Debadging a car is a popular modification that poses many benefits and requires basic tools to accomplish. Some of the most common reasons people choose to debadge a car include:
- Clean/smooth finish to the boot
- Sleeper – People won’t know the engine size/model
- Replica build – i.e. a diesel car with an AMG appearance
- Change the colour of the badges
- Previously applied/wrong badges
In terms of the tools required to debadge a car, you can either use a hairdryer or heat gun, dental floss or fishing line and a car polish. You may also need hot water and wash mitt to remove any stubborn glue residue.
How To Debadge A Car
1. Heat Up The Badge
The majority of badges are held on by an adhesive, which needs to be loosened before attempting to remove it. The best way of doing this is to use hot water initially and then following up with an automotive heat gun or hair dryer. If the badge begins to move or twist under pressure, you are ready for the next step.
2. Feed The Dental Floss Behind The Badge
Using either dental floss or a fishing line, feed it behind the adhesive and pull the line through all of the adhesive. Once through, you should be able to pull the badge off with a small amount of force like in the below photo.
If the dental floss isn’t able to cut through the adhesive, you may need to heat the adhesive even further. Alternative methods you can attempt include an interior plastic wedge or even an old credit card to pry the badge up slightly.
3. Remove Any Glue Residue Left Behind
Once the badges are removed, you are more than likely going to be greeted with a layer of residue (such as the below photo). Depending upon the car’s age may determine the amount left behind (older vehicles often leave behind more).
In order to tackle the bulk part of the residue, we recommend using a wash mitt, hot water and a quality car shampoo to rub the residue clear. The majority of it should come off but if there is a small amount left such as the photo below, you can use an abrasive polish to complete the removal.
4. Use A Polish To Remove Stubborn Glue or Scratches
Depending upon the age of your car, general wear and tear and the removal process of the badges, there may be some scratches or stubborn glue left behind. However, you can use a car polish to remove any of these scratches. You may need to use a more abrasive polish for any residue marks but once polished, it will look like there was never a badge there in the first place.
Debadging a car really is that easy and takes less than 10 minutes depending upon how many badges you need to remove. We strongly recommend avoiding anything that will damage the car’s paintwork and sticking to dental floss or a fishing line. Attempting to use a chisel or similar will certainly cause damage to the paint.
It’s important to note that for some badges or emblems, they may not be held on by adhesive but screws or clips. If this is the case, you may need to use a car body filler and spray the debadged area afterwards to match the paint.