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How to prep glass before applying film

Method 1: Prep work will depend on the condition of the car; older cars will require more cleaning and perhaps more disassembling, whereas a brand new car will be cleaner and quicker to prep. On a brand new car, you can usually get away with pulling the sweeps (if necessary), spraying the glass, and then using a squeegee to get any particles off. Some tinters like to use their finish tool to get the water off so they can more easily feel if there are particles or imperfections in the glass. Work your way from top to bottom with your squeegee or card, and use your sprayer in a side-to-side and top-to-bottom pattern. Peel your liner and spray it down top to bottom and then move on to the install.   Method 2: On older or dirtier vehicles, you have to be more careful with your prep work. You may have to go through any or all of the following steps:   

  • Clean the glass with a glass cleaner and a microfiber wipe. 
 
  • Use glass cleaner and a scrub pad to get the top edge of the glass, and use a tri edge to clean the seals. 
 
  • Spray down the seals with a good amount of pressure to get any dirt or particles out of them. 
 
  • Spray the glass with soapy water and then use a brand new razor blade top to bottom, then squeegee. 
 
  • Spray and squeegee once more, use your corner tool to force water to the sweeps, then across the sweep to the narrower corner of the window. 
 
  • Lastly, spray the film, load the top of the glass, use the squeegee, clean the edges again, then one more spray before installing. 
  Method 3: If the glass you’re working on is very old, dirty, or blemished, it may be better to replace the glass completely. This also minimizes the risk of going through the effort to clean and prep, only to see a little chip or piece of sand under the film after the entire tint job.  

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