Removable Vinyl On Car Windows: A Good Idea?

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If you’re planning on getting car decals, one of the options is to get permanently adhesive vinyl. This is only a good idea if you want it to last a long time. Removable vinyl will not last long, so permanent vinyl is the way to go if you’re looking for a durable option. However, this is not everything you should consider.

Removable vinyl on your car windows can last from 1 to 3 years indoors. It’s water-resistant, but it ages much faster in harsh weather. If used outdoors, removable vinyl will last a couple of months. And if installed on the car body, it does not damage the paint when removed. 

You can get creative with your designs with many types of vinyl on the market. It all depends on what you want to achieve. The ideas are endless as there are many materials you could use. Now let’s learn more about using vinyl on car windows.

What is Removable Vinyl?

Applying tinting foil onto a car window

Adhesive vinyl (example on Amazon) can be put on a surface to protect it, and then later you can peel it off. With removable vinyl, you don’t need to worry about leaving sticky marks or damage to wall paint. This is ideal if you want to apply it on a smooth surface like glass.

Removable vinyl is perfect for electronics, food packages, organizing your home, name tags, and glass bottles, and you can also use it as bumper stickers. It’s good if you’re doing an indoor project because it’s easy to apply and remove.

However, because the adhesive is not strong enough, removable vinyl is unsuitable for indoor use. It cannot withstand exposure to weather conditions. Also, removable vinyl cannot last long. But you can use it for short-term projects like Christmas projects.

With this temporary vinyl, you can create promotional designs that target clients. The material allows clients to see the message from a distance, making it suitable for building brand awareness. Some people also use it on stencils, themed parties, and nails.

Another time you could use removable vinyl is if you’re doing a test project on your car. This allows you to test your project’s appearance before applying permanent vinyl. For example, when unsure about a design, you can use temporary vinyl to see how it turns out.  

Is Removable Vinyl Safe for Car Windows?

One of the properties of removable vinyl is that it’s easily peeled off. The benefit is that when you remove this type of vinyl, it does not leave sticky marks. This means applying it to your car windows will not cause damage or leave a residue.

It’s a perfect option on glass, but it’s only ideal if you don’t expose the vehicle to natural conditions like sun and snow. Removable vinyl is the best choice if you’re only running a short-term project, as you can easily remove it from the vehicle.

While it’s safe for car windows, removable vinyl will not last you a long time. Keep this in mind if the project you’re working on requires branding for an extended period. The main reason for choosing removable vinyl is that it allows you to change the decals whenever necessary.

Will Removable Vinyl Damage Car Paint?

One of the reasons you want to use removable vinyl on your car is because it does not damage paint when removed. However, it can easily peel off because removable vinyl has weak adhesive.

Removing the vinyl does not leave marks, so it’s suitable for temporary projects that last a short time. When you compare it with permanent vinyl, you notice these benefits.

One of the downsides of permanent vinyl is that the adhesive is stronger, so whenever you remove the vinyl, it damages the paint. Also, it will leave sticky marks, as removing the vinyl can be pretty difficult.

This is why people designing projects for a quick event will prefer to use removable vinyl. It will serve the purpose but does not offer the durability you expect from permanent vinyl. Permanent vinyl is only suitable if you apply it to products requiring long-lasting labels. To remove it, you must use a heat gun and a lifting stick. 

Afterward, the surface must be cleaned with a product that can’t damage the paint. Depending on the project you’re working on, you can choose between the two. The only difference is their durability, so consider that when reviewing options.

Permanent vs. Removable Vinyl

When it comes to a choice between permanent and removable vinyl, you must consider several factors. First, permanent vinyl is ideal if you want something durable. This is because it comes with stronger adhesive and can withstand weather conditions.

The material works well if you’re working on a campaign that needs to run for a long time. This durability aspect is why it’s a good choice for advertising displays that convey different messages. 

However, when it gets to the time to remove the vinyl, it will leave marks because the adhesive is too sticky. In addition, if applied to a painted surface, it damages the paint.

Since permanent vinyl is not easy to remove, you can use it to label things like doors, cosmetics, machines, clothes, and recycle bins. Depending on the quality of the material, permanent vinyl can last from 6 to 8 years or more.

You could also consider removable vinyl, which is perfect for short-term projects. However, The adhesive is not as strong, so the decal will come off after a short period.

Both vinyl types offer waterproofing benefits, but removable vinyl is unsuitable for outdoor use. Finding which option to use depends on the location of the project. Also, consider durability and the type of surface you want the vinyl applied to.

How to Remove Vinyl Decals from Your Car

Removing old film car glass foil with heat shrink gun

When done using a vinyl decal, you can follow these simple steps to remove it from your car:

  1. Heat the decal by running a heat gun over the decal. You should work in sections for large decals to ensure it stays warm. After warming up, the adhesive will be easier to remove.
  1. Peel off the decal using your fingers or a plastic card. You can also use a putty remover to peel up the edges. Avoid using sharp objects that can damage your vehicle.
  1. Use adhesive remover, such as Goo Gone, and apply the recommended amount to the area, rubbing it around with a rag.
  1. Leave it for the specified duration, often a minute or so. Then, use soap and water to wipe it down and have a clean area.  


There are many ways you can use removable vinyl, including applying decorations and stickers for marketing purposes. Unfortunately, while removable vinyl is ideal as it does not damage car paint, it’s not durable.

So, if you’re looking for something that can suit an outdoor project, permanent vinyl is what you should be looking at.

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