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Vinyl wraps are an excellent choice for the changing appearance of your car.  It is more flexible and can withstand scratches better compared to paint.

On top of that, it has a glossy finish which gives your car an excellent look while also giving you more protection from the sun.

Yet, after some time, some owners may begin to notice that cracks, dust, and dirt are starting to accumulate on their vinyl wrap.

Also, depending on the quality of the wrap, usually after a few years, it must be removed due to the damaging material and replaced with another one or with paint.

In this article, we are going to explore the methods, tools, and steps that you need to take to remove that old vinyl wrap and prepare your vehicle for a new one.

how to remove wrap from a car

Methods For Removal of The Vinyl Wrap

  • Heat gun or Hair Dryer Method
  • Hot Water Method

Tools Needed For The Removal Of The Vinyl Wrap

Steps Needed For Removal Of The Vinyl Wrap

  1. Heating the vinyl wrap
  2. Peeling the vinyl wrap
  3. Removal of the adhesive
  4. Cleaning​​​

We are going into more detail about the steps later on.

Factors That Impact The Removal Of The Car Wrap

Weather Condition

The first thing that you have to consider is weather conditions.

If the car has been wrapped in the winter season, it will be harder to remove the wrap due to longer exposure.

The wrap might have frozen over due to low temperatures outside and even though the material might be of high quality, it can’t handle much stress and pressure.

As for the weather, you might be able to remove a vinyl wrap on hot summer days but if you try it during cold days, it will take longer and cause more stress on your body!


Another important factor to consider is the time!  The longer the paint has been exposed to the vinyl wrap, the tougher it will become.

That is why you have to be extra cautious when working on a car with a vinyl wrap that is harder to remove. It won’t break apart if you use too much force but it can damage the original paint and as we all know, some damages are hard to fix and can be expensive as well!

It’ll be fine if you’re working on a wrap with lots of bubbles or paint cracking though.


One thing we would like to bring up here is that the manufacturer’s name or brand of the vinyl wrap itself is not as important as the quality. 

High-quality vinyl wraps are much easier to remove than other types of  wraps such as “low budget.” But, even low-quality vinyl wraps will not peel off in one clean sheet. 

how to remove wrap from cars

Is It Easy To Remove Vinyl Wrap From Car?

Yes, the process for removal is pretty simple. The key here is to perform the removal in a temperature-controlled environment, at room temperature.

How Long Does It Take To Remove Vinyl Wrap?

Again, this all comes down to the quality of your vinyl wrap and the method you are using. If you are using a high-quality film then it should come off in one piece. 

For example, the removal of the vinyl from one door by using the hot water method can take 2-3 minutes, whereas the removal with the heat gun can take up to 16 minutes.

Will Removing Car Wrap Damage Paint?

No, the removal of a car wrap is not damaging to the paint. The only way that you would damage your paint would be if you sanded through the primer before applying the wrap in the first place.

How Hard Is It To Remove Vinyl Wrap?

If you are following the correct process for the removal of the wrap then there is no need to worry about it being difficult. Yet, if you are not following the correct process or you pick up an improper tool then it can become a major headache.

It is also very important that you do not pry up the vinyl with your fingernails! Use the proper tools and materials for removal.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove A Vinyl Wrap?

If you choose a professional to do the job, it would be around the $500-$1000 range. It is a bit higher end of the price scale as you get your car detailed and wrapped at the same time.

If you do a rough estimate, it would cost about $250-$350 or even less to remove the wrap if done by yourself or with help from friends.

How Do You Remove Vinyl Wrap Adhesive?

Vinyl wrap adhesive can be removed by using an Adhesive Residue Remover. However, we also recommend a Clay Bar Kit to pull off anything you missed that also cleans out the paint quite well.

car wrap removal

How To Remove Car Wrap Step By Step

Heat Gun or Hair Dryer Method

Step 1 – Heating

Note: A common mistake is to use too much heat. This can cause the adhesive to delaminate and thus leave hard-to-clean residue behind or cause the vinyl to tear and come off in small pieces.

Using a heat gun or a hairdryer in short bursts and pulling at the right-degree angle away from the vehicle should remove 99% of all vinyl stickers on your car after 10m to 20m of time. If you can not get a grip, try using an adhesive residue remover. More details are below!

