How to Get a Car Magnet Off a Carby Kate Carpenter
You may have placed a car magnet on you car awhile ago, but now need to remove the magnet and it won't budge. Your car magnet may be stuck because of exposure to intense heat over time. The kind of material used for car magnets is made of a kind of plastic and can become soft enough to bond to your vehicle during the hot summer months. This doesn't mean you must live with the car magnet on your car forever; you can safely remove it.
Clean around the stuck magnet gently, using a mild liquid dish soap detergent and warm water mixture and a soft rag or sponge. Remove any dirt or wax build up along the edge with the soft rag, a soft paintbrush or toothbrush, or carefully with your fingernail.
Look for areas where the magnet is loosened by using your fingernail. Run some dental floss or fishing line around the magnet to see if you can loosen it. This might help break a bond that may have happened from wax build up or dirt. If you can, take a piece of flat plastic or a plastic putty knife to work under any loosened areas. A plastic knife should not damage the paint.
Heat the magnet gently with a hair dryer or heat gun. This will expand the plastic magnetic material. Once you have gotten an area free, use the plastic putty knife, working it under to loosen more of the magnet. Do not pull the magnet off. This may result in pieces of the magnet remaining on your car, in which case a buffer may be needed to remove the stubborn pieces and damage the paint.
Take a cotton swab or small paintbrush and brush liquid soap under the loose part of the magnet, if you are able to free a portion of the magnet. Let the soap soak in for a few minutes before trying again to gently pull the magnet off.
Pour very cold then very hot water over the magnet a few times to loosen it, in very difficult cases. It is better to gently pull and remove the magnet at close to or a little above room temperature. Pulling on a hot magnet made of plastic material may cause it to stretch or come apart and a cold sticker will crack if pulled.
- To avoid future problems, remove and clean your car magnet on a weekly basis, particularly if your car is parked outside most of the time. Be sure your magnet is thoroughly dry before placing it back on your car. Also, avoid waxing your car where the magnet will be. Wax can soften and act like a glue, adhering the magnet to your car. If you must wax, wait at least 24 hours for the wax to cure or harden before placing a magnet on your car.
Items you will need
- Dental floss or fishing line
- Plastic putty knife--for drywall or bondo
- Hair dryer or heat hair gun
- Hot water
- Mild liquid detergent
- Cotton tips or small paintbrush