Tips for Getting Rid of Window Tint Bubbles

Thu, 15 Oct 2020 15:00:00 GMT

Why Bubbles Form or Occur

There are several reasons why bubbling may occur under your car’s window tint, but regardless of the root cause, poor application or low-quality window tint is usually to blame. These factors are exacerbated with age and exposure to direct sunlight, as the small pockets of air or water expand with heat and the adhesive on the tint weakens, allowing bubbles to grow.

Impacts of Bubbles in Window Tint

For most, bubbling under their window tint is noticed quite quickly. The implications early on are mainly aesthetic, as the look of the windows is compromised by the bubbling. Depending on your budget and preference, replacement or fixing of the tint at this stage is recommended but optional. 


A more severe case of window tint bubbling however can have far more severe implications. As the window tint separates from the glass, it distorts your view out of that window. Since window tint bubbling typically (with exceptions) starts on the rear window, this can impact the view out of the rear. It is possible for this to progress to a point where it is unsafe to operate the vehicle, and the window tint must be fixed or removed.
Different Kinds of Bubbles

There are a variety of factors that cause window tint to bubble. One of the most ubiquitous causes is low-quality window tint. The issue here is actually the adhesive, which, over time will separate from the glass or off-gas causing pockets of air to form. Beyond this, dust, dirt, or an unclean window while applying the film will produce bubbles. These are the most difficult to fix, and often require re-application with new tinting film. These bubbles can be minimized but are impossible to remove completely. This is due to the adhesive being compromised, causing eventual separation. The final type of bubbling which can occur is pockets of water under the tinting film. This is typically the result of rushed or poor application, however, since the adhesive used on the majority of tinting films is water-soluble, using a window tint application tool, you may be able to remove these bubbles in entirety. 


Hiring Professional Installation
If you find yourself struggling to apply window tinting film yourself, perhaps consider using a professional installation service. While the quality of application can still vary, a high-rated professional tint application shop will typically deliver a result that performs better and lasts longer. A portion of the increased cost can be attributed to the higher-quality film used in most cases, with other portions attributed to the specialized tools used to achieve a level of fit and finish unachievable through a DIY application. 

Re-application Over Fixing

While we will walk through the steps to fix bubbling window tint, the most effective option is to simply re-apply the tinting film either yourself or professionally. The reason for this is due to the likelihood that new bubbles will continue to form after you clear out any currently existing bubbles. This ongoing issue can result in more bother and time than it would take to replace the tint in the first place. 

How to Fix Bubbling Window Tint

  1. Warm the glass on which the window tint has been applied. This can be done using either the sun (for a few hours or so) or using a space heater/hairdryer.
  2. Mist the tint film with water or an application solution. Use only enough to allow an application tool or credit card to easily slide over it.
  3. Using a sewing needle pierce a small hole in each air bubble, trying to keep the hole as small as possible. Take care during this step not to rip the tint, as doing so would compromise the tint in entirety.
  4. Using a window tint application tool or plastic card gently force all of the air out of the bubble through the hole, starting at the lowest point on the window. Proceed slowly and take care not to rip or tear the tinting film, this is by far the most important and difficult step.
  5. Remove any remaining water or application solution from the film and inspect the tint for any tears or remaining bubbles.

Bubbling window tint can be frustrating and finicky. The learning curve is steep, and the margin for error is small. While most appreciate the utility that window tint provides, some prioritize the aesthetics of window tint on their vehicle. For those people, we recommend replacing or reapplying the window tinting film. However, if you don’t mind the aesthetics and are more concerned about restoring clarity to your windows while keeping the existing tint, the method outlined above can be very helpful. While some are successful in applying window tinting film themselves, many more find it preferential to locate and use a professional window tint application shop. Using, we can help you find the most qualified shop at the best price available. Call us at (604) 332 – 6046 for a free estimate!