After you have finished wrapping your car in vinyl, it is important that you remove the excess material because it can cause problems when washing or waxing your car or when someone is walking by and trips over the wrap.
The first thing you want to do is scrape off any excess vinyl that has not yet been heated up. Next, you want to use a heat gun to heat up the vinyl wrap so that it will start peeling off. You’ll want to hold the heat gun at least 6 inches away from the object being heated. The following are some general guidelines for using a heat gun.
Once the vinyl begins peeling, keep heating up all areas of the vinyl until it has all been peeled off. If you do not have a heat gun, the vinyl can also be removed by spraying it down with window cleaner or an automotive-grade adhesive remover and letting it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before attempting to peel away the wrap.
If the material does not come off in one piece, you can reapply heat to the area that didn’t peel off and then try to rip or pull it apart. If you cannot get the vinyl wrap to come off, you may need to take it in for professional removal.
What not to do if you’re using a heat gun to remove the vinyl wrap
- Never touch the heat gun and then start heating the vinyl. This will cause the vinyl to stretch out and tear. Don’t touch the vinyl while it’s hot. This will result in a burned finger and the vinyl wrap sticking to your finger.
- Never hold the heat gun on an area of the vinyl for more than 3-5 seconds without moving the gun along. If you don’t, it’ll start bubbling up or possibly burn through the vinyl.
- Don’t apply the heat too close to the edge of whatever you’re trying to remove. This is especially true for vehicle doors and tailgates which have lots of small crevices and parts that were difficult to reach with a heat gun before applying steam once they’re removed and still hot. Hold it at least a few inches away from the edge of a door or tailgate when applying heat. This will keep it from bubbling up and shredding the vinyl.
- Don’t use steam on a power inverter. Since it heats up to over 200° Fahrenheit, your vinyl will melt and it’ll be difficult or impossible to remove any adhesive residue left behind.
- Don’t use too much heat and take too long heating the adhesive (unless you like redoing work for hours). Keep in mind that acetone is your friend and will help remove any residue left behind by the heat gun.
- Don’t use too little heat. It may take some time, but if you let it cool down for a few minutes (or more) then reapply heat to it, you’ll eventually be able to peel the stuck vinyl off with minimal effort.
Also never use a heat gun without using a steam cleaner. This can be just as dangerous when you’re not careful and it’ll melt the adhesive away causing your vinyl to lose its shape, resulting in tear or wrinkle.
Don’t use oil-based label removers. It’s nearly impossible to get rid of the oil base with only acetone. Even strong chemicals may not be powerful enough. If you detect a scent similar to paint thinner or gasoline, it’s a sign that you’re applying a label remover that’s too potent for the material you’re working on.
Remember that there are only a few of the most typical blunders made with heat guns and vinyl wraps.