What Makes a Good Auto Detailer?

How To Debadge A Vehicle

If you have emblems on your vehicle, you may want to debadge (remove the emblems) to improve the vehicle's appearance, or make the vehicle easier to clean. Most emblems display the vehicle's make and dealer's logo. It is easy to debadge a vehicle yourself by following these tips.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • microfiber towels
  • bowl
  • hairdryer or heat gun
  •  plastic spatula, plastic debit card, or plastic putty knife
  • 10-20 pound fishing line
  • soap
  • adhesive remover
  • wax

Determine how the emblems attach. On newer vehicles, they are commonly attached by a strong glue. They may also be secured from inside the body via a hole.

On older vehicles, emblems are attached by bolts and posts. In this case, see a mechanic.

Apply Hot Water

Heat a bowl of water in the microwave for one minute. Splash some water directly above the emblem.

Work the knife, plastic card, or spatula around the edges of the emblem, and attempt to gently remove it. When using a plastic card, keep the numbers facing away from the vehicle to avoid scratching paint. Don't apply too much pressure or break the emblem, if you plan to reuse it. Allow extra adhesive on the vehicle to cool.

Use a Hairdryer

If possible, run a drop cord outside from the house or garage, and hook a hairdryer to it. Set the hair dryer on the highest setting, hold the hair dryer six inches away from the emblem, and sweep the hair dryer back and forth. Keep the dryer moving.

Run a fingernail around the emblem to see if it has loosened. The adhesive is warm enough if you can press your fingernail in it. As an alternative, use a heat gun.

Cut the Adhesive with a Fishing Line

For stubborn adhesive, try cutting it with a fishing line. Wearing thick gloves, wind the fishing line around the pointing finger of the left hand and right hand. Don't wind it too tight.

Work the line into the adhesive using a sawing motion. Apply more heat, if the line won't go behind the emblem easily.

Wash and Wax

Use an adhesive remover to take off adhesive residue, then rub it in with a microfiber towel. Apply the remover in circular motions in small areas to avoid stripping wax.

Clean the area with automotive soap, a sponge, and warm water, then rinse. Dish soap will strip wax. Dry the area with a clean towel, as wax will not adhere to sticky surfaces. 

Move the vehicle out of direct sun, as it causes the wax to dry fast and not shine well. Evenly apply the wax using the applicator from the kit. Let it dry.

Check for dryness by swiping your fingers over the wax. If your fingers stay clean, the wax has dried. 

For more tips, contact a company like A&G Auto Spa & Mobile Detailing.