How to Remove Vinyl Decals

Decals have become a fairly popular accessory for homes, vehicles, and more. With machines like Silhouette and Cricut on the market, it is easy for everyone to make and design their own decals. While we're all busy making and sticking our decals onto everything, many forget to consider what they'll do once the decal has worn out or they're no longer want it. So while many are giving how to's on how to create and install decals, we thought it might be a good idea to explain how to remove them for when that time comes.


As with most sticky material, heating up the surface will help you to remove the decal much easier. If working on a vehicle, you can place it in the sun for a bit which should be enough to help get the process going. Many installers choose to use hairdryers or heat guns and these are an easier option if working indoors. Just be sure not to get the material too hot with the heat gun as you do not want the vinyl melting. Always work in sections, heating up the entire surface at once will be a waste of time due to the fact that once you get to the next section, it will have already cooled down.


Once you've applied the heat, you should be starting scrapping back the vinyl. For this part I use a plastic razor blade or credit card. DO NOT USE METAL! This will only cause damage to whatever surface your decal is on (particularlyly vehicles). You do not need to scrape the entire decal back, just enough to be able to get a good grip on it when peeling off.


Once you've got your feet peeled up, you can begin peeling the material back. You want to do this SLOWLY, fast motions will likely cause the material to rip or leave excess glue behind. I also suggest you do this at about a 120 degree angle again to avoid ripping and this helps to ensure you'll remove the whole decal at once.


Once you're done removing the decal you'll probably notice a nice dirty / sticky outline of where your decal was. There are a variety of different products you can use to remove this but I am a fan of goo be gone. Be sure to read the back of the bottle before use to make sure it will not cause any damage or discoloration to whatever surface you are working on before you start. I apply the liquid with a terry cloth as it is tougher and will work better to remove any tough grime. You may need to wipe the surface down a few times but in the end you should have a nice and clean surface ready for your next decal project!