Decal residue Removal


Registered Member
i just took in a 2005 crown victoria with half the decals still on it, what is the best way to remove this? i plan on upfitting this for a small town department as a back up unit and want to make it as clean as possible, Thank you for any assistance you can render.

Pete L.

Site Veteran
Back in the day, we would use a hair dryer to WARM (not cook) the decal. It should peel
off easily. WD40 would take care of any sticky stuff left. Wash off the area with a
Dawn/water mixture then wax.
Take your time so you don't mess up the clear coat/paint.


@Pete L. is right.
warm the decal and subsequently the panel it is on, keep it warm as you work, pull in a 45 degree angle, pull slowly. It may take a minute or two to get hang of it but you will get the feel for it and you will succeed.
pulling faster results in tearing of the decal as does having the decal to cold or to hot.
clean up the residue with WD40 or Goo-Gone and then wash with dawn and water.


Silver Supporter
I never had success with goo gone I had to buy this stuff from my friend who does signs and decals worked incredibly well took off all the residue, I'll find my bottle and get you a name if it has it. Worst thing about the removal of graphics is Ford's paint started peeling with their new setup.


Unusually heat it up with the heat gun for a few get it soft and peel it up. Using a plastic scraper in the corner Then use rapid remover. It’s a adhesive and sticker removal. Spray it on. Wait 30 - 60 sec and can wipe it and scrape with a plastic scrapper. Repeat til it’s all gone


Lifetime VIP Supporter
There is a 3M adhesive remover, which is becoming hard to find for sale locally anymore, that I have used for this kind of work. I believe the 3M part number is 08984. The "new and improved formula" sold under part number 38984 doesn't seem to do nearly as well as the original.

Turd Ferguson

Senior Member
Silver Supporter
In the detail shop I used to work in, we soul mist a rag with paint thinner and lightly buff any residue out.

I don't know what sort of tools you have access to, but for the misting we had a special can you could fill and then pressurize with an air chuck.


Platinum Supporter
Goo Gone citrus in the sprayer pump bottle (orange fluid; looks like a windex pump bottle). Spray it on, let it soak for 5-10 minutes. Peel the decal off slowly in a straight line, rub the rest of the glue off.

We had "subdued" cars with giant reflective stripes on the back ... really not the point. With permission they were removed; the new ones did not have them at all.

These decals were fairly new, like months old, but came off easy with this method. Did it in the do-it-yourself car wash bay and actually blew the rest of the coagulated glue off with soap and water spray.

I did five cars plus a bit and still have over half a bottle left. Smells good, too.

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