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Have you ever put a bumper sticker on your car and then, a few years down the road, looked at it and thought, “What the heck was I thinking? That bumper sticker is ridiculous. It’s weird, ugly, and a terrible eyesore. I need to get rid of it.” Fortunately, there are some surprisingly effective methods to remove a bumper sticker from your car. 

How can I remove old bumper stickers without damaging my car?

Blue car covered in bumper stickers
A Car Encrusted with Bumper Stickers | Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

First off, if you want to remove an old bumper sticker from your car, don’t grab a razor blade or other sharp tool. These can damage the finish of your car. CARFAX has some more effective alternatives.

To get a bumper sticker off of a car, try any of the following methods:

  • Blow it with a hair dryer
  • Spray it with WD-40 or another lubricant
  • Cover it in white vinegar
  • Douse it with boiling water
  • Use Goo Gone

Hair dryer

A hair dryer is a surprisingly effective method for removing a bumper sticker. Turn the hair dryer on full blast, but be sure to hold it around six inches away from the bumper sticker, so you don’t melt the plastic. Continue blasting the bumper stick with heat for about one minute, making sure to spread the heat on all sections of it. This should sufficiently loosen up the bumper sticker so that you can complete the removal with your fingers, a plastic card, or a spatula.

WD-40 or another lubricant

White truck covered in many bumper stickers
Truck Covered in Bumper Stickers | Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Grab a can of WD-40 or another lubricant and spray all parts of the bumper sticker. Let the WD-40 sit on the bumper sticker for around five minutes. Afterward, grab a corner of the bumper sticker and nudge it off with a plastic card, a spatula, or your fingers. If you struggle to pull off the bumper sticker, then you can apply some more WD-40. Rub any leftover remnants with a cloth covered in rubbing alcohol.

White vinegar

White vinegar is a remarkably versatile substance and is cheap too. Pour some white vinegar on a paper towel or paintbrush, and then douse the bumper sticker with the vinegar. Wait a few minutes, and then remove it. 

Boiling water

Pickup truck with many bumper stickers
Ford Pickup Truck Covered in Bumper Stickers | Lindsey Nicholson/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Another cheap method is boiling water. Head to your stove, boil some water and pour the boiling water over the bumper sticker. You may need to repeat this a few times before you can get the bumper sticker off of your car.

Goo Gone

Goo Gone, or other adhesive removers, effectively remove bumper stickers, especially old ones that are firmly attached to your car. Also, Goo Gone makes an automotive spray specifically to remove bumper stickers and other unwanted things on cars, such as bird droppings and tree sap. Apply a generous amount of Goo Gone to the bumper sticker. Wait a few minutes (or longer if necessary), and then remove the bumper sticker from your car. 

How to prevent a bumper sticker from getting stuck on your car

In the future, you can take precautions to prevent a bumper sticker from getting stuck on your car. You can completely avoid the problem and put the sticker on your window. It’s much easier to remove a sticker from a window than a bumper. You can also attach a magnet to the sticky side of the bumper sticker and then place the sticker and magnet on a metallic section on the rear of your car. Another way is to apply car wax on the bumper before you affix the sticker. 

Now you know how to remove that unsightly bumper sticker from your car — and how to prevent it from getting stuck in the first place. Give any of the methods a try and protect your automotive investment.

This article was updated on 7/11/2022.


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