue becomes tacky again. If this method works, you should be able to remove the sticker without much fanfare. You might also use it in conjunction with another method, such as dish soap or a putty knife.  

Use Boiling Water 

This may not be the best way to get stickers off car paint, but it’s one to mention. If you are looking to heat up the glue before trying to remove it, the hairdryer might be a better idea. However, this method is also available. Simply boil some water and pour it over the sticker or decal. As with any heating method, you should use this option in conjunction with another when you want to get stickers off car paint. 

Peel It Off 

Another way to learn how to get bumper stickers off car paint is to peel them off. This method works well when it is already heated up through the hairdryer or boiling water. Once the sticker is loosened up, you can grab your razor blade, putty knife, or credit card and start chipping away at it. 

Just be careful when you use a sharp object on the car paint. If you push too hard, you could create more damage than you started with.  

Use Goo Gone 

Goo Gone is a great substance for removing sticky products, so will it work if you want to know how to get old stickers off car paint? Goo Gone can work if used carefully. You can apply it directly to the sticker and let it sit for a minute to loosen up the glue. 

Once the glue is softened, you can peel it off, use a knife or scrub it with some soap. However, you must be careful because Goo Gone can be corrosive to the paint, leaving behind a mess if you don’t remove all of it.  

goo gone products

Use White Vinegar 

If you want to know how to get vinyl stickers off car paint and you don’t have special products, try some household vinegar. Mix equal parts vinegar into a bucket of water. You can use your car wash sponge, just like you would with car wash soap. 

This is a milder option that won’t destroy your car paint. However, it might not be strong enough to remove the toughest stickers or decals.  

Use WD-40 

Will WD-40 help you learn how to take car stickers off the paint? WD-40 has been known for removing sticky substances, similar to how Goo Gone works. However, it can also be dangerous to car paint. 

If you need to know how to take stickers off a car paint job and the other options don’t work for you, it’s possible to turn to WD-40 as a last resort. However, after you remove the sticker or decal, you must make sure you get all of the remaining WD-40 off of the car before it creates damage.  

How To Apply Stickers & Decals Properly For Easy Removal 

If you don’t want to struggle to learn how to remove old stickers from car paint, you should consider how they go on in the first place. With these steps, you have fewer issues removing vinyl stickers from car paint. 

Make sure the area is clean. Perform a complete car wash, ensuring that no debris or contaminants are left behind. It’s also important that the wax is removed from the surface.  

Work in a shady spot when the humidity is low. You don’t want to work on a day when moisture levels are high. You also don’t want the sun baking on the sticker after it’s applied. 

Above all, seek help from a professional if you don’t want to struggle to learn how to take stickers off car paint. With a professional application, you are less likely to have issues when it’s time to take stickers off car paint. 

car decals

Removing Stickers Off Car Paint FAQs 

Do stickers ruin car windows? 

The stickers won’t ruin the auto glass itself, although they can leave a sticky film behind. What you need to worry about is the car window tint, which can be easily damaged by a sticker.  

How long do stickers last on cars? 

If the sticker is made from cling, it might only last six months. However, stickers made from adhesive and vinyl could last up to five years if properly taken care of.  

Do vinyl car decals come off easily?  

If the sticker has just recently been applied, it might not take a lot of effort to learn how to remove decals from a car without damaging the paint. However, once they have been on for some time, it will require much more effort.  

Will car washes damage decals? 

The majority of automotive stickers and decals are meant to go through extreme conditions, whether it is at the car wash or a spring storm. You shouldn’t have trouble, as long as the stickers are made from high-quality materials.  


We understand how difficult it is to get stickers off car paint. That’s why we have shown you how to remove vinyl stickers from car paint. However, with our steps, the hassle should be much more manageable.