How to Remove Window Film Without Damaging the Glass? – Easy Hack [2023]

Window films are basically tinted screens that protect you from heat and UV rays, add privacy, and increase the aesthetic of your house with a more warm and cozy vibe.

Like any other outdoor accessory, window films also go through aging and natural wear and tear alongside dust and other environmental particles, causing them to deteriorate over time.

These damaged window films slowly stop serving their purpose if not replaced.

This is why I am introducing four easy DIY methods for how to remove window film like a pro. I will show you how to get rid of the remaining film adhesive without damaging the glass.

How to Remove Window Film from House Windows?

Removing window film may sound tricky, but with the proper tools and time, it can be turned into the most satisfying DIY project.

Whichever method you follow, it’s important to do it right. Otherwise, you will end up with adhesive residue or sticky patches on your window.

Method 1: Hair Dryer

  • Set the heat setting of your hair dryer to high, and bring it outside of your window using an extension cord.
  • Keep the dryer 4-6 inches away from the glass and start heating up the outer side of your window.
  • Never use the dryer from the inside of the window, as it can cause the film to shrink and stick more to the glass.
  • After a few minutes, feel the window film to check whether it’s warm already.
  • If it is warm enough, start peeling off the window film from the corner edge of the window.
  • Keep on alternating between heating and peeling so the melted adhesive doesn’t get the chance to settle back.
  • There might be small pieces of film left on the glass where the adhesive was a bit stronger.
  • Keep applying heat to those areas, and use a sharp razor blade to scrape the small pieces off.
  • Apply an adhesive remover on the glass and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • You can choose any other methods that will be described in the next section.
  • Once the adhesive softens, use the razor blade to scrape it off completely.
  • Spray some window cleaner on the glass and wipe it off using a clean rag or a paper towel.
  • Once dried, your window glass will shine as good as new ones.

Required Tools

  • Hair dryer
  • Sharp razor blade
  • Adhesive remover
  • Window cleaner
  • Rag or paper towel

Method 2: Steamer

  • If you don’t have your own steamer, you can easily rent one out from your nearest laundry or online rental services.
  • Fill the steamer with water, and then turn it on.
  • Wait until the steamer is warmed up and producing steam.
  • Hold the steam attachment close to the window from the outside and start heating up the window film.
  • It’s important that you start heating from the corners as it will make peeling off much easier.
  • Keep applying heat until the window film loosens.
  • Start peeling off the window film with your fingernails.
  • If there are any stubborn sticky patches, steam them until they start melting, and use the razor blade to scrape them off the glass.
  • For the final step, apply some adhesive cleaner on the glass and wipe it away with a microfiber towel.

Required Tools

  • Steamer
  • Sharp razor blade
  • Adhesive cleaner
  • Microfiber towel

Method 3: Soapy Water

  • Start by cutting a small corner of the window film with the razor blade.
  • This will create a little tab that makes it easier to peel off the film.
  • Hold onto the tab you created and gently peel off the window film.
  • If some parts are stubborn, repeat the peeling process until most of the film is removed.
  • Mix equal parts of detergent soap and warm water in a spray bottle.
  • Grab the spray bottle and spray soapy water onto the window.
  • This will help loosen the adhesive that’s left behind.
  • Use the razor blade to scrape off the remaining adhesive.
  • Keep the area wet by spraying more soapy water as needed.
  • Once you’ve scraped off all the adhesive, use the window cleaner and paper towels to give the window a final clean.

Required Tools

  • Sharp razor blade
  • Detergent soap
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Window cleaner
  • Paper towel

Method 4: Solar Peel

  • This method works best in warm weather and leaves your windows super clean.
  • Make sure to wear a mask, as we are going to use ammonia for this method.
  • Mix warm water with detergent soap and put it in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution on the outside of the window and cover it with a black plastic bag.
  • Generously spray the ammonia solution on the inside of the window.
  • Make sure there’s good ventilation to avoid inhaling fumes.
  • Also, cover any furniture and fittings to protect them using plastic tarps.
  • Then, cover the inside of the window with another piece of the black plastic bag.
  • Give it an hour to sit in the sun.
  • The black plastic bags trap heat and help loosen the window film adhesive.
  • Afterward, remove the plastic pieces.
  • Use the razor blade to gently pry up a corner of the window film and carefully peel it off.
  • Apply window cleaner on the glass and wipe it away with a clean paper towel.

