How to Remove a Pinstripe Tape

Kenneth Crawford

One common method to enhance the look of a vehicle is pinstripe tape. Pinstripe tape is usually a line of color that runs the length of your car. This tape is susceptible to weather, like any other type of adhesive tape. The ends of the tape lift up or the tape begins to disintegrate.

To remedy the look of battered tape, you first need to remove the existing pinstripe tape. Once it is removed, you can apply new pinstripe, if you so choose.

  1. Mix a solution of pH-neutral soap and water in a bucket, according to the directions on the back of the soap product.

  2. Wash the area around the pinstripe with the soap solution. Rinse with clean water and wipe the area dry with a soft towel. Alternatively, you can clean the area with a wax and grease remover. If you choose to use a wax and grease remover, first test it on an inconspicuous place on your car to make sure it does not damage the paint finish.

  3. Heat one end of the pinstripe with a hair dryer or heat gun. Hold the end of the heat gun 2 inches away from the surface and move in short, left-to-right motions. Scrape the end of the pinstripe off the vehicle with a plastic putty knife or pull the end with your finger as you are heating it. Slowly peel off the pinstripe.

  4. Continue heating and peeling until the entire pinstripe is off the vehicle. Apply paint-safe surface cleaner to the area to remove any adhesive residue. Wash the area thoroughly with the soap solution and allow it to dry.

  5. Tip

    If necessary, remove any handles or trim that may be on top of the existing pinstripe. Factory pinstripe does not usually go under handles and trim, but many after-market accessories may do so.