How to Take Wrinkles Out of Window Tintby Eli Laurens
Window tint on your vehicle can wrinkle and buckle, potentially obstructing your vision and ruining the tint. The options are replacement or repair, depending on the extent of the wrinkles and the size of the window. Both methods require the removal of some or all of the window tint. The average backyard tint technician can repair the wrinkles in about an hour. Use tint film only in a ventilated area, as the glue is pungent.
Repair the Existing Tint
Use distilled water to spray the edges of the wrinkled area and saturate them. Work the razor blade into one corner, and gently lift the tint from the window. This method is difficult for older tint, as the film layers tend to separate and tear. Continue to spray water on the lifted area, working it with the razor blade until reaching the wrinkles. Lift the wrinkled area, then spray a liberal amount of water on the film and glass.
Pull back the wrinkled area, then spray a liberal amount of water on the film and glass. Daub any excess or drips with a towel. Don't tear or pull the undamaged tint; the object is to keep the tint in one piece.
Squeegee the film back onto the window, removing any air bubbles firmly to the edge. Start from the inner area, close to the undisturbed section of tint. Work the film back onto the window, and allow it to dry for about an hour. With any luck, the glue will not be hardened with age and the film will reapply transparent.
Repair with New Film
Cut around the wrinkled area with the razor blade, deep enough to sever the layers of film. Spray the cut section of film with water, and work the razor blade into the corners to lift the film from the glass. Continue to spray water and lift the film. Discard the removed film.
Scrape off any glue still on the glass, spraying the area with water as it dries out. The glue will come up with the razor blade into small chunks you can pick off. Try not to disturb the undamaged tint. Wipe the glass with a towel and get as much glue off as possible. Do not use an ammonia-based cleaner, because it will damage the existing tint.
Cut a section of new tint film slightly larger than the area to be replaced; this repair works best if the tint film is a perfect match for the existing tint shade. Spray the glass with water, then peel the clear backing off the new film and place it on the glass. Quickly squeegee the air out, pushing it firmly to the edge. Cut the excess with the razor blade, being extremely precise along the inside edges. The closer the tint's seams, the more imperceptible the repair will be. Allow the tint to cure for two hours.
Spray the window tint with a high ammonia-based cleaner, and work off the edges with a razor blade. The glue will dissolve in the ammonia, and the entire film will come off easily. Be sure to use the razor to catch all layers of tint. Spray more ammonia as needed.
Wipe the window and allow it to dry for one hour. Spray the window with water and let the window dry again.
Cut a section of tint slightly larger than the entire window.
Spray the window with water, then peel the backing from the tint film and position it on the wet glass. Quickly squeegee out the air bubbles, starting at the center of the window and working out. Cut the edges with a razor blade, trimming along the top edge first. Spray more water if needed, and squeegee again to remove all air bubbles. Allow the tint to cure overnight.
Things You'll Need
- Distilled water
- Spray bottle
- Razor blades
- Use caution when working with ammonia-based cleaners.
Eli Laurens is a ninth-grade physics teacher as well as a computer programmer and writer. He studied electrical engineering and architecture at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Colorado.