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A lot of us may be huge fans of decals or ghost lettering on cars! I mean, who doesn’t like to modify their precious motor vehicle now and then, right? But sometimes, we buy a used car, and we notice lettering on it that we want to get rid of immediately. How do we do that?

I’m sure we’ve thought of all possible ways to get rid of some unwanted lettering from the car windows and such. A thought I had when I was younger, was to simply use some soap and hot water and wipe it off. Let’s say, I’ve tried this myself. That made the window look so ugly, it had so many residues. Did I get yelled at by my dad for doing so? Yes.

I even tried using my nails to get the job done. I found out the hard way, nobody likes any scratches on their cars. Frustrated, I let it be. I thought I had done enough damage to the aesthetics of the car.

What next?

So what? Is removing ghost lettering that hard? It was when I was younger. But that was also because I had no idea what I was doing.

I’m older now, and I have tried and experimented with various methods of removing ghost lettering from the car windows. I personally am not a huge fan of them. But I have enough knowledge on this that I would now like to share with you all.

So let’s say you’ve purchased a car recently, and you noticed it has some ghost lettering on its windows. Maybe the lettering is visible only when it rains and the car windows steam up, and the outlines of it can be seen in HD. Your next thought is clearly about removing the letters from your window.

From first-hand experience, I urge you to not try what I did if you want to do a good job. Continue reading for some real tips and tricks on how to remove ghost lettering from car window, and how to do a good job at it.

Do it yourself

I know noticing ghost letters on your car can be so annoying, especially if you’re a clean freak and have a specific look for your car in mind.

If you’re here reading this, you probably want to know how to do this yourself. Or you have probably tried removing it by yourself and later realized taking matters into your own hands, made things only worse. Don’t worry, you don’t have to embrace the ghost lettering and move on with your life. It’s not permanent.

And don’t even think about using razor blades. Hard pass!

I’ve got you covered on how to remove the lettering from car windows with no mess and ease! And if you are anything like me, you want to do this fast, and cheap without compromising on quality. But we will need some materials to do this.

Well, in the past, I’ve had some good results using some rubbing compound and fuel (petrol) on my cheap cars. The combination of the two, along with some extremely thorough rubbing in circles, removes the lettering but also removes the protective surface from the glass. So be sure to use some good polish once you’re done. I would suggest testing a small area if you’re planning on using this method with expensive car windows.

I’m sure you’ve heard that clay and t-cut work too. But from my experience, that most probably won’t give you the finish you’re looking for.

What do we do now?

If you have tried both those and nothing worked, wait! Don’t give up yet. Give it a last go by yourself, before heading to the local car dealer that’s going to charge you a bomb for this. Yeah, removing it can be expensive, which is why you’re probably reading about how to do this yourself.

Let’s get started then.

Okay, first things first. Check your windows closely. Remember to do this in sunlight otherwise, you might not be able to see the ghost lettering. Sometimes even under the sun, it might not be visible. But if you look close enough, it’s right there.

Okay, now what?

Well go get your hands on some clean microfiber cloth. You can find some at the local stores and even online if you’re feeling lazy to head all the way there.

Make sure you use only a fiber cloth for this because anything else would leave scratches on the window. And we don’t want to take a chance with that, right? There’s nothing wrong with using paper towels and sponges, but remember, it doesn’t work for this purpose! So don’t try any harder, fiber cloth is the way to go if you don’t want any scratches.

Next up, get a clean mat to place all your materials on the ground or wherever you’re working from. Once you’ve got your hands on some microfiber cloth, what you’ll need next is get some turtle wax rubbing compound (any brand would do). Get some polishing compound, and finally some denatured alcohol. Nope, don’t even think about paint thinner, that would be bad for the car.

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The process

So now that you have everything you need, let’s get right on to the procedure! Here’s how to remove ghost lettering from car window.

Step 1: Make sure you wipe the dust off the car with the microfiber cloth. Dust off the cloth.

Step 2: Wipe off the rest of the dust residue with the microfiber cloth with some denatured alcohol that you got this time.

Step 3: Ideally, 3M rubbing compound is preferred, but any other good brand would do. Now dab some rubbing compound on the microfiber. Be generous, but remember, you don’t need too much. Whisk it in there and start rubbing the letters. Circle it in nicely. Be patient when you do this. If you hurry, you won’t do a good job. After a while, you would feel the edges getting picked up almost. Do not put too much pressure on this either. Patience.

Step 4: Now it’s time for the polishing compound. What it does, is it gives the shine and blends in everything. Make sure you use a good, well-known brand. There are tons available online.

Most importantly, remember, you don’t have to be a master detailer or anything to remove some ghost lettering from your car windows. You can try it for the first time at home! You may be a rookie now, but simply following through these steps will make you a pro in no time.

Check your car window now. If you find some residue, remember to keep wiping with the rubbing compound until you can get through. Once you’re done with the rubbing compound, put some more denatured alcohol through it. Wipe generously and thoroughly.

Okay, you think you’re done now and you’ve tried it all. But there might be some fading in the window that you notice. And ff there is, fret not. What you can do is use some more of the compounding and polishing. Do it over and over again. Remember, patience? Use a rubbing compound until you’re satisfied with the result.

If you find there’s more paint fade, the polishing compound should fix this up! Cycle it in nice and easy. Let it dry, work back into it. Let it dry, work back into it. Keep repeating. Don’t use too much pressure. It will come off eventually. Sometimes, it takes time to go. Be prepared to invest in that time.


Well, there you have it! This is pretty much the easiest way to remove any ghost lettering from your car windows. Hope this made your life a bit easier. I know mine sure is.

I personally vouch for these tips, and if you try it, remember to not lose hope. Take it easy.

Well, that’s about it, my fellow auto enthusiasts.

Do try these tips and tricks at home and let me know what you all think. It’s super easy. Maybe take a video to capture your process? I know it comes in handy, especially if you want to inspire others too. I know I would love to see your videos.

Well, that about clears this up. You’re better equipped with more knowledge on this now. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and try. Your old cars or even your new ones don’t always need to be taken to the garage to get some fixing done. Sometimes we already have the tools and materials we need at home.

The next time someone asks you how to remove ghost lettering from windows, you know what to do. Teach them, share this article with them, post your videos, so they can see them. Spread the word. But please, for heaven’s sake, do not ever use soap or nails on your windows. Your cars deserve much better. So how about we take care of them the best way we can?