How To Remove Vinyl Decals & Lettering

Removing Vinyl Lettering and Decals

If you decide to remove your vinyl from any surface, there are many things to consider.

  1. How long has this vinyl been on the surface? Removing anything with adhesive that has been on a surface for a long time creates several problems.  First, the adhesive changes over time and can be more difficult to remove. Also, aged vinyl lettering or decals removed from the painted area of any vehicle will leave a “ghost image”. This can be removed with the right materials and techniques and look good as new. We found this great tutorial that can help you:
  2. What type of surface are you removing your vinyl from? Removing vinyl from a wall is much different than removing it from the back windshield of your car. Almost any vinyl can be removed from any surface with the right materials and techniques!
  3. What type of vinyl are you removing? Some vinyl is designed to be removed easily, like wall vinyl. Other vinyls promise to stay on for 5, 7, even up to 9 years. These can be a little more challenging to remove, but not impossible!

On most vinyl you can begin to remove it by getting a good hold on one corner and s-l-o-w-l-y pulling at a downward slanted angle. Patience is key.  This is a good place to start and will work much of the time.

A razor can be carefully used on surfaces like glass, but remember:

Many painted surfaces can be easily damaged with a metal tool of any kind. Even some glassware can be scratched with a metal razor.

Using Heat

Applying heat to the vinyl can make your task of removing your decals much easier IF the surface you’re removing it from can tolerate heat. Many plastic and chrome surface can warp or the surface will bubble or peel if too much heat is applied.

If the vinyl is on your car or something you can place in the hot sun, that is the ideal way to heat that vinyl up! If it’s cold outside, try to move your car into a garage or a warmer area if possible.

Removing The Adhesive Left Behind

Using heat will often leave more adhesive behind. This can be removed by most adhesive removers available anywhere like GooGone. Rubbing alcohol works on some surfaces and I’ll bet you have some of that on hand already!

veOur Favorite: Orange Oil

We love orange oil! We use it so much we buy it by the gallon! It’s natural, works great, and smells delightful – like someone just peeled an orange. We will send you a small vial free with any order over $10. You can add more to your order (at our cost) if you like, too!


**Do NOT use orange oil on plastic surfaces or some paints. Be sure to test on inconspicuous place first.

**DO NOT use metal razor blades on the body of the vehicle! This will remove the vinyl AND the paint.  Use plastic scraper blades if decals need to be removed from the painted body of a vehicle.

*Recommended materials and techniques to remove those “ghost images” left behind from vinyl letters on vehicles is explained well in this link:


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