by Chris Ripper
Car window tinting is an awesome way to make your truck stand out from the crowd and has a lot of added benefits like reduced interior heat and sun protection. Once you get your truck's windows tinted though, there are some tips that will help make sure your tinting lasts a lifetime and keeps looking hot.
Tinting film is very thin and applied with a soap and water solution to your truck's windows. Once the film is on the window, technicians use squeegees and other tools to smooth it onto the surface of your window. Since it's a wet application, there is curing time involved. It's recommended that you don't touch roll your windows down for a minimum of 48 hours if the weather is hot and sunny. If the conditions are more like Spring or Fall, then you should avoid touching or rolling down the newly applied tinting for the first five days after it's been applied. Complete curing of the car window tinting takes up to 30 to 45 days.
In the first few days after getting your windows done, you might be tempted to break out the window cleaner because you may see streaks and a foggy appearance. Resist the urge! This is a natural thing as the tint film cures and adheres itself tightly to your glass. The window film generally isn't cleaned after installation because it's so sensitive before it's cured. The film should clear up mostly on its own as the curing process advances.
Another issue you might see during the beginning of the curing process is small water pockets in the car window tinting. Small bubbles are normal as the droplets of water will evaporate and the film will shrink against the glass. If the pockets are larger than the size of a dime, you should return to where you had the tint applied and seek their advice. In most cases however, the water will evaporate with exposure to the sun and the bubbles will disappear within a few days.
Once you've waited out the five days, you can clean your windows with a soft cloth and an ammonia free cleaner. Stay away from the blue glass cleaners, they generally have ammonia in them, and this can react with your car window tinting and cause permanent streaks or blotches. Stick with cleaners that are made with vinegar or citrus, or get the ones made specifically for tinted windows. Make sure you always use a soft cloth and stay away from the harsher paper towels or other abrasive products as they can scratch your tinting.
Even though the film becomes fairly durable once it's cured, you'll still have to be careful not to hit it with sharp objects or rub against it. Nothing looks worse than having great, dark tinted windows with a big old scratch on a window from a box that you were loading that jammed against your car window or a flyaway seat belt! Speaking of seat belts, did you know that seat belts are the #1 cause of damage to window tint? Next time you are a passenger in a car, watch the driver unhook their seat belt and see if it hits the door or window. Be extra careful with any type of hard or sharp object near your window film.
Stickers, decals and suction cup type holders are definite things to keep away from your tinted windows. Any of these can damage the surface of your window film and cause ugly looking blotches. If for whatever reason you end up with adhesive residue on your window film, use a bit of acetone VERY sparingly to remove it. NEVER use a razor blade to try to remove any type of adhesive product from your car window tinting as this will likely cause severe damage.
Finally, a little known but important fact to consider. Over time, the gasket that surrounds your truck windows when you raise and lower them can become coated in dirt particles that might scratch the surface of your windows, and especially your tint film. If you're a handy sort of guy, you should consider cleaning the tracks and gaskets at least once a year to keep them as dirt free as possible. This will really improve the lifespan of your tinting job and keep it looking newer, longer.
Car window tinting does mean you have to put a bit more effort when cleaning and caring for your windows, but the great looks and the added protection for your truck make it totally worth your effort! And if you ever have questions about window tint or anything else, give our experts a call at Chux Trux. We're here to help.
By: Chris Ripper