  • Try heating the edges of your car to a max of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature that is often reached by leaving the vehicle in the sun.  
  • Try to maintain a distance of approx 15 cm away from your car while doing this process
  • Move the Heat Gun or Hair Dryer back and forth and strive to apply the heat evenly
  • Begin to peel off the edge as it comes off
  • Reheat the wrap if the edge that you are trying to remove starts drying out. If this happens, slowly pull it off again.
  • If the wrap is very stuck on your vehicle and even after being heated up doesn’t want to move, start with a hairdryer and try to get it loose by pulling on one side of the material. Then use the heat gun to loosen it.
removing wrap from a car

Step 2 – Peeling

Note: A common mistake is to pull at the wrong angle when removing the vinyl!

  • Start lifting the edge with the Plastic Razor Blade, as the last step you used, while pulling. Using a sharp blade might cause the decals to tear and make it more difficult to remove them plus you can damage the paint underneath. This step might take you some time so patience is required!
  • Pulling the vinyl at about a 15-20 degree angle should give you the best result.  Go slowly, and don’t worry about the vinyl cracking or coming off in pieces.
  • Because you were using a heat gun it will likely come off in one piece instead of cracks.
  • Reapply pressure to every new spot that you get under. Also, go slow – if you pull it too quickly some parts may start to stretch too far and possibly tear.
  • As the edges of the heated area cool, stop pulling and start the heating process again.

  • You should avoid removing the wrap in a cold environment as this will make the vinyl brittle and prone to cracking.
car wrap remove

Step 3 – Removal of the adhesive

  • Apply to every area that has vinyl residue. The adhesive will start to ball up on the surface and you can remove it with a clean microfiber towel. Continue this process until all the residue is removed. If the wrap is old and the adhesive is too hard, you can use the Plastic Razor Blade to scrape it and then use the microfiber towel.
  • A good tip is to also check with your vinyl manufacturer to make sure which Residue Remover is safe to use for your particular vinyl wrap, but it usually goes well with any residue remover out there.
vinyl wrap removal

Step 4 – Cleaning

  • After you have cleaned the surface with the Adhesive Residue Remover, spray the Clay Luber to wash every area that has adhesive and clean off all the dirt and residues left over. It will make your rough vehicle paintwork feel as smooth as glass!
  • Wipe the areas with a clean microfiber towel to get rid of all the particles from the surface.
  • The last step in the cleaning process is to use a Clay Bar. To effectively remove all the contamination from your vehicle’s paintwork, you can not miss this step! Break off a third of the clay bar, shape it into a small patty, and wrap the rest of it back up to keep it from drying out.
  • Rub the Clay Bar in a circular motion across the surface for about 2-3 minutes or until you can no longer see any contaminants on it. You will be amazed at how smooth your paintwork feels! Make sure you do not drop it on the ground! If you do so, you will have to use another piece because it will pick up any piece of dirt or small rocks and now it will be sandpaper on your paint!

Hot Water Method

You now know that by using heat you can remove the wrap from a vehicle but not all heat is created equal.

You can easily save a lot of time by using this method! To give you an example, if you were to remove the wrap for a door on your car by using hot water it would only take you around 2-3 minutes, whereas if you were to use the heat gun method it would be approximately 15-16 minutes!

Tools Needed:

Step 1 – Prepare a hot water jug that has been heated at 100 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius)

Step 2 – Pour the heated water on an area of the vinyl wrap approximately 30 cm in width

Step 3 – Gently apply the Plastic Razor Blade to one edge of the vinyl wrap and start the peeling process

Step 4 – Reapply the heated water on the area once it stops peeling out and repeat the process till finished. Then clean the vehicle by using the same process described above with the Clay Bar Kit.


  • This method is messier
  • Make sure to not burn your skin
  • Make sure you do not apply hot water on any plastic or glass surface of your car as it will damage it

That’s it! You have successfully removed your car wrap from your vehicle!  Now you can paint the car with whatever color and designs you want or you can wrap it again with a high-quality vinyl wrap!

Let’s “Wrap” It Up

Now you know how to remove wrap from a car. You’ve now seen the methods, tools, steps, and factors that are involved in this process. 

With patience and the right attitude you should be fine in doing it yourself, yet, if you think the whole process is too much for you or if you do not have the time and energy to do so, you can always count on a professional car wrap company to do it for you!