Removing a Vehicle Wrap – Tips & Tricks

“Is it easier to install and vehicle wrap, or remove it?” That’s a question that we get asked a lot, and honestly, the answer really depends on a number of factors. Removing a vehicle wrap can be easy, but it can also be impossibly difficult. You will know right away whether the wrap you’re removing will be easy or difficult. For example, if the wrap has been installed on the vehicle for more than 10 years and is brittle and cracked on the horizontal surfaces, you’re gonna have a bad time. On the contrary, if the vehicle wrap is relatively young (1-10 years) and is still smooth with the clear laminate intact, you’re gonna have a good time!

cracked wrap vinyl

close-up of cracked vinyl wrap

Wrap Removal Tools

If the vehicle wrap you’re removing is old, cracked, brittle, and faded – you will want to utilize some tools to help you get the job done. Vehicle wrap film will become more pliable and easier to work with when it’s hot. Here’s a list of tools that can help you heat up the wrap film for removal:

  • Heat gun
  • Blowtorch – be careful to not burn the paint/clearcoat off the vehicle
  • Weed burner – Best for large-scale wrap removals like box trucks and enclosed trailers. Use extreme caution with a weed burner!
  • Industrial grade steamer – These are expensive, but work great
  • The sun – Use the natural heat of a hot summer day to help soften up the wrap vinyl

Additionally, there are chemical-based products that can help you remove the vinyl wrap film off of a vehicle, but make sure you’re in an area that has good airflow and is well-ventilated. Another tool that is available for purchase is a handheld electric wheel that can slowly strip away the vinyl wrap. This tool is expensive and there are accessories that must be purchased as well for it to work properly. An industrial-grade powerwasher is also a great tool to have, especially for extremely difficult wrap removals, but they are expensive and can sometimes be too powerful.

vehicle wrap removal

vehicle wrap removal in progress

Removing Leftover Adhesive Glue

The final task in removing a vehicle wrap is dealing with the leftover adhesive. This last step is often overlooked and if you’re not prepared you could be dealing with a huge sticky mess. You will want to make sure that you’re in a well-ventilated space for removing adhesive because the only way to effectively get the job done is with heavy-duty chemical adhesive removers. There are lots of products available online that are specially made for removing vinyl adhesive.

Hire a Professional

If you read this whole blog and are feeling a little overwhelmed by the task of removing a vehicle wrap, don’t worry! Removal can be deceivingly difficult and time-consuming so sometimes it’s just better to hire a professional to get the job done. Give Connecting Signs a call today at 970-493-0133 or click here to request a quote!