Scott M
Scott M New Reader
4/21/24 10:41 p.m.

Hey everyone.  Left my $2000 Challenge stickers on just a liiiiiiiitle too long.  Peeled them off and unfortunately most of the adhesive stayed on the car.

I tried soaking them in WD 40 for about 10 min, but the adhesive is being super stubborn.  Any advice on how to get it off without destroying my paint?

Thanks in advance!

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/22/24 12:21 a.m.

I have removed the stickers from my Miata after several years.
There are some products made specifically for this purpose on auto paint, in my case I followed up with Goo Gone, which removed some of the adhesive but converted much of it into a sticky gel. 

I followed up with cleaning the gel off with 96% isopropyl alcohol, then waxed the site. 
 

Here's a before and immediately after. The number and class are magnetic. 

wae
wae UltimaDork
4/22/24 6:52 a.m.

I guess it's too late for this, but I always give them some heat gun treatment to loosen things up a bit for removal.  You might try a little heat on the residue, though, and then going after the warmed-up adhesive with goo gone.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/22/24 7:23 a.m.
wae said:

I guess it's too late for this, but I always give them some heat gun treatment to loosen things up a bit for removal.  You might try a little heat on the residue, though, and then going after the warmed-up adhesive with goo gone.

Heating the surface helps. I used the very effective combination of dark colored car and Florida sun, then worked the stickers off with a plastic razor blade. I did the east side of the car in the morning, and the west side in the afternoon. 
 

Using the plastic blade, which is made for such things, meant that some of the stickers came off while leaving almost no adhesive on the paint. 

Scott M
Scott M New Reader
4/22/24 8:47 a.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks for the reply.  I have Goo Gone as well, I was worried it would dissolve the painted surface.  Sounds like it should be fine.  I'll try another round using that followed by the iso alcohol.

I do also have a heat gun (and a dark car, and I live in FL), so maybe that's next if the above doesn't work.

Thanks!

Scott M
Scott M New Reader
4/22/24 8:49 a.m.
wae said:

I guess it's too late for this, but I always give them some heat gun treatment to loosen things up a bit for removal.  You might try a little heat on the residue, though, and then going after the warmed-up adhesive with goo gone.

This will be my plan of attack if the next application of Goo Gone doesn't cut it. :)

Scott M
Scott M New Reader
5/8/24 9:47 p.m.

Time for an update.  I have an event coming up this weekend so I could put this off no longer.  As it turns out, heat was the magic bullet.  I used more WD-40, and Goo-Gone, but that only seemed to make the left-over adhesive angry.  Truly though, it did allow me to remove some layers of adhesive with a plastic razor blade.  But the final layer wouldn't budge.

I ended up using a heat gun, a microfiber, and lots of elbow grease.  Followed up with some fine finishing compound and then wax.  All gone.

For any future peoples, heat is where it's at.  Thanks everyone for the suggestions and advice!

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
5/9/24 8:37 a.m.

Remember my first post. Isopropyl alcohol takes the melted adhesive off. Easily.

AClockworkGarage
AClockworkGarage Dork
5/15/24 1:04 a.m.

Too late to help you but a good tip for next time.

When I had to pull the decals off the race cars they had been on there for a while. I used a heat gun to soften them up and a 2 inch plastic scraper to peel them off. This left a sticky residue on the car. Goo gone, mineral spirits and even acetone wouldn't touch it. Them I found this stuff

Game changer. Grab a paper towel and stick it directly to the car. It'll stay, because of the residue. Now squirter this stuff on until the towel is saturated. Let it sit for like a minute, pull the towel off and scrape away the residue with the scraper. It'll turn into a booger-ball you can toss in the trash or throw at your buddy.

Wipe the area down with a clean towel and it's like the sticker was never there. Won't hurt the paint either.

Chris Tropea
Chris Tropea Associate Editor
5/15/24 9:26 a.m.

In reply to AClockworkGarage :

I have had luck in the past with Goo Gone but next time I will give this stuff a shot. 

What also helped me take PPF off is to put a towel on the car then boil some water in a kettle and soak the towel with the hot water and let that sit on the film for a few mins. That seemed to soften the adhesive up enough where most of it came off with the film and didn't stay on the car. 

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