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4 Tips For Removing Vinyl Car Wraps

How to Remove A Vinyl Wrap The Right Way (and the wrong way)

Pros and cons of vinyl car wraps

Vinyl car wraps are a great way of temporarily changing the appearance of a vehicle. There are two types of vinyl car wraps.

Advertising: A vinyl car wrap can be used for custom advertising by small business owners who are trying to increase brand visibility and attract new customers.

Personal Customization: Car customizing is nothing new. From fuzzy dice to building race cars, car customizing has absolutely no limits. Vinyl Wrapping a car to customize its appearance is temporary and changeable customization, unlike painting. It’s completely reversible and there are many more colors, finishes, and styles to choose from.

How long do vehicle wraps last?

A vehicle wrap can last between 1 and 7 years depending on how well it is maintained and other factors such as weather, storage, and location. When you notice your custom car wrap is starting to show signs of wear and tear from weathering, abrasions, bubbles, and peeling edges. It's time for car wrap removal. It's important to remember that the more you leave the wrap on, the more difficult it will be to take off.

Vinyl Wrap Removal Tips

Vinyl wrap that has been left on for a longer time will be more difficult to remove. The same goes for adhesive residue. Vinyl can also become brittle with time. If a vinyl wrap has been placed on a vehicle for 5 years or more, it will take a lot of labor to get rid of all the pieces without the use of specialty removal tools.

If the vinyl wrap is less than four years old, you might be able to make it a weekend DIY project rather than hiring a professional car wrap shop to do the removal. The removal process is going to take patience and time, and there is no rushing it.

Removal is also affected by another element.

The actual type of vinyl used

Well-known vinyl wrap manufacturers such as Avery, 3M, KPMF, and Oracal are much more expensive but also install and remove much easier than cheap off-brand materials. Wrap removal with off-brand or calendar vinyl can be more difficult and more costly.

"You get what you pay."

You should first remove a small amount of vinyl wrap with a vinyl wrapping solvent before you decide to take on the whole job. It is best to hire professionals if the vinyl chips in small pieces. If the vinyl is easy to remove once the heat has been applied, then you can do it yourself.

Some things to know about Vinyl Removal before you start

As with installation, do not remove your car wrap in cold weather or other poor weather conditions. You will be miserable and it will also become a much longer process.

How to Remove Car Wrap

Now that you have some of the tips, it is time to get to work.

Vinyl Wrap Removal Steps.

Step 1: Heat

Heat the vinyl, generally 65° and Up, to make it soft or stretchy. This will reactivate the vinyl "memory" and allow it to peel off in large pieces rather than tiny flakes. You can do this by heating the vinyl with a heat gun, propane torch, or another heat source. just be careful, you don't want the vinyl to bubble up or burn.

Step 2: Begin with corners and edges

Start with a corner or edge and stretch the vinyl at an angle. This will ensure that the vinyl does not tear or crack. No matter what you do, don’t pull at the vinyl. Pulling too aggressively can in some cases cause the paint underneath to pull with it. While the hood is usually the first place to start, you should also consider starting with the vinyl on vertical panels as they are quicker to remove due to being less directly in sunlight than is the hood and roof.

  • Note: Although primer is not necessary to properly install vinyl wrap, some companies use it to speed things up. It will be more difficult to remove adhesive if primer was used. To remove vinyl or decals, you can use plastic razor blades, scrapers, or other non-marring tools. but use caution as this could damage the paint.

Step 3: Be consistent

While you are peeling off vinyl, keep your speed, pulling pressure, angle, as well as pulling pressure constant. You should take extra care when you are working in areas that are deeply contoured.

Step 4: To remove adhesive residue, use vinyl wrap removal solvent

You might have some vinyl adhesive residue left behind. You can use a vinyl adhesive solvent to remove it. Goo-Gone is an easily available solution found at any automotive store but it will take much longer for it to take effect.

Professional-grade vinyl wrap solvents and tools can be used to speed up the process.

  • Rapid Remover: This is the best option to help you break down the adhesive. Let the adhesive soak in the residues and then squeegee the excess or scrape the adhesive off.

  • Vinyl Stripping Wheels: The Vinyl Zapper is a very expensive vinyl removal tool that uses its own rubber wheel to remove vinyl, or you can purchase a much less expensive version that attaches to most drills.

What to do when the wrap removal is finished

Washing the car directly afterward is a must to remove any leftover adhesive, solvent, and other chemicals. Clay Bar treatment may also be needed to remove any excess adhesives left behind.

If you decide that this is not something you want to tackle on your own give us a call.


Delux Wraps can typically remove most full car vinyl wraps in one business day, two days at the most. to give you an idea, Custom Dodge Charger Wraps will take longer to remove than Custom Tesla Wraps because of the difficulty of the cars.

DeluxWraps is the only choice for custom car wraps and vinyl removals in San Diego, located in Chula Vista near Downtown San Diego, and just minutes from Eastlake Chula Vista and Mission Valley. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please call us. We are looking forward to hearing from you.


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