Hereís how to remove those campaign bumper stickers

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

At some point, you had the bright idea of putting a bumper sticker on your vehicle that proudly proclaimed whatever you believed in at the time.

But things have changed.

The belief you once cherished is now passe, embarrassing, idiotic or worse, provocative in a bad way.

Unlike a bad tattoo, you can probably remove the bumper sticker yourself.

But take heed, there are ways to do it wrong.

"Do not use razor blades," said Anthony Gabarino of AnthonyGís Auto Detailing, which serves Kitsap County and beyond. "Thatís what most people try and it will scratch your car."

The best way to remove a bumper sticker is to use a heat gun, which he says can be bought for about $15. Aim it at the bumper sticker, and let the heat do most of the work. Then, carefully work a fingernail under one corner and peel slowly.

"Sometimes they will come right off and sometimes they will be a bear," he said.

If youíre loathe to buy a heat gun for a one-time job, Gabarino says you can also try a blow dryer. When using a hair dryer yourself, experts recommend keeping the heat source moving in a circular fashion a few inches from the bumper sticker to avoid damaging the paint in one area.

If thereís a little gluey residue left, that can be removed with rubbing alcohol and a cloth.

If you absolutely canít get it off, and you canít live with it either, Gabarino concedes that you might be able to get a Band-Aid type of fix by covering it with a newer, less objectionable bumper sticker.

"Iím not suggesting it, but it would look better that the one thatís cracking, peeling and bubbling up," he said.

His most important tip, however, is for next time.

"Donít put bumper stickers on your car," he said. "Itís been a pet peeve of mine my whole life and when I see one on a painted bumper I just cringe."

Put them on your glass windows, instead, where theyíre a cinch to remove with a razor and Windex, he said.