How to Debadge Your Car Yourself

How to Debadge Your Car

Debadging your car is a common trend that makes for a classy look. If you feel your car looks like a newspaper, here’s a step by step guide on how to debadge your car to clean it up.

Cars these days have more badges than an Army general. Not only that, but the badges are huge. And chrome. And tacky. Debadging cars is a very popular way to clean up the look. In fact, it has been very popular for a while now and it seems it’s going to stay that way. Nice thing is, as long as your car badges are not riveted on, you can install them again using a bit of high-quality 3M automotive double-side tape.

We took the time to debadge the RallyWays Taco – Our Toyota Tacoma featured in the Ultimate 28-Hour New Car Detailing Project.

The tailgate on these trucks looks like a newspaper. Toyota, Tacoma, V6, 4X4, Prerunner, I’m a truck, I drink lots of gas – those are some of the badges covering the tail gate. We took them all off.

Here we show you how to debadge your car (or truck) using the Tacoma badges on the doors of our truck as an example.

Ok. Time to Debadge!

How to Debadge Your Car - Step 1

1. Start with a clean car. Make sure your badges are not riveted on. You can only easily debadge cars with stick-on badges. Most are stick-on. Use a heat gun to heat up the badge to help loosen the bond of the double-sided tape or factory glue. Make it hot, but NOT TOO hot.

How to Debadge Your Car - Step 2

2. Using a very thin fishing line work your way behind the badge to peel it off. It’s like flossing the badge off.

How to Debadge Your Car - Step 3

3. Take the badge off and put it away just in case you want it back on later.

How to Debadge Your Car - Step 4

4. Spray the residue with Goo Gone to help loosen and dissolve the glue.

How to Debadge Your Car - Step 5

5. Wide down excess of Goo Gone, yet let the fluid that’s on the badge glue residue work itself in for a few minutes.

How to Debadge Your Car - Step 6

6. Peel the residue tape or glue off carefully. You can also use paper towel or a microfiber towel soaked in Goo Gone to wipe off remaining residue.

How to Debadge Your Car - Step 7

7. Chances are there are light scratches left in the paint from the badge, tape or your wiping it down to remove the residue. There might also be ghosting from the badge. If it’s an older car that has sat in the sun for a long time chances are the badge might be permanently marked into the paint. Newer cars don’t have that problem. You will want to polish out the old location of the badge to remove the surface scratches left from the de-badging process. We used a Porter Cable dual action polisher but the process can be done by hand using light scratch remover or swirl remover.

How to Debadge Your Car - Step 8

8. Top it off with a coat of wax. Something like Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba Wax would be perfect. Our truck is only a year and half old. There is absolutely no trace of the badges. Perfectly clean and scratch-free.

That’s it. This is a quick project that takes maybe 15-30 minutes per badge including the polishing of the area. Now go and debadge your car! Just don’t do it to a classic Porsche, please.

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