Adhesive removal isn’t a job that anyone really enjoys. It is a step that is often skipped because it takes time, patience and really is a sticky boring job. One of, if not the very most important steps in wrapping a vehicle is properly cleaning your surface. I’d say 7 out of 10 times when there are issues with a wrap it is due to improper cleaning or no cleaning at all. We see it even from commercial wrap installers that lack the proper training and education. Removing adhesive really is a job anyone can do. We like to use a product called Rapid Remover by RapidTac. There are several similar products on the market made for removing adhesive. Removing adhesive is as simple as spraying on your adhesive remover and let it sit for about 60 seconds and then start scraping with a plastic edge scraper (We do NOT recommend use of razor blade style scrapers). We use old squeegees to scrape off adhesive. Another tip is to clean with a paper towel for this step. In the final cleaning stages you will use microfiber cloths, but in our experience using microfibers for adhesive removal tends to permanently damage the cloth and we like to wash and reuse our microfiber cloths. This may take up to two or three times in areas of heavy adhesive. If you just removed a wrap or graphics, areas where you are going to see the most adhesive build up are near the edges, door handles and areas with concave surfaces. It can be a tedious time consuming job but it is a must.
Why not just wrap over the old adhesive? The first thing you should know about wrapping is that your wrap is only as good as the surface it is applied to. If you wrap over the adhesive, the wrap is now stuck to the adhesive and not the surface of the vehicle or substrate you are applying the film to. Think of it as a sticker and if you have ever tired to stick it to a dirty surface, all the dirt and grime stick to the sticker and it’s not able to grip the surface, the same concept on wrap material. The second thing you should know is that wrap film is made to be thin, like a second skin, and conform to the surface in which it is applied to. There is a good chance if you have adhesive under the wrap, just like a spec of dust or dirt, you will see it. Just remember it is so much more cost effective and time efficient to do the job right the first time instead of doing it twice.