How to Remove Window Films


Window films are installed for a number of reasons. They can block damaging ultraviolet light, reduce energy costs and create privacy. Window films are made of a layered vinyl material that's designed to last for several years. Whether the film on your house windows needs replaced or you have simply chosen to remove it, there is one basic way to do it. If the condition of the film is deteriorating or it's stuck fast to the window glass, using this method will easily allow you to remove the film.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic drop sheet or garbage bag
  • Sharp scissors
  • Drop cloths or thick towels
  • Liquid soap
  • Spray bottle
  • Measuring spoon
  • Stainless steel razor blade or wide blade scraper
  • Window cleaner
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Place drop cloths or towels underneath the window to catch drips and on nearby furnishings to protect them.

  • Cut a drop sheet or garbage bag with scissors so it's the approximate dimensions of the window glass.

  • Mix up a soapy solution in a spray bottle. Pour 2 tsp. of liquid soap into the bottle and fill the bottle with water. Shake it gently to mix the ingredients.

  • Spray the window film generously with the soapy water. Place the cut sheet or bag on top of the film so it's completely covered. Press it down into place. Spray the top covering with the soapy water until it's wet. Allow the window film to soak undisturbed overnight.

  • Remove the drop sheet or garbage bag from the window. Pick the top corners of the window film loose with your fingernail. Grab the corners and slowly pull the film down and away from the glass.

  • Spray the window glass with the soapy solution to soften any leftover adhesive. Use a stainless steel, single-edge razor blade or a wide blade scraper to scrape the glass clean. Hold the blade flat against the glass and apply equal pressure. Spray the glass as needed to keep it wet so the blades don't scratch the glass.

  • Spray the window with cleaner. Use a lint-free cloth to wipe it clean.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't attempt to remove window film in direct sunlight. The soap water will dry too fast.
  • Use extreme caution when handling scissors, razor blades or blade scraper.
  • Keep razor blades and scrapers out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Never scrape dry glass. Doing so can scratch the glass.

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  • Photo Credit Paul Tearle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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