Vinyl Stickers: Do They Belong On Car Windows?

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Vinyl stickers are a great way to add personality to various surfaces or advertise certain products or services. However, while many people have them in their cars, it may make you wonder whether or not they belong there.

As long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and put the vinyl stickers on the area with attention to detail, it is perfectly safe to do so. These will not damage your car’s paint or windows, nor will they leave behind any residue when you remove them. 

Let’s look at whether or not vinyl stickers are safe for your car’s paint, how to apply them, and how to remove them if you change your mind.

Are Vinyl Stickers Safe For Your Car?

Car wrapper wrapping side mirror with vinyl film or foil

When it comes to putting stickers on your car, vinyl stickers are the better option for many reasons. These reasons include that they do not typically come with sticky adhesives that will be left behind when you remove them.

Vinyl stickers are made to be temporary, in most cases, and can typically be put on and removed easily. When applied and removed correctly, they should not leave any residue that may damage your car. In fact, you can purchase waterproof vinyl sticker paper (on Amazon) to create your own vinyl stickers for your car.

Permanent vinyl stickers are made to last longer and withstand the elements of weather conditions and more. These stickers are also safe for your car as they do not leave anything behind when removed. 

Keep in mind that, like with anything, the quality of the vinyl sticker can make a huge difference in whether your car is safe or not. Therefore, you should always stay with vinyl stickers that are OEM-grade which means that it is a higher quality vinyl.

Can You Put Vinyl Stickers on Car Paint?

If applied correctly, you can put vinyl stickers on your car’s paint anywhere you want to add more personality. This is because the backing of the vinyl sticker is not strong enough to cause any damage to the paint.

It is important to note that your car’s paint is strong automotive paint made to last. This means that something as inconsequential as a vinyl sticker will not ruin the paint.

The one thing you may notice if you ever decide to remove your vinyl sticker from your car’s paint is that it protects the vehicle from UV rays that typically fade the paint. This happens because the sticker provides a layer of protection which means it will not fade like the rest of your car.

How to Apply Vinyl Stickers

Applying a new vinyl sticker to your car can be an exciting step in adding more personality and fun to your vehicle. However, while you may be excited, you should make sure that you follow the proper steps in applying your sticker for the best results.

Keep reading to learn more about the steps you should take to apply your vinyl stickers to your car.

Clean the Surface Thoroughly

Before applying your sticker, you must ensure that the area you are applying to is clean and free of any dirt or residue. This will ensure that the vinyl adhesive will stick to the surface of your car window or paint entirely.

Most people recommend using hot soapy water with a microfiber cloth to clean the surface you will be putting on your sticker. Use the cloth to wash the area thoroughly, then rinse and dry the surface.

Check the Temperature

Most experts recommend that when applying a vinyl sticker to your car, you should do so in a place that is at a moderate temperature. This is because the vinyl has a better chance of adhering when the surface is between 50℉-90℉.

Applying your vinyl sticker in temperatures lower than the recommended can cause it not to stick as well. This means you may find yourself going through the application process sooner than you think.

Wet the Surface

After you have cleaned the surface thoroughly, you can then spray a small amount of water onto the surface you are applying the sticker. This will help the vinyl sticker adhere to the surface better, especially if the sticker is large.

While most smaller stickers do not require a wet surface, some larger stickers need extra moisture to stick completely to the surface. This extra step can prevent your sticker from coming off sooner than expected.

Remove the Backing Paper

Once you have taken the above steps, you are ready to apply your sticker to your chosen surface. To do so, you must first remove the backing paper from the vinyl sticker so that it will adhere to the surface.

The three layers of the vinyl sticker all work together to ensure that it adheres to your car’s window or paint thoroughly. Removing the backing paper means that you have exposed the adhesive that will then affix to the surface.

Do Vinyl Stickers Leave Residue?

If you have taken the steps to apply the vinyl sticker properly, there should be no residue left behind if you remove it. This also includes ensuring that you have taken the time to remove the sticker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

At most, the vinyl sticker may leave a small amount of residue caused by the adhesive in the transfer tape used to attach to the surface. If this is the case, you will need to either wash the surface with warm soapy water or use a product such as Goo Gone to remove it.

Remember that vinyl stickers are designed to take the difficulty and hassle many other stickers can cause. This means that they are intended to go on and off easily so that if you change your mind, you can do so without much trouble.

How to Remove Vinyl Stickers

Like when you put the vinyl sticker on your car’s surface, you will want to take the time to remove the sticker properly to avoid any damage. It is important to note that removing the sticker requires a bit more effort than applying it.

Read on to learn more about the steps in removing vinyl stickers from your car.

Clean the Surface

Like when you applied the sticker, you should take the time to clean the area that has the sticker thoroughly. Using hot soapy water will ensure that the surface is clean and free of residue but will also prep the sticker for removal.

Heat the Surface

Using a hair dryer to heat the surface underneath the vinyl sticker loosens the adhesive to make removal easier. However, be careful not to use extremely high heat so that you do not damage the surface of your car.

Peel Off the Sticker

At this point, you should be able to peel the vinyl sticker right off the surface of either your car window or paint. If you heated the surface enough, the sticker should come off immediately without leaving anything behind.

Clean the Surface Again

While removing the sticker should be easily done and should not leave a residue behind, there are times that this happens. Using soapy water, vinegar, or an adhesive remover such as Goo Gone can quickly remedy the situation and restore your car’s surface.

The Best Vinyl Stickers on the Market 

Car wrappers using heat gun to prepare vinyl foil -

As you already know, adding vinyl stickers to your car can add quite a bit of personality to your vehicle’s window or paint. However, you should be cautious when choosing the perfect type of stickers so that your stickers stay fresh for the long haul.

Making durable designs requires using good quality vinyl to withstand the elements of the outdoor environment.

Unfortunately, finding the vinyl stickers that can do this can be overwhelming if you are unsure where to look.

Depending on how much you want to spend on the vinyl stickers will help you decide the best ones for you. While some great vinyl choices are on the market, some are better than others for your car’s surface and pocketbook.

Here are some of the best vinyl stickers on the market today:

Oracal 651

This type of vinyl for stickers is one of the best and most affordable on the market. It comes equipped with a strong adhesive layer that is made to withstand the outdoor elements and comes with a price that is easy on the pocketbook. In addition, the 651 is made to last at least six years on any surface.

Oracal 751

Similar to the previous type of vinyl, the 751 adds a bit extra to the mix by providing an extra layer of thickness.

This means that it can withstand outdoor elements and harsher weather conditions. In addition, this vinyl is made to last for about eight years if treated properly but comes with a heftier price tag.

Oracal 951

This brand of vinyl adds even more of an extra layer of protection and is considered permanent vinyl. Keep in mind that while this is the best to use if you do not plan to move it around at all, it is the most expensive option on the market.

Whichever option you choose, keep in mind that they are all designed to be used either on your car windows or even on the painted areas of your car. Also, unlike your typical bumper stickers that typically leave behind a sticky mess, vinyl gives you a cleaner surface when removed.

Final Thoughts on Vinyl Stickers

The bottom line when it comes to applying vinyl stickers to your car windows is that it can easily be done if you follow the directions carefully. This can mean the difference between a sharp-looking sticker that others may admire and one with so many bubbles that it begins to come off easily.

If you want to add more personality to your car, vinyl stickers are a perfect choice since they have a cleaner look and are easier to manipulate.

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