The Garage Maintenance & Repair

How To Remove Bumper Stickers

We're taking a stand. You shouldn't put one on in the first place.

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This is just one man’s opinion, but bumper stickers are a scourge of society. At best, they display dumb jokes, silly messages, and corporate logos all over your car. And at worst, they annoy everybody with their ugliness. You have every right to do what you want with your car, but still, come on.

The clean-freak editors here at The Drive, those who’d rather die than put bumper stickers on our cars, want to cleanse the world of these sticky IRL memes, so we’ve assembled a quick guide for easily removing bumper stickers. 

Let’s begin.

The Basics of Bumper Sticker Removal

Estimated Time Needed: 20 minutes

Skill Level: Beginner

Vehicle System: Paint


Removing a bumper sticker isn’t exactly a life-threatening job, but you’re still dealing with chemicals and heat. Make sure you gear up to prevent any unexpected injuries.

Everything You’ll Need To Remove a Bumper Sticker

You can try to remove it with nothing but your fingers, but these items will make the process far simpler and less stressful.

Tool List (If Applicable)

Organizing your tools and gear so everything is easily reachable will save precious minutes waiting for your handy-dandy child or four-legged helper to bring you the sandpaper or blowtorch. (You won’t need a blowtorch for this job. Please don’t have your kid hand you a blowtorch—Ed.)

You’ll also need a flat workspace, such as a garage floor, driveway, or street parking that’s also well-ventilated. Check your local laws to make sure you’re not violating any codes when using the street because we aren’t getting your ride out of the clink.

A bottle of Goo Gone Automotive on a white backdrop.
Products designed to remove adhesives will help., Goo Gone

Here’s How To Remove Bumper Stickers

Let’s do this! 

  1. Park the car in a shaded area and let it cool down.
  2. Rinse off any surface dirt on and around the sticker, then dry.
  3. Heat the surface of the bumper sticker with a blow dryer. Place the blow dryer 6-12 inches away from the surface of the sticker and move it back and forth. Be sure never to stay on one spot, and don’t get too close, as the heat could damage the paint.
    • If you don’t have a blow dryer or heat gun, or if that method makes you nervous, you can also try placing a towel in hot water, then placing the towel on the sticker for a couple of minutes to soften the adhesive. Just make sure not to burn yourself!
  4. Once the adhesive is softened, use your nails to start peeling off the sticker. If your nails aren’t doing the job, carefully use a plastic scraper that won’t damage your paint.
  5. Slowly peel off the sticker.
  6. The sticker will likely leave adhesive. Using an adhesive remover, such as Goo Gone Automotive, spray the adhesive, let it sit for a minute, then wipe it off with a clean microfiber towel. Never use paper towels to do this.
  7. Wash, polish, and wax your car, and you’re ready to go!

Sometimes You Need a Certified Mechanic

As much as The Drive loves to put the “you” in do-it-yourself, we know that not everyone has the proper tools, a safe workspace, the spare time, or the confidence to tackle major automotive repairs. Sometimes, you just need quality repair work performed by professionals you can trust like our partners, the certified mechanics at Goodyear Tire & Service.

FAQs About How to Remove Bumper Stickers

You’ve got questions, The Drive has answers!

Q. So Will a Bumper Sticker Ruin Paint?

A. It could! The worst thing that could happen is that the paint underneath the bumper sticker will remain one shade, while the rest of the paint on the car fades to another shade. So when you remove the sticker, you have clear lines that show a sticker used to live there. 

Additionally, if they are put on with dirt underneath or are removed incorrectly, you could damage your vehicle’s paint.

Q. Are Vinyl Bumper Stickers Removable?

A. Yes, just follow the instructions above.

Q. Are Bumper Stickers Hard To Get Off?

A. They can be, but all stickers are removable. Factors that could make it harder to get off include time, weather, and paint condition. 

Q. Can You Use WD40 To Remove Stickers?

A. We recommend using an automotive adhesive remover that is specifically designed for the job.


CarPro Tar X Tar and Adhesive Remover

Turtle Wax Ultimate Car Care Kit

Porter-Cable Heat Gun

Sinland Microfiber Towels

Chemical Guys Woolly Mammoth Microfiber Dryer Towel

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Tony Markovich Avatar

Tony Markovich


Tony Markovich is a former Senior Editor at The Drive, departing in 2022.