How to Remove Stickers From Your Bumper

If you're embarrassed by some of your bumper sticker choices, follow this guide and learn how to remove bumper stickers quickly and easily.

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Vehicle bumper stickers are a fun way to express your hobbies, political views or the fact that you love your cocker spaniel. Trouble is, sometimes things change. Perhaps a bumper sticker you once wanted to display on your vehicle just doesn't feel right anymore.

If you've ever tried to simply peel a bumper sticker off with your fingernails, you know that doesn't work. Luckily for you, bumper stickers aren't permanent, and a few easy tricks can help you remove them easily. Follow this step-by-step guide on how to remove bumper stickers, and get your vehicle's bumper back to like-new status in just a few minutes.

Tools Required

  • Bucket
  • Extension cord
  • Heat gun
  • Hose
  • Plastic scraper
  • Sponge

Materials Required

  • Adhesive remover
  • Car soap
  • Heavy-duty shop towels
  • Water

Project step-by-step (4)

Step 1

Heat the Sticker

  • Use a hair dryer or heat gun to warm the bumper sticker at a medium to low temperature. Use an extension cord for power if needed. Keep the end of the dryer or gun about six inches from the bumper, moving it slowly from side to side, warming the entire sticker evenly.
  • Test one corner of the sticker with your fingernail after warming for several minutes. If it starts to peel easily, you’re ready for the next step. If not, warm it a little more.
    • Pro Tip: Never warm the area hotter than you can stand to touch with your fingers. Today’s plastic bumpers are damaged by too much heat.

Heat the stickerSteve Maxwell for Family Handyman

Step 2

Peel Off the Sticker

  • Peel the sticker off slowly after warming, starting from the top corner and working your way down and across.
  • Use a plastic scraper to help separate the sticker from the bumper as you peel. Be extra careful not to damage your car paint with the scraper.
  • Continue peeling the sticker until you’ve got the bulk of it off the bumper.
    • Pieces of the sticker may rip off while peeling, and you’ll need to peel these pieces separately.

Peel Off the StickerSteve Maxwell for Family Handyman

Step 3

Remove Residual Adhesive

  • Test your adhesive remover in a small, inconspicuous area of your bumper to make sure it won’t hurt the paint.
  • Thoroughly wet a heavy-duty shop towel with the remover, then rub it over the adhesive left behind by the sticker.
  • Continue rubbing, adding more adhesive remover as needed, until all the sticky residue from the sticker has been removed. The paint should be perfectly clean and smooth.

Remove Residual AdhesiveSteve Maxwell for Family Handyman

Step 4

Wash the Bumper

  • Drizzle some car soap into your bucket, then fill it with warm water.
  • Use your sponge to thoroughly wash the bumper, focusing especially on the spot where the sticker was.
  • Rinse the bumper with clear water after washing and you’re done. Now’s the time to add a bumper protector to prevent future damage.

Wash the BumperSteve Maxwell for Family Handyman