How To Remove Old Window Tint From House & Building Windows

By December 12, 2019 February 17th, 2023 Blog, How To

Window tint serves various purposes and looks great on building windows as well. When old or overly scratched, however, it may stress the eye and no longer serve its purpose. 

As such, home and building owners should learn how to remove old window tint using effective methods.  

Commercial building owners use tints for their structure’s windows for various reasons. They offer a degree of privacy, protection from UV rays, and also add to their aesthetic value. 

Over time, the elements of wear and tear take a toll on window tint, and it, therefore, loses its value. At this point, it has to be removed and replaced. Its lifespan, therefore, depends on its quality, weather elements, and the quality of the installation.


Reasons for Tint Removal

Apart from getting scratched and looking old, there are other reasons that may need the removal of window tint. Here are some of them:


Besides looking horrible, bubbling film cannot be fixed. While most people try fixing this by peeling the tint at the point of bubbling, they may end up dealing with a bigger mess of removing tint glue and tint portions. 

Bubbling is often caused by failing adhesive, which actually makes it easier to remove with little hassle. 


Regardless of the color of your window tint, it eventually turns a purplish shade, and it may be a good idea to replace it. 

At this point, the tint loses its ability to block UV rays, and this issue may, therefore, be more than aesthetic. Discoloration comes about due to the breakdown of dyes and is irreparable.


Whenever tint gets old, it tends to lose color, and removing it may be the only option. There may be a need to change the look of building windows, and this, therefore, involves removing the tint when it’s still in pristine condition. 

This might be messy as the adhesive could still be strong, and this could require tricks on tint removal.

Effective methods of tint removal help building owners to cut down on the tint removal cost. All they need is a can-do-attitude, some free time, and the required tools for the job. 

Luckily, the tools needed for DIY tint removal can be found in their toolbox or garage, and getting the job done will probably take a single afternoon. 

Most of the methods of window tint removal involve scraping or using heating devices. Let’s look at some of these effective methods of removing old window tint: 

Method 1: Hair Dryer


Hairdryers are effective at removing old window tint from house windows, especially in chilly seasons. The heat produced makes it easy to peel off the tint. 

Finding the right temperature to work with is essential, as too much heat will end up and breaking large windows and creating a mess that would be hard to clean. 

Here are the materials you would need for this method:

  • Adhesive remover
  • Steel wool pads
  • Razor blades
  • Cotton cloth/rag
  • Paper towels
  • Window cleaner


Step 1: Use the hairdryer to heat the outer side of the window, maintaining a distance of 4-6 inches from the glass. Using the dryer from the inside may cause the tint to merge with the window. 

Step 2: When the window gets warm, start peeling off the tint from the edge of the window (preferably the corner). Alternating between heating and peeling ensures that the adhesive doesn’t settle back, and this guarantees an easy time when removing the tint. 

Step 3: Use the razor to peel off any small pieces of tint left on the glass. Using the dryer on these patches helps remove them easily. 

Step 4: Apply the adhesive remover and let it sit on the glass for up to 10 minutes before cleaning up.

Step 5: Use the razor and steel wool to scrape off the adhesive until the window is clean. Repeat this step in the case of stubborn adhesive.

Step 6: Finish the cleaning process by rubbing the window cleaner and wiping any residue using the paper towel to leave the glass sparkling. 

Method 2: Steamer Removal 


For building owners who may not know how to remove window film, this method may be a good starting point. By steaming the window for a few minutes, the adhesive melts, and the tint peels off easily. 

Steamers distribute heat more efficiently and therefore eliminate the risk of burning the tint.

Here’s what you need for this method:

  • Steamer
  • Adhesive remover
  • Cotton cloth
  • Water


Step 1: Fill up the steamer with water and give it time to warm up until it steams.

Step 2: Heat the window, preferably from the corner area, by holding the steam attachment close to the window. Keep heating until the tint is loose enough to be removed with a fingernail. 

