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Quick guide: How to remove glue from car paint

Learn how to remove glue from car paint and get rid of any signs of old decals, stickers, or repairs. Get great results with these tips.

How to remove glue from car paint

Once you have peeled away a sticker or decal, you’re often left with glue residue that collects dirt and grit and just looks awful. But you don’t have to live with it!

Remove nasty residue by following these easy steps:

  1. Prevent scratching the paint by washing the area first. This gets rid of any abrasive dirt or grit.
  2. Use a hair dryer or a heat gun on a low setting to soften the glue. This step may need to be repeated as you are scraping the glue off. If you use a heat gun, be careful not to overheat the area and damage the coat.
  3. Use the edge of a credit card or a plastic scraper tilted at a 45° angle. Starting about an inch from the glue, slide the scraper into the glue repeatedly, loosening a bit at a time. Brush the loosened glue away as you go.
  4. Finish up by wiping the area with some distilled vinegar or a professional-grade cleaner and a soft cloth.

Don’t forget the wax! Once you’ve completed the clean-up, make sure to wax the area for shine and protection.

How to remove glue residue from car windows

Use a clean cloth and warm water to loosen the glue residue on a window.

  1. Cover the area with the wet cloth and let it soak for a few minutes.
  2. Then use a razor blade to scrape the glue away. Hold the razor at a 45° angle and repeatedly scrape from the outside edge of the glue in towards the centre. Avoid scratching the glass by using light pressure, and be careful not to twist the razor to either side.
  3. When you have removed all you can with the razor, try using a small amount of acetone on a cloth or cotton ball to remove any remaining residue.
  4. Finish by cleaning the area with glass cleaner and a paper towel.

How to get glue off your car’s interior

Soap and warm water will remove most glue from a car’s interior surfaces, such as vinyl dashboards and seats.

  1. Cover the area with a warm wet cloth and let it soak for a while to loosen the glue.
  2. Scrape with a plastic putty knife or a fingernail to peel away most of the glue.
  3. Use a sponge or cloth and some warm soapy water to scrub away the residue. (Dish soap should work well for this.)
  4. Dry the area with a clean towel and inspect for leftover residue. If any remains, repeat step 3.

If you have cloth seats instead of vinyl, and the glue has soaked into the fabric, you may need some extra help. Try Loctite Glue Remover to loosen up the dried glue so it can be scrubbed away.

And if you discover some cracks or splits in the dashboard, seats, or other vinyl and plastic areas in the car, why not fix them while you’re at it? Try Loctite Extreme Gel to bond those areas together. This versatile, gap-filling adhesive is perfect for fusing multiple materials and stands up to the vibration and flexing as the vehicle moves. It can also handle the temperature extremes, UV light, and moisture a vehicle interior experiences.