How to Remove Window Decals

no smoking sticker on window

Window decals always seem great when you first apply them, but after enough time passes they can be a real chore to remove. Whether you need to learn how to get a decal off a car window or remove a stubborn sticker from your house windows, there are multiple approaches you can take.

Store-bought Solutions

Freshly Adhered

If the decal hasn't been on the window for too long, clean water and a dull putty knife may be all that is needed.

Simply wet the decal using a sponge or spray bottle, and give it a moment to soak into the adhesive and gently scrap it away using the putty knife. If the sticker doesn’t come off easily using this method or leaves behind residue, don’t fight it. This is the easiest way to remove decals, and if it doesn’t work, it just means that you can move on to the tougher methods.

Stuck For Life

Decals that have been stuck to your window for a long time respond better to white vinegar. Simply soak the decal with white vinegar by applying a soaked cloth to the area. Then scrape the old decal away using the putty knife. If the sticker won’t come off the window, start over by applying another helping of the white vinegar and allow more time for the vinegar to soak in to the adhesive before scraping on this attempt.

Commercial Solutions


Decals on windows are easily removed using WD-40. Spray the decal evenly with the WD-40. Then use a clean cloth to wipe the WD-40 off the decal, and it should peel off easily. If necessary, urge it along with the putty knife.

WARNING: WD-40 has much harsher chemicals in it than simple water and vinegar. When applying it, be careful not to spray any of the interior curtains, vehicle seating, or yourself.

Commercial Adhesive Remover

Commercial adhesive removers can be a bit pricier, but will definitely get the job done, as they are specifically made for this purpose. If the decal is on your car window, be sure to purchase a commercial adhesive remover designed specifically for cars. You can usually purchase this at most auto or discount stores.

Be sure to read any instructions and safety warnings provided with your product. Most commercial adhesive removers simply require that you apply them, allow them to settle into the sticker, and then wipe away the decal cleanly with a damp cloth.