Step 3: Carefully peel the tint off the window, making sure that the tinting film doesn’t leave any tint patches.

Step 4: Using an adhesive cleaner and paper towel, clean the window to remove any residue.

Method 3: Solar Peel (Using Ammonia)


This chemical method of removing old tint comes in handy during the warm seasons. It leaves the window sparkling clean, and you probably won’t need a window tint removal spray to clean the windows. 

Taking the necessary precautions like wearing a mask is essential to avoid inhaling the toxic fumes produced by the ammonia solution. 

The materials you will need for this method include:

  • Black trash bags
  • Soapy water
  • Spray bottle
  • Razor knife
  • Fine steel wool
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton cloth


Step 1: Prepare a soapy mixture using warm water and put it in a spray bottle. Cut large pieces of the black trash bags for covering both sides of the building window.

Step 2: Spray the soapy mixture to the outside of the window and cover it with a piece of the black plastic bags.

Step 3: Once the plastic bag is in place, spray the ammonia solution on the inside of the window in generous amounts. Ensure there’s sufficient ventilation to avoid the effects of ammonia fumes. Keep any furniture and fittings in the building well covered, perhaps using cotton clothes, to prevent damage. Then, cover the inside of the window using another piece of the black plastic bag.

Step 4: Allow the setup to sit in the sun for an hour or so. The black plastic bag pieces trap the heat and loosen the adhesive that holds the window tint film. Afterward, remove the plastic pieces.

Step 5: Using the razor knife, pry up the corner of the tint and carefully peel it off.

Step 6: Clean any adhesive on the window using fine steel wool and ammonia or any other window tint remover and wipe the residue using paper towels.

Important note: Steel wool works very well on most types of glass, but there is tempered glass out there that is super soft and scratches very easily – especially ½” thick Herculite™ glass, but there are other soft brands.

We recommend testing any blades or steel wool in a small section – low or high corner – somewhere inconspicuous – to see if either has an undesirable effect. If there is any scratching, call a professional window film company to do the work.

Method 4: Soap and Scrape


This method doesn’t require much finesse and is therefore effective in removing patches of window tint. However, it is time-consuming and may be strenuous, especially for those who don’t know how to remove window tint glue. 

Some of the materials you will need for this method include:

  • Soapy water
  • Spray bottle
  • Paper towels
  • Razorblade/knife
  • Glass cleaner


Step 1: Cut the corner of the window film using the razor blade to create a tab to help peel off the tint film. 

Step 2: Grasp the tab and carefully peel off the tint from the window. In case there are small portions of the tint film left, repeat the peeling process until most of the tint comes off.

Step 3: Using the spray bottle, spray soapy water on the window to help remove the adhesive left behind.

Step 4: Use the razor blade to scrape off the adhesive and ensure the window doesn’t dry up by spraying more soapy water on the working area.

Step 5: Use the glass cleaner and paper towels to clean the window once you’re done scraping the adhesive.

Method 5: Soap and Newspaper


Individuals who may be wondering how to remove old window tint from their premises and buildings may as well try this method. It is similar to the soap and scrape method and requires little skill. 

To remove tint using this method, you will need the following materials:

  • Bucket
  • Warm soapy water
  • Paper towels
  • Razorblade/knife
  • Newspapers
  • Sponge
  • Glass cleaner


Step 1: Put soapy water in a bucket and apply lots of it on the window, then cover it with the newspaper. Allow this setup to sit for an hour, which will result in the soaking and drying of the newspaper. Add more soapy water whenever the paper dries up.

Step 2: Use the razor blade to peel off the newspaper and the layer of tint beneath in long strips. 

Step 3: The remaining layer of the tint is removed by rubbing it off using the razor blade and should come off easily. For stubborn tint film, repeating this process may yield better results.


Removing window tint may prove to be a daunting task for many building owners. As such, most of them opt for hiring the services of professional tint removers. For those who fancy trying such tasks by themselves, using a hairdryer, ammonia, steamer, and soapy water helps remove window tint easily and efficiently.