How To Debadge A Car

How To Debadge A Car

There are many reasons why somebody might want to debadge a car. You want your car to have a sleeker look, or make your car less easy to identify. 

Some people want to debadge their car to give it a cleaner look overall, and so the exterior of their car looks smoother and less busy.

Or, you may want to remove a badge because you find it irritating. Regardless of why you want to debadge a car, below you’ll find all the information you need to properly debadge your car.

Create A Plan To Debadge

Before you debadge, assess the situation. Although it may seem obvious, you have to consider the number of badges you wish to remove. For example, some cars may have every letter of their name as an individual badge, so you need to be mindful of this possibility. 

Although most modern car badges are stuck on with adhesive, some badges may be fixed to the car through holes in the body.

While this is rare, if you have easy access to the backside of the body panel that each badge is attached to, check for bolts or rivets holding the badge in place.

Debadging a car can be a lengthy process, especially if this is your first time debadging a car. It can take 10-30 minutes to remove every badge and clean up afterwards. Debadging a car isn’t something that can be rushed, so ensure you give yourself plenty of time. 

It is crucial to thoroughly clean around the badge. This is an important part of the debadge process, because the residue on the car could damage the finish and paint.

Although it may appear to be an unnecessary step, for the desired results you should completely clean and dry the area before you proceed.

Use Heat

To correctly remove a badge from a car, you have to use heat to conquer the adhesive sticking the badge to your car. 

Apply just enough heat to soften the adhesive. This lets you debadge the car without harming the paint job of your car. You can achieve this in a couple of ways, and it’s up to you which option is best.

Some people find that if a car is left in the summer sun long enough, then the badges come right off. Of course, this depends on how hot it is where you live!

And leaving it up to the sun makes for hit-and-miss results. However, leaving your car to warm up in direct sunlight may create optimal conditions when you debadge your car.

One of the most successful methods for removing all types of car badges is using a hair dryer to remove the badge.

Hold the hair dryer a couple of inches away from the badge for 1-5 minutes, and make sure the hair dryer is on the highest setting. This should be enough to melt the adhesive on the badge. 

You can also use a heat gun rather than a hair dryer if you prefer. Make sure each badge is heated carefully, but be careful that it’s not too hot. Too much heat can harm the paint.

But how do you know if it’s too hot? Well, keep an eye on any changes around the badge and if you notice anything that concerns you stop right away, and be careful when touching the badge as it will be very hot. 

Pry Your Badge Off

Prying your badge off your car can involve simply lifting the edge of the badge with your fingers. We recommend wearing gloves due to the heat and because the edges of the badge can be sharp.

Tools may be used, but you need to avoid using metal tools so you don’t damage the finish or the paint. 

Some people prefer nylon scrapers for prying badges off their cars. It’s important to bear in mind that whatever tool you choose must have a fine enough point in order to get under the edge of the badge, as well as being strong enough to lift the badge up.

How To Debadge A Car (1)

Meanwhile, some people prefer using plastic razor blades to debadge their car. This is because they are sharp, but are unlikely to scratch the finish or paint and make debadging a lot quicker.

You can also peel off every badge with a fishing line or another strong string-like material that isn’t made of metal. It has to be as narrow as possible in order to get under the badge. 

Clean The Residue

Once each badge is removed, you will notice some residue left over from the adhesive. To clean this residue, you’ll have to use methods that protect the finish or paint. Products like Goo Gone should do the trick, or you can use mineral spirits to soak the residue.

A detailing clay bar is also a good alternative. It’s a handy material, as it does a good job of getting rid of debris from paint that remains after the cleaning process. You will need a suitable lubricant to avoid small scratches.

Once adhesive residue is adequately soft, you can use your fingers or non-scratching tools to peel or scrape off residue. Once most of the residue is removed, you can use a microfiber towel or paper towel soaked in Goo Gone to or a similar product to remove small traces.

Final Thoughts

Despite how safe you are, you still find some scratches on your car once you’ve removed a badge. You can apply the dual action polisher of your choice to fix these defects. 

Once these scratches have been removed, evenly apply a coat of wax to the surfaces where the badges once were.

It is possible that when removing the badge of an older car you might be able to notice where the badges once were, due the effects of the sun. 

If this happens, there isn’t a whole lot you can do besides repaint the car, but this is less likely to be an issue with more modern cars. We hope this article has given you all the information you need to debadge your car!

Dave Oliver

Dave Oliver is a seasoned car modification expert with over twenty years of experience in the field. His knowledge spans from restoring vintage models to implementing the latest customization technologies. He brings his passion and expertise to life through informative and engaging articles.

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