How to Remove Vinyl Graphics From a Car

What happens when the perfect design becomes obsolete and needs replaced? Ever wonder how to remove vinyl from a car without damaging the paint?

A clean vehicle wrap removal begins before the vehicle wrap is ever installed. The surface must be cleaned properly with isopropyl alcohol before the vinyl fleet graphics are applied. Cleaning the surface helps the adhesive bond and ultimately remove properly. The surface and condition of the vehicle are also very important in vehicle wrap removal. 

Vehicles with rust or other defects may not be warranted, or the condition of the vehicle may be deemed unwrappable. Another tip is to properly care for your vehicle during the life of the wrap. Regular cleaning and sealing will help the longevity of the wrap. Parking in a garage is recommended to help increase the life of the wrap as well.

When removing the vehicle wrap, make sure the optimal surface temperature of the vehicle graphic is achieved. Various materials have different temperature ranges, so it’s best to check with a Visual Marking Systems sales representative or the material manufacturer. Don’t remove a vehicle wrap in direct sunlight, in too cold of weather or other conditions that may adversely affect the removal process.

Step 1: Start by peeling a corner or edge of the material and slowly peel the graphic away. Make sure when pulling the vinyl that you maintain less than a 90-degree angle so that the vinyl doesn’t tear or break apart. If the decal becomes difficult to pull, stop, and heat the vinyl using a heat gun or propane torch and resume. Be sure to keep consistent pressure, angle and speed while you remove the graphic.

Adhesive residue may be left behind after the vinyl is removed. There are several manufactured products that help remove the adhesive from the vehicle without damaging the surface. 

Step 2: After removing the old wrap, be sure to remove all residual adhesive. Because vinyl can be applied to numerous surfaces such as glass, PVC, aluminum, vehicles, trailers, drywall or concrete, be sure to use products that are recommended for the unfamiliar substrate or contact a VMS Professional Decal Applicators Alliance (PDAA) Master Certified installer.

Step 3: After you have successfully removed the graphic, it’s time to get started on your next design. Contact us with any questions about how to remove a wrap or how to get started on your next vehicle wrap or decal project. Oftentimes, we’ll include the costs of removal into the cost of a new wrap to help save you time and money.

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