Glue, duct tape, and stickers can all leave sticky residue on your car that can be an eyesore. Wherever the glue residue is, it can be unsightly and annoy you. Fortunately, you can easily remove the glue with some household products. Remove adhesive from paintwork with a hair dryer and scraper, use dish soap to remove adhesive from upholstery, and scrape adhesive off the windows with a razor.
Method 1 of 3: Remove glue from paintwork with a hair dryer and scraper
Step 1. Clean the spot with soap and water
It's important to make sure you don't scrape dirt and dust into the car's paint when removing the adhesive. So the area around the glue must be clean before you start.
- Put a capful of car shampoo in a bowl of warm water and use the mixture to clean the area.
- Make sure to rinse the area thoroughly with clean water after cleaning.
- You can use a towel to dry the area faster if you wish.
Step 2. Warm up the glue with a hair dryer
Warming up the adhesive before scraping will soften it and make it easier to work with. Set the blow dryer to the hottest setting, then move it back and forth over the glue until the glue becomes soft and tacky.
- This may take a few minutes, depending on the type of glue and the hair dryer you use.
- You can also use a heat gun instead of a hair dryer. Be careful with that though, because the clear paint on the car can become liquid if it gets too hot.
Step 3. Scrape off the adhesive with a card or scraper
When the glue is warm, hold a bank card or plastic scraper about 3 centimeters away from the glue against the car. Hold the pass or scraper at a 45-degree angle and slide it against the adhesive several times to ensure the adhesive releases. Do not use a razor on painted surfaces.
Keep a close eye on the paint while scraping. If you see light scratches appearing, this is due to dust and dirt particles. If that happens, clean the area again and start the process over again to avoid further scratching the paint
Step 4. Reheat the glue if necessary
If you have to remove a lot of glue and the weather is cold, the glue may harden before you remove everything. Keep the hair dryer handy and reheat the glue when it starts to set again.
- Keep scraping and reheating the glue until you've removed everything.
- You may need to wipe off bits of glue with a cloth or paper towel as you scrape.
Step 5. Clean the affected area and treat it with car wax
Chances are the glue has removed the wax and even some of the clear coat on your car. First clean the area with car shampoo and water, let it dry and then apply a layer of wax with the applicator that came with the car wash.
- When the wax is completely dry, brush it off the paint with a chamois.
- Follow the directions on the wax package so you know how long it takes for the wax to dry.
Method 2 of 3: Getting glue out of upholstery with soap
Step 1. Scrape off dried glue with a credit card or scraper
If you see any loose bits of glue or glue residue that you can pull off with your fingers, doing this can make the process a lot faster. Hard, dried adhesive often peels off fabric and upholstery.
You can use a plastic scraper to try and remove some of the glue. However, do not use a sharp object or you could tear the upholstery
Step 2. Soak the remaining glue with warm water
Now that you've removed the loose pieces, you can soak off the rest of the glue by placing a warm, wet cloth on top and letting it sit for about half an hour.
It may be necessary to wring the cloth half way through, re-wet it and place it back on the glue to keep the glue warm
Step 3. Mix 500 ml of water with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of dishwashing liquid
You can use an upholstery cleaner to remove the glue and stain, but dish soap also works very well to get the job done. Mix the dish soap and water in a medium-sized bowl so you can take it with you into the car. Add more dish soap if the mixture doesn't seem to remove the glue.
When using an upholstery cleaner, remember to read and follow the directions on the package
Step 4. Scrub the glue spot with the mixture and a sponge or cloth
It helps to use circular motions or scrubbing in different directions on the glue spot to make sure you remove everything thoroughly. Periodically dip the sponge in the mixture while scrubbing.
- Smooth off large patches of glue that come off during scrubbing.
- The mixture should also allow you to remove the dark stain left by the glue.
Step 5. Pat the area dry with a towel
When you are satisfied, press a dry towel against the upholstery to absorb the moisture. Scrubbing the wet spot doesn't work as well as dabbing, because the water in the upholstery also needs to be sucked up.
- You can also use a hair dryer to help the upholstery dry faster.
- Inspect the cover carefully when it is dry. You may need to repeat the process to get a better result.
Method 3 of 3: Remove glue from glass with a razor
Step 1. Soak the glue with a wet cloth
Many types of glue will come off if you soak them in warm water for about half an hour. If the adhesive is on a window, you may need to hold a wet cloth against the adhesive to wet the adhesive.
Step 2. Slide a razor blade against the adhesive at a 45 degree angle
You can't use a razor on paintwork, but you can often use one to remove adhesive residue from glass. Hold the razor about 3 inches from the glue against the glass, then slide it against the glue to release the glue. Make sure to keep the razor at a 45-degree angle, because pushing the razor into the glass at a right angle can scratch it.
- While scraping, wipe off any loose pieces of glue.
- You may be able to remove all glue residue with the razor.
Step 3. Use glue remover if the razor fails to remove all the glue
When you have removed most of the glue, there may still be some glue residue or a thin layer of glue on the glass. The best way to remove the last residue is to use a store-bought adhesive remover that you spray on the residue and then wipe it off.
- You can buy glue remover at most hardware stores and many supermarkets.
- Make sure to follow the directions on the package.
Step 4. Use nail polish remover if you don't have glue remover
If you don't have anything else on hand, nail polish remover with acetone can be a good way to break down the glue on the window. Avoid getting nail polish remover on your car's paint, as it will remove the wax as well.
- Put some nail polish remover with acetone on a cloth, then use the cloth to apply it to the window.
- Scrub the adhesive residue with the cloth until it comes off.
Step 5. Spray glass cleaner on the window to remove all residue
Whether you used a chemical to remove the glue or not, it is important to wash the window to remove the last bits of glue and dirt.
- Spray the glass cleaner on the window and then simply wipe it off with a paper towel or clean cloth to clean the window.
- Wipe the cleaner off in circular motions to avoid streaks.