How to Remove Old Helmet Decals

How to Remove Old Helmet Decals

Are you ready to give your helmet a whole new look, but it’s covered in stickers or decals? Don’t think that buying a new helmet is your only solution. Whether you’re changing teams, switching numbers or are just ready for something new, it’s easier than you think to remove any sticker or decal from your helmet. Before you know it, you’ll be back to playing your favorite sport with the helmet you love and a new, fresh style. All it takes are a few household items and a little patience. You won’t even need a product like Goo-Gone or WD40 to get you there. Here are some quick and easy solutions for you to remove those stickers in no time. pexels-photo-186076.jpeg

Getting Started

Before getting down to helmet decal removal, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure incredible results. First off, some stickers and decals will be trickier than others to entirely remove. This often depends on the sticker’s quality as well-made stickers are often easier to take off. Time can also be a factor. A sticker adhered to a helmet for years will often be more stubborn than a recently applied one. But no matter the quality or time, worry not! Every sticker has the potential for complete removal. Also, NEVER use strong or solvent-based liquids to remove your stickers. Not only could it damage the paint or aesthetics of the helmet, but it could also decrease the safety of the helmet itself. Now, let’s check out the different techniques for decal removal.

Taking Off the Decal

Credit Card, Plastic Knife or Razor Blade

Depending on the quality and stickiness, it’s often possible to use an old credit card, plastic knife or razor blade to remove the sticker from your helmet. Simply use your chosen item to carefully pry up one edge of the decal just enough so you can get a grip on it. Then, slowly start peeling away from the helmet. Don’t go too fast as this can cause the sticker or decal to tear into smaller, harder to peel pieces. Taking your time now will likely save more time in the long run. It’s harder to remove multiple tiny pieces rather than one big one.

Fishing Line

If a stubborn, sticky decal is giving you a problem, try using a tough fishing line to remove it from your helmet. As strange as it sounds, it really does work! First, wind a length of the line around each index finger with about 8-9 inches of string in between while tightly held. Then, while using a sawing motion, carefully pull the fishing line under the edge of the decal and ease it through the sticker. This will cut through the adhesive and remove the decal smoothly. Fishing line can do a number on your fingers if you’re not careful, so we recommend wearing gloves for this method.


Microwave a bowl of vinegar until it’s warm—not hot or boiling. It shouldn’t be too hot to handle with your fingers. Then, wet a rag or paper towel with the vinegar and rub the sticker with the liquid. Be sure to thoroughly get into the edges of the decal so it comes in complete contact with the adhesive. Let it soak for about 5 minutes. Once the vinegar has been allowed to fully soak into the adhesive, start slowly peeling the sticker away. You may need to repeat this process several times before completely removing the decal.


A carefully controlled heat source—most commonly a household hair dryer—can also work as a great method to remove decals from helmets. Just make sure the heat isn’t high enough to potentially melt the helmet which could lead to a decrease in safety. Turn your heat source onto the lowest heat setting. Then, direct the heat straight onto the sticker for several minutes. This allows the heat to soften the sticker or decal’s glue enough for you to start peeling it away using your fingers or one of the methods above, like a credit card, fishing line or razor.

Cleaning Off the Adhesive

The work’s not always over, even after the decal’s been removed. If adhesive residue still remains after sticker removal, here are a few tricks to remove it. Once the sticker or decal itself has been completely removed, simply a cloth soaked with warm soap and water usually does the trick. Just rub the adhesive in a circular motion with soap and water until it’s completely removed. If that doesn’t seem to work, try rubbing the adhesive with nail polish remover or an oil-based substance like baby oil, vegetable oil or mineral oil. This should take care of any stubborn stickiness. If household items aren’t working, products like Goo-Gone work very well to get that last bit of adhesive off. Once the adhesive has been entirely removed, rinse off any remaining residue off with water and dry. Now you have a helmet that looks brand new and is ready for a new set of great decals! Looking for incredible helmet decals trusted by coaches since 1972? Then trust the team at Sports Decals. Get a free online quote now, or call us directly at 800-435-6110.
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