How to Remove a Bumper Sticker

An expert provides steps for removing adhesives from your car.

Want to know how to remove bumper stickers to old carpool stickers? Read on.

Sundry Photography / Shutterstock

The passions of an election can fade away, but bumper stickers have a way of sticking around. Ready to strip down? “There’s no perfect system, since there are so many different types of adhesives,” says Jim Stavrinides, owner of California Detailing Inc. in San Francisco. Here are the best steps for removing bumper stickers from your car.


Carefully use your fingernail on a corner of the sticker—it may peel right up if it’s not too old. Never use plastic or metal scrapers, which can scratch the car’s paint.


If the decal is stubborn, warm it with a hair dryer section by section. As the sticker warms, the glue should get soft and let go.


For any remaining pieces, soak a soft cloth in automotive adhesive remover or wax and grease remover. Hold it against the sticker for a few minutes, then peel the sticker off.


Get rid of any gobs of goo by cleaning the area with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol.


Hand-polish with liquid car wax to take off lingering adhesive and smooth out any color differences.


If all else fails, professional body shops have special tools that can rub off even the stickiest scum.

Get a 10% discount and a two-year guarantee when you take your car to a repair shop approved by AAA.