Everyone’s familiar with the issue of how to remove a car tag without damaging the paint. Debadging is an ideal way to get rid of the unwanted decal and keep your car looking as good as new. This article provides some tips on how to debadge a car, including techniques used by professionals.
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Best Way on How to Debadge a Car
The high-quality paint and clear coat that comes on your car after the car was painted is guaranteed to protect it against scratches and scuffs. However, if you have a decal that you need to remove, here are some things you must remember:
- Remove the decal from the back of the car.
- Be sure that you first remove any loose debris from around the decal to avoid accidentally scratching or marring your paint during removal.
- If you plan to use the decal ripping tool, make sure that the metal blade is not dull or chipped before attempting to remove the decal. Clean and lubricate the blade for better results.
Warnings on How to Debadge a Car
Most car decals are made of thick vinyl, which makes removal difficult. Do not try scrubbing at your decal with a squeegee liner as you may make scratches on your paint or clear coat in this process that cannot be fixed.
Also, do not use ammonia-based cleaners, and do not scratch the area you are trying to remove the decal from. It doesn’t matter if your car is a new model or an extra expensive one with a custom paint job; you should still handle it gently.
Debadging Your Car Step-by-Step
#1 Loosen the Adhesive
Badges are attached to the car by either glue or clips. Lucky us that most of the time, manufacturers use glue, which makes our debadging job easier.
You can loosen the glue by using heat. The adhesive behind the badge will be loosened so that you can get behind it. I always use a heat gun for this task instead of a hairdryer as the heat from the heat gun is stronger and more focused. Therefore, it does the job more effectively.
You need to make sure that all the area under the badge is heated long enough as the glue used is high quality. If you use a hairdryer, you need to spend more time on this task.
If you have a stubborn badge that doesn’t come off with the heat, then apply an adhesive remover to the edge of the logo. I never see this fail.
#2 Removing the Badges
Once the badges have been softened enough, you can remove them using one of these:
- Dental floss
- Fishing wire
- Credit card
- Or, a trim removing tool
I personally prefer using a fishing wire as it is thin, flexible, and strong. Whereas using a credit card or a trim removing tool poses a risk of scratching the paint.
Now, use the fishing wire to get under the badge while the glue is still hot. Use slow movement to take the badge off. You will need to remain the badged area in the heat often while doing this.
#3 Cleaning & Waxing
You have done more than half of the work. The badge has come off. Great. Now you see the adhesive residue that needs to be cleaned. A good cleaning product is not found in the market. Therefore, you need to use rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth. Rubbing alcohol will remove the dirt and glue residue, but it will also remove the paint off your car.
I personally use Windex for this job. It does its job effectively without leaving a mark on the paint and clear coat of my car.
After that, you need to give the area a good rinse before waxing. A wax layer will protect the area from future damage.
Does Debadging a Car Devalue It?
Obviously, the paint will be slightly damaged, but this is not really a big deal because your car is still going to be in a good condition. Some people tend to buy a new car once it has been debadged because they think that it devalues their old car. While this is probably true for some people, I would say that the great condition of the car does not matter as long as you look good in it.
So, if you want a great-looking car, make sure that you debadge it well. Alternatively, if your current car is in perfect condition but you want a new one to look good, do not bother removing the decal and get a new one. It costs much less than getting a new paint job.
Is Debadging a Car Illegal?
Some states require that you have the manufacturer’s name or logo on the exterior of your car. Therefore, you need to debadge as soon as you get a new car. The way of this removal process will not damage the paint and it is perfectly legal.
However, some states do not require this kind of information on your car. Or, they only allow it to be in certain areas like on the rear window. In these places, removing an exterior decal would be illegal as a violation of your state’s laws and regulations.
Why Do Some People Debadge Their Vehicles?
#1 Avoiding Advertising
Another great reason to debadge is to avoid advertising yourself or your company. It’s as simple as that. If you’re in the sales industry, or an industry where you have to attract new customers, you may want your car to remain a mystery until you’ve managed to sell the car.
#2 Blending In When Driving A Sleeper Vehicle
Some people like to keep their vehicle in top shape for use in racing or as a “sleeper”. In other words, to keep the vehicle from looking fast, you need to debadge it.
#3 Being Unique And Customizing The Car To Their Taste
Is this not the main reason why people buy a car? For me, I always try to customize my car if I can. I want it to look different from all the other cars out there. I don’t like the logo of the car manufacturer on my car. I love the factory looks of cars. That is why I remove all the decals from my car and replace them with vinyl stickers and a custom paint job.
