From the famous “Baby on board” or “XXX on board” with white stripes, the checkered flag or the flames on the sides, all car stickers have one thing in common and that removing them often costs a lot of work and can even be harmful for painting Many methods promise solution. There are many from home remedies to special and expensive products to remove stickers. In this article we will explain what really works and what the best way to remove car stickers is.
What is a conventional sticker made of?
Every glue, there is a remedy. If you know exactly the type of glue you can remove the sticker is a child’s play. However, the composition exactly is not normally known. In spite of everything, it is not bad to address this issue to develop a corresponding strategy.
Most car stickers use plastic or coated paper as bearing material. This is important because they often come in contact with water (rain), dirt and dust. Printing paper would become unusable in a few days. The glue is then applied to the carrier material. This is 1K glue, a monocomponent glue of great adhesive strength that does not need other components to work. Several types have been imposed:
Wet glues with solvents were used mostly in the new millennium and can still be found today. The polymers responsible for the adhesion process are here in a solvent that evaporates after gluing and thus hardens the glue. The solvent used may be slightly toxic or even flammable, although the concentration contained in a sticker generally does not pose a risk. If a solvent is reapplied on the glue, the polymer chains are released and the sticker can be released without leaving any residue. Like all glues, it is sensitive to heat and cold.
The dispersion tails are the most used today. They also have a polymer base; however, they use water dispersion instead of a solvent to bind them. Dispersion glues need more time to harden completely, but their bond strength is as good as that of wet solvent glue. They are also environmentally friendly and harmless to health. They react delicately to heat and cold.
Contact glues are used especially in those places where the sticker has to last a long time, for example, for advertisements on vehicles or to mark cars of companies that have to be robust. Both dispersion glues and solvent wet glue can be available as contact glues. The difference is that the polymers adopt a crystalline form with which a great resistance is achieved. Contact glue reacts little to heat or cold, but can be removed with solvent and a lot of patience.
How to remove the sticker
While car stickers are often placed directly on the paint, however, this is not the only option. Glasses or even plastic or similar bumpers are usually decorated with stickers. Therefore, we will not only take a look at the different procedures but also explain the effect on the various materials.
The method of scratching with or without a tool: regardless of the surface, whoever tries to remove a sticker with their nails (hopefully sharp) and their own strength will often fail. The reason is the bearing material. After many years the different layers are already only loosely joined. When you remove the top layer, the rest is stuck to the car. Anyone using a tool such as a screwdriver or a spatula runs the risk of scratching and damaging the paint. On glass at most this method can be applied very carefully.
The home remedy: From rubber to edible oils, people come up with crazy ideas to remove car stickers. While applying lacquer, citric acid or washing gasoline are effective, care must be taken since aggressive chemical components can give the paint and plastic a dull appearance. A remedy that works sometimes is oil. Apply edible oil, for babies or in extreme cases some penetrating oil directly on the sticker and let it act. Then it will be released practically alone. However, this only works if the carrier material is paper, since most plastics are oil resistant.
Cold and heat – dryer and coolant spray: almost all glues are sensitive to heat and / or cold. And car stickers are no exception. Especially heat affects most polymer-based adhesives. Therefore, it is a good idea to try it with a dryer. This works with a little patience on any surface that also protects the paint, glass and plastic (normally). The coolant spray also achieves a similar effect; however, it is more expensive and worse for the environment. The dryer obtains the best results with normal car stickers and the time required for it is reasonable.
Laboratory chemistry – professional products for removing stickers: Most of the so-called “sticker removers” on the market operate according to the solvent principle. The chains of polymers formed are released first and re-bound in the solvent, that is, the process that initially caused the adhesion is chemically reversed. This works quite well and is also fast, but not very economical. A small can cost five and fifteen euros and does not usually last long. It should be noted that not all available products are suitable for cars since they are harmful to the paint. Read the product description and instructions for use carefully before purchase.
Tips and tricks for adhesive fixation
Now that you know the best way to remove stickers, we should not take the time to see what happens before, that is, the adhesive fixation. Like removing from an art and can have its drawbacks. The following procedure is recommended for stickers from a size of 0.5 m²
|Step 1: Clean the surface thoroughly and dry it at the end with a microfiber cloth. There can be no remains of oil or cleaning products.
Step 2: Most large car stickers have a transfer paper that you should now release a little. Place the sticker below where you want starting at that point.
Step 3: Take a scraper or a credit card, if necessary, remove the transfer paper with one hand and pass the scraper firmly over the sticker with the other. Now you can still make small adjustments in terms of position.
Step 4: When the sticker has completely adhered to the surface, look for wrinkles and / or bubbles. Do not worry! This is normal, but should not be ignored. Wrinkles can be pushed out with both hands. For bubbles you need a cutter or a needle. Make a small hole (it will not be seen later) and take out the air with the scraper. Pay attention not to cause more bubbles.
Stop 5: Now remove the sticker protection sheet. It should be released easily. Start at the corners anyway and continue inwards.
Step 6: Finally take a roller or other similar object and run it firmly through the sticker. Through this last contact, the glue is activated again so that it can harden correctly. Depending on the type of glue (contact glue) this can last several hours, in which the vehicle should stand.
Possible alternatives to the classic car sticker
It doesn’t always have to be the typical sticker. Currently, an alternative series has been imposed with which not only the car can be decorated but completely redesigned. The method that won the most fame was to make the car pass through a prototype. Covering the car completely with vinyl will give a totally different look. The manufacturers also take advantage of this method to hide the appearance of their prototypes. The following possibilities are available:
Self-adhesive “thi công decal dán kính chuyên nghiệp”: While the plastic sheet used for “thi công decal dán kính chuyên nghiệp” resemble in some ways the classic car stickers, their characteristics, elasticity as well as resistance to heat, cold and UVA are superior. Also the glue used is very special and suitable to remain on the paint for a long time without damaging it. Car “thi công decal dán kính chuyên nghiệp” can be placed over the entire vehicle or on individual parts. This practice is called “car wrapping,” that is, car wrapping and is increasingly popular, not only from a professional point of view. Private persons also often use this method to protect their vehicle’s paint as long as possible. The vinyl, of course, can be removed without leaving any remains. However, this should be done in a specialized workshop.
Adhesive stickers: The so-called adhesive stickers that adhere statically are relatively new. They do not require any glue and stays glued by the bond strength. They use static electricity and can stick on a number of surfaces, including car paint. These stickers are not yet manufactured for use during driving since the current could penetrate the region of space load and undo the bond strength. If this problem is solved, such use would be possible.
Andrea Parker is a reporter for Zobuz. She previously worked at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Andrea is based in NYC and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe coffee addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.