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How to Remove Car Window Tint Without Damaging the Rear Defroster

by Stephanie Abir

Window tint is often used to provide privacy or protection from the sun, but you may find you want to remove the tinting. Since the tint is applied with removable adhesive, you can easily remove it, with the exception of the rear window. The only problem with the rear window is the delicate defrost lines that run across the window, under the tinting. If any of the tint breaks off, you can't use any sort of tool to remove it. You need to remove the entire piece of tint in a single piece but don't worry; there is a simple trick that you can do to get the job done.

Cut open a thick, black garbage bag so you have a large plastic sheet. The sheet needs to be at least as big as your rear window.

Spray the exterior side of the window with water and lay the bag on top. Smooth the bag down against the glass and trim the edges until the plastic is the same shape as the window.

Peel the plastic off the outside of the window and reapply to the inside so it is touching the tint. Spray the window heavily with water before putting the plastic on and use a squeegee to make sure the plastic is securely against the tint.

Turn on the heat in your car to the highest setting and park it with the rear window directly in the sun. You also need to turn on the rear defroster and leave the car for one hour.

Peel back one of the top corners of the tint using a razor blade. Work slowly so that you end up lifting the entire corner off instead of shredding it into pieces.

Pull the tint and the plastic down and away from the window using long, firm motions. Work slowly to avoid tearing the tint away from the adhesive.

Wipe down the inside of the window with a cloth once the tint is completely removed from the glass.

Tip

  • If the tint shows any resistance, leave the heater and defroster running for more time, until the adhesive is softer and easier to manipulate.

Warning

  • Never touch the defroster lines with a razor blade or you will damage them.

Items you will need

About the Author

Based in New Hope, Pa., Stephanie Abir has been writing business- and health-related articles since 1980. Her work has appeared in “Business Week” magazine and “American Health” magazine. Abir holds a doctorate in American literature from the University of South Carolina.

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