To conclude, it is your decision whether to remove the decal or not. Understand that some car manufacturers like to include their logos on their vehicles in order to advertise themselves. Removing these decals will not devalue your vehicle. Likewise, just because the manufacturer might require that you have this information on your car, it does not mean that removing them from your vehicle will devalue it.
So, make sure to research the laws in your state regarding exterior decals before attempting the removal of any kinds of stickers and logos from your or another’s car.
Hi, My name is Ollie Barker.
With 25 years working in repair and detailing shops. I’d love to share my tips & tricks to all car lovers. Also, give my recommendations on which products are the best to have on the market.
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Debadging your car is a common trend that makes for a classy look. If you feel your car looks like a newspaper, here’s a step by step guide on how to debadge your car to clean it up.
Cars these days have more badges than an Army general. Not only that, but the badges are huge. And chrome. And tacky. Debadging cars is a very popular way to clean up the look. In fact, it has been very popular for a while now and it seems it’s going to stay that way. Nice thing is, as long as your car badges are not riveted on, you can install them again using a bit of high-quality 3M automotive double-side tape.
We took the time to debadge the RallyWays Taco – Our Toyota Tacoma featured in the Ultimate 28-Hour New Car Detailing Project.
The tailgate on these trucks looks like a newspaper. Toyota, Tacoma, V6, 4X4, Prerunner, I’m a truck, I drink lots of gas – those are some of the badges covering the tail gate. We took them all off.
Here we show you how to debadge your car (or truck) using the Tacoma badges on the doors of our truck as an example.
Ok. Time to Debadge!
1. Start with a clean car. Make sure your badges are not riveted on. You can only easily debadge cars with stick-on badges. Most are stick-on. Use a heat gun to heat up the badge to help loosen the bond of the double-sided tape or factory glue. Make it hot, but NOT TOO hot.
2. Using a very thin fishing line work your way behind the badge to peel it off. It’s like flossing the badge off.
3. Take the badge off and put it away just in case you want it back on later.
4. Spray the residue with Goo Gone to help loosen and dissolve the glue.
5. Wide down excess of Goo Gone, yet let the fluid that’s on the badge glue residue work itself in for a few minutes.
6. Peel the residue tape or glue off carefully. You can also use paper towel or a microfiber towel soaked in Goo Gone to wipe off remaining residue.
7. Chances are there are light scratches left in the paint from the badge, tape or your wiping it down to remove the residue. There might also be ghosting from the badge. If it’s an older car that has sat in the sun for a long time chances are the badge might be permanently marked into the paint. Newer cars don’t have that problem. You will want to polish out the old location of the badge to remove the surface scratches left from the de-badging process. We used a Porter Cable dual action polisher but the process can be done by hand using light scratch remover or swirl remover.
8. Top it off with a coat of wax. Something like Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba Wax would be perfect. Our truck is only a year and half old. There is absolutely no trace of the badges. Perfectly clean and scratch-free.
That’s it. This is a quick project that takes maybe 15-30 minutes per badge including the polishing of the area. Now go and debadge your car! Just don’t do it to a classic Porsche, please.
Publisher of RallyWays, Danny Cruz is resourceful creative designer, writer and photographer. He loves cars just as much as he loves the sea, boats & playing music while drinking double lattes.
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Tools Required: Bucket, Rag x2, Water, Container, CT18, Fishing Line, Air Dryer.
1. first fill up a bucket of water, and then put a little bit of water in a container with a drop of ct18, then get a couple rags
2.use the hair drying on the badge to melt the adhesive.
3. while the badge is hot, get some fishing line and use it to cut the badge off from the adhesive which will then fall off and the adhesive will still be stuck on the car.
then it should look like this:
4. then use your finger nails to peal the adhesive off the car, use the hair drying to warm it back up if need be.
now it should look like this:
5. now use the ct18 on it, scrub it hard, if you are having problems with getting it out, use the hair dryer on it again, and you may need to use your finger nails on it aswell, my brother told me to leave the ct18 for a couple minutes before washing it off.
6. now wash it off with a rag from the bucket of water, i washed it twice.
now it should look like this when your done.
I also took the Holden badge off because i wanted to paint it black, it looks like this once it is off.
i am going to put a blob of sikaflex on the adhesive thats why i left it on there because it is strong and it will only come off if it is heated.
so il get some more pictures up of finished product tomorro
if you have air bags it is also a good idea to raise it so you don’t have to bend over as much