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How To Remove Old Vinyl Wrap From Car

Vinyl wraps are basically the used to partially or completely cover the paint of a car. This may be due to advertisements or just to make your car look different. Vinyl wraps may come in different finishes like glossy, matte or protective layers. These have recently received great market recognition for wrap advertising and with the latest issues of color changing vinyl’s, many people prefer them to stock colors for they make your car stand out more.

Though vinyl wraps are great on cars, they tend to get sun-baked. This is mostly because that they are basically made from plastics. Once this happens, the visual aesthetics of the vinyl wraps becomes grotesque and change is warranted.

There are many ways to go about in removing the vinyl wraps from your car. By doing simple research online, we found great ways to go about and we shall discuss them. Here we shall go through the best methods we found on how to go about removing the vinyl wraps.

Scrapping Method

This trick basically required two things in order to properly remove the vinyl wrap, they are;

  • Basic hot air tools like a Heat Gun, Torches,
  • Scrapping tools like plastic razors, disposable plastic scrappers, and/or your hand.

The processes involved here include heating the surface with the vinyl wrap, preferably from one edge going inwards and scrapping using your tool. Though this is the basic method, there are variants in approaching the heat removal depending on various conditions and state the vinyl wrap of the car is in.

If the vinyl wrap is still in good condition, whereby it is still in one piece, you can simply;

  • Start heating the wrap at a recommended temperature of 50° Celsius from one edge or corner of the car,
  • When it gets hot and starts shrinking, lift up an edge with the scraper tool,
  • Hold it with one hand and raise it at an acute angle “Preferably 45° or less” and pull gently as you continue heating the film.

This will remove the film carefully and the recommended temperature will ensure that you will not damage the cars paint in the process.

Even though the process is similar when handling cars with cracked, scratched or damaged vinyl wraps, there is a slight difference in the procedure. Due to smaller chunks of the wraps segmented on the surface of the car, use of hand may be limited. You will only heat and scrape through the entire surface. Hence this second method is time-consuming.

All-in-One Vinyl Graphic Removers

Use of All-in-One Vinyl Graphic removers is also an option when faced with the conundrum on how to remove old vinyl wraps from cars. There are several products currently in the market whereby they serve both as vinyl and adhesive removers from the surface of the car. This method requires protective clothing and must to be done on a well-ventilated place, preferably outside.

The procedures of using these removers are basically the same, and they involve;

  1. Apply the remover on the surface with the vinyl/decal using a brush,
  2. Let it sit for a while on the surface until you see the vinyl starting to cringe,
  3. Use your scrapping tool to gently scrape off the loose parts of the vinyl/decal,
  4. Once all the loose part is done, repeat steps 1-4 on the remaining vinyl, adding a lesser coat as you proceed.
  5. Once all the vinyl wrap has been removed, wipe with a wet towel or tissue

Although this seems like the best options for removing vinyl wraps on the car, it is highly recommended that you check carefully the instructions of the All-in-One Vinyl Graphic removers to see its specifications and use. This is very important because they may be very harsh and sometimes damage your car by also stripping off your paint.

Power Tools

As a professional Wrap advertiser or Vinyl installer, you might find that you have landed a huge contract of replacing a fleet of cars vinyl wraps. This may mean that you have to remove all of them and reinstall them within a set period. The above-mentioned methods are a lot oftime-consuming; hence you need a way to go through as much work as possible in the smallest amount of time.

If you are in a similar situation, or you are just a professional seeking to increase your profit margin by increasing workload, you have the option of using power tools, or power tool extensions readily available online or in-store. We shall just briefly summarize two of these tools and see how they function.

The stripe Eliminator– This is a simple device consisting of a urethane rubber wheel that is intended to be used as an attachment on your electric or pneumatic power drill. In most instances, it removes both the vinyl wrap and adhesive without burning or damaging the surface of the car.

The Vinyl Zapper– This is a unique tool specifically designed to remove the vinyl wraps and surface shine. This tool runs on house current and comes with 25mm toothed wheel which is made from a rubber compound. It can remove about 35-50 square-feet of vinyl per hour from clean metal, fiberglass or glass without harming the substrate or finish.


If you have or have just acquired a vehicle with old or undesirable vinyl wraps on it, like an old police patrol car, an old van with running decals and you wish to replace or just remove the vinyl wraps on the vehicle. We hope that you will check on the above options carefully.

Though the scrapping method is by far the best and cheapest, it is however very time to consume for it may take your whole weekend working on your small car, or a pickup truck; while the wrong selection of the vinyl removers may leave your car needing a paint job. We carefully advise that you weigh your options carefully and consult professionals.

The final method is for the professionals seeking to increase their workflow rates thus increasing revenue. The power tools option can also be for you if you are intending to go into the business of wrap advertising or wrap installation.