Required Tools

  • Sharp razor blade
  • Detergent soap
  • Water
  • Ammonia
  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic tarps
  • Safety goggles
  • Window cleaner
  • Paper towel

How to Remove Window Film Adhesive?

Now that you’ve successfully removed the window film, it’s time to inspect for any adhesive residue left behind on the glass.

If you find any, you can use any of the methods described below for removing window film adhesive.

Method 1: Solvents

  • You can choose between acetone and isopropyl alcohol as they work as the most effective window film adhesive remover.
  • Get a clean sponge and soak it in your preferred solvent.
  • Ensure to wear safety gloves to protect your skin.
  • Using the soaked sponge, apply the solvent all over the glass.
  • Make sure to apply the areas with the remaining adhesive.
  • Let the solvent sit on the glass for 8-10 minutes.
  • Use a plastic scraper to wipe away the adhesive gently.
  • Be careful not to scrub aggressively so you can avoid scratching the glass.
  • Once you’ve removed all the adhesives, clean the glass with a glass cleaner or soapy water.
  • Dry the glass by wiping it with a dry paper towel.

Required Tools

  • Acetone or isopropyl alcohol
  • Sponge
  • Safety gloves
  • Plastic scraper
  • Glass cleaner or soapy water
  • Paper towel

Method 2: Sprays

  • You can buy a commercial window film adhesive remover spray from your nearest auto parts store.
  • You can also make your own by mixing equal parts of water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the whole window glass generously after you have removed the window film.
  • Make sure to cover the whole window glass.
  • Wait for about 10-15 minutes.
  • This waiting time is necessary to soften and loosen the adhesive.
  • Use a plastic scraper to scrape the adhesive off gently.
  • Be careful not to use too much force, as you don’t want to scratch the glass.
  • Depending on how stubborn the adhesive is, you might need to repeat the process a few times.
  • Once done, use a dry paper towel to wipe any remaining solution.

Required Tools

  • Window film adhesive remover spray
  • Water and distilled white vinegar solution
  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic scraper
  • Paper towel

Signs that You Need to Remove and Change Window Film

Over time, your window films become weathered and can’t provide you with the UV protection as it was supposed to.

These are the signs that will alert you it’s time to remove and change your window film.

Fading or Discoloration

Due to the constant heat from the sun and the moisture from humidity, your window film keeps on fading with time.

Depending on the product quality, some window film lasts longer than others, but all window film lose their color eventually.

The heat and the moisture break down the molecular particles of the window film, causing it to discolor.

Faded window films fail to reduce heat and provide complete privacy, so it’s important to remove and change the window film whenever you notice fading.

Bubbling or Warping

If your window glass wasn’t prepared properly before installing the window film or the film itself wasn’t installed correctly, it will cause bubbles to form on the surface.

This also happens if the adhesive starts to lose its power and lets air sneak in between the glass and the film.

All of these result in creating small bubbles or blisters on the window film.

If unattended, these small bubbles eventually become bigger and warp the whole window film, which is not a pretty sight.

So once you notice any bumps on your window film, it’s a sign that you need to replace them with new ones.

Visible Damage

As time goes by, the dust, debris, and other environmental particles keep accumulating on your window film.

These elements cause friction on the film, weakening the texture and the gloss, as well as creating scratches.

Cleaning the windows with any abrasive chemicals can also produce scratches on the films.

There’s no doubt that scratched window films burn down the aesthetic appeal of your property to the ground.

To keep your home’s appearance, removing and changing your faulty window film is necessary.

Bottom Line

And there you have it!

By following the methods in this guide, you have successfully managed to remove your old window films like a professional.

If you have read through the whole article, I am sure your windows are now squeaky clean and ready to take on new window films.

So what are you waiting for? Start decorating your windows for a new, charming look right away!


Will vinegar remove window tint glue?

Yes. The vinegar and warm water solution helps to loosen the window tint glue, which can be scraped off easily.

What will dissolve plastic film?

Any acetone-based nail polish remover will help you to dissolve and remove plastic film. Just apply it to the plastic film, let it sit for 5 minutes, then scrape away.

Does vinegar damage tint?

No, the vinegar does not damage the tint. In fact, you can use a vinegar solution to clean smudges and odors off your tints.