TOOLS NEEDED TO REMOVE WINDOW FILM
The tools you need, and whether you need any tools or not, depends on a few factors. The major factor is the type of film that has been installed. The removal process and the required tools can vary greatly between static cling film and adhesive backed film. At most, static clings will require a Razor Blade, spray bottle with water, and/or a hairdryer.
Adhesive backed films, especially ones that are aged or baked on, may require a few more tools. You may need an ammonia based solution, spray bottle, drop cloth, and a Razor Blade or Scraper to remove the film.
REMOVING STATIC CLING FILM
Adhesive-free static clings can usually be removed by simply picking at the film with your finger nail. Then just pull and peel the film from the glass. Begin at the corner and work diagonally across the glass. You may need to use a razor blade to get it started. We recommended using a stainless steel razor blade, as stainless steel does not easily scratch glass.
If your film is being stubborn, try wetting it down using water and a spray bottle first. You can also try heating it with a hair dryer. This will make the film more pliable and easier to remove.
REMOVING ADHESIVE BACKED FILM
Adhesive backed films can be a little more complicated to remove. You may need to dissolve the adhesive first. A vinegar or ammonia based solution will dissolve the adhesive. Our friends at windowfilmandmore.com carry adhesive removal products for tough residues, or to speed up removal.
Before applying the solvent, you should try peeling it at the corner and pulling it off diagonally, as you would with a static cling. You will most likely need to use a razor blade to get it started. Be careful not to scratch the glass.
After removing as much film as you can, spray the remaining film using your chosen solution. You may want to cover any surrounding surfaces with a drop cloth or sheet before spraying, to avoid any damage from the solvent. Allow time for the solvent to sit and soak into the film and break down the adhesive. This may take an hour or longer. Let it soak overnight for best results.
Once it has had some time to sit, spray the film with the solution again and try to peel it from the window. It should be a lot easier to remove. Use your razor blade as needed. For more serious removals, you may need what’s called a Triumph 6″ wide scraper and some stainless steel Triumph blades. (On a side note, this tool is also great for scraping off and cleaning a glass stove surface. Bonus!)
Once you have removed all the film, spay down the window with your solution again to remove any residue. You can carefully use the razor blade to scrape away any stubborn spots. Finally, wipe down the glass a final time to be sure your window is clean and free of any trace residue.