Old bumper stickers typically work with stronger tack adhesive, unlike their newer counterparts. So, they pose more difficulty in removing them.
The truth is, you’re not the only one who finds it hard to remove old bumper stickers safely on your vehicle. But, this article will make you one of the few people who knows the best way to remove old bumper stickers.
But before we move into the real tips, how much do you know about old bumper stickers?
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Make sure to follow these tips to avoid having to pay for a respray (here’s how much it costs to respray a car).
What You Should Know About Old Bumper Stickers
The idea of the bumper stickers had surfaced as early as the 1930s when people printed graphics on metals or cardboard and attached them to the bumper of their vehicles.
However, during the world war II when technology started advancing, prints were also advanced a little to impact the use of vinyls and adhesive in producing bumper stickers after the war.
So, when more and more promotional products started emerging in the 1940s, the use of bumper stickers for advertising and promotional activities become widespread.
With time, the use of these stickers started moving into other fields, like politics. History has it that the first use of adhesive stickers for political activities was witnessed during the 1952 election between Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson.
Based on the connections between politics and people, more and more people started using adhesive stickers on their vehicles.
One fact you should note is that old bumper stickers work with a strong tack adhesive. And because of the strong reliability of these stickers, some of them are still being used, and even more preferred, these days.
That being said, let’s look at the best ways to remove old bumper stickers.
Best Ways To Remove Really Old Bumper Stickers
The following are the most reliable and safe ways you can follow in removing really old bumper stickers:
1. Using a Hair Dryer
One of the most effective ways you can remove an old bumper sticker is using a hair drier to soften the sticker. Once the sticker gets soften, the quality of the adhesive will be reduced and it’ll lose its strong grip on the vehicle’s body.
Afterwards, you should be able to easily get it off.
Mind you, this is not always as easy as it looks. You’ll have to follow some important measure to do it effectively and safely. Otherwise, you’ll melt the sticker and it’ll affect the body of your vehicle. So, what are these measures?
- Hold the drier firmly and stay about 6 inches away from the sticker.
- Set the drier on its full blast.
- Blow the sticker for about a minute, making sure you do not concentrate the heat on a single spot. Spread it evenly on all the space the sticker occupies.
At this point, you need two other instruments: a plastic or wooden scraper and an alcoholic solution. After you’ve softened the sticker with a drier, you’ll want to remove it almost immediately. So, it’s best you have the scraper in place before using the drier.
- Use a plastic scraper like a plastic credit card to gently scrape the sticker off.
- Then, clean the surface where you had the sticker with an alcoholic solution to get all the remaining adhesive residue off of it.
2. Using Bumper Sticker Removal Sprays
Fortunately, there are some really effective bumper sticker removal sprays, like the 3M adhesive remover or Goo Gone tape and sticker lifter.
- All you have to do is to spray the sticker with the spray and leave it settled on it for about 5 minutes.
You’ll still need the scraper and alcoholic solution, just like required with the first method.
- After 5 minutes, scrape the sticker off gently with the plastic card.
- Apply more spray on the sticker and leave it for a few more minutes if you’re still unable to remove it easily.
- After you’ve removed the sticker, clean off the adhesive residue on the vehicle with the alcoholic solution. Of course, you’ll need a dry cloth to do this.
3. Using Vinegar To Remove the Sticker
Vinegar is that domestic material useful for a wide variety of cleaning activities. Are you surprised that you can also use it to remove old bumper stickers? We guess so.
Mind you, we are referring to white vinegar here, not any other kinds of vinegar. White vinegar has proven to be more safe and friendly to use. So, you should feel safe to apply it on your vehicle’s body.
All you’ll need is a bowl, a hand towel, a plastic or wooden scraper, and an alcoholic solution.
- Pour the white vinegar into a bowl.
- Dip the hand towel in the bowl to get it soaked in the vinegar. You don’t have to necessarily soak the whole towel in vinegar. Just a part of it will be fine.
- Press the towel on the sticker. Ensure the part of the towel you press on the sticker is completely saturated in white vinegar to ensure effective removal.
- Keep pressing for about 5 minutes to allow the sticker to absorb the vinegar.
- Then use the scraper to gently peel off the sticker.
Make sure you also check out how not to remove bumper stickers.
4. Using Window Cleaner or Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a solution of ethanol-based liquid or an isopropyl alcohol. While it could also contain other liquid substance, it’s more concentrated in isopropyl alcohol.
This solution, like the spray cleaner, is also an effective tool you can use to remove old bumper stickers, especially on glass.
- Spray this product on the bumper sticker and leave it soaked for about 10 – 30 minutes.
- Ensure the spray is well spread on the sticker, including its edges.
- Then, nudge it off using a plastic or wooden scraper.
- If you’re removing the sticker on glass, you can use a metal scraper, like a blade. Just do it gently to avoid denting the glass.
5. Using Hot Water
As funny as it may sound, hot water is also effective in weakening a strong adhesive.
- Boil some water and apply it gently on the sticker. You don’t have to make the water too hot; to avoid unexpected damage.
- Ensure the boiled water touches the edges of the sticker.
- Then, use your plastic or wooden scraper to nudge the sticker off.
- You’ll still need to clean the surface where you had the sticker with an alcohol to get adhesive residues off of it.
For more comprehensive tips, check our post on 11 best methods you can use to remove bumper stickers here.
It is important to note that while old bumper stickers are, indeed, difficult to remove, using sharp objects on them will only worsen the situation. Even if a blade or pin could help get the stickers off, these objects could also damage the car’s body paint in the process.
So, whenever you need to remove an old bumper sticker, just get the right instruments and nudge them off seamlessly. Before you feel discouraged about getting the required materials, always remember the damage that sharp objects could cause on the body of your vehicle.