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Removing window tint from rear window

Looking at a used car today. It looks pretty clean and runs well.

PROBLEM - It has tint on the rear side windows and on the rear window. The side windows are pretty clear, but the rear window is a mess. If you look in the rearview mirror, you can barely tell what kind of car is behind you - in the daytime…

I will need to remove the tint film from the rear window without destroying the rear window heater and radio antenna traces that are on the inside of the glass, beneath the tint.

My internet search turns up two suggestions - undiluted ammonia, or a steamer.

My wife has a steamer that she uses to iron shirts, is that big enough to do this job, or do I need a steamer like they use on floors?

Any opinions on the best way to do this?

What is the likelihood that I can do it without damaging the traces?.


It’s not too hopeful for removing the tint without damaging the heater / antennae. Removing the tint is a difficult job even for a tint shop. A tint shop is where you need to go.

Those who put it on would be the most knowledgeable about taking it off…This may be mission impossible as the defroster traces are very fragile…

If you can feel the defrost and antenna traces on the inside of the window, and you can on most cars, it will be very hard to take the tint off without damaging them. It might be a good idea to see if they work in the first place. If not, then you can’t break them any worse. Right? Even with a steamer, you’ll have to score the film parallel to the traces with a razor blade in order for the steam to get to the glue. Once the tint is removed, the glue will still remain. Removing the glue will be hard at best. Steam will probalby help, but the glue was (is) water soluable when it was applied. Water with JUST A LITTLE dishsoap to act as a wetting agent, and lots and lots of rags will be your best bet to save the traces.

I’ve used the ammonia/garbage bag method to remove window tint from the rear glass without doing damage to the heater grid. Just take your time and it should come off with no problem or damage.


Thanks for the input. If I buy the car I will wait for summer to try to get the tint off. If this post is still up, I will report success (or lack thereof).