Window film question
April 19, 2014
We are planning on putting window film in our bathroom. I am extremely sensitive to all sorts of building materials and am wondering if anybody has used window film and noticed what the odor is like.

I find vinyl to be too strong smelling for me. I use nylon shower curtain liners instead of plastic because those are too strong. I am concerned that window film might be a problem too.

I'm going to duck into Lowe's today to see if they have some I can catch a whiff of. So many of the ones we see are online. If only the internet were scratch and sniff! Any insight you have into the odor of these and what brand you have used would be great.
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I work at a home improvement store and I don't recall these foils to be smelly. Use the static type, they come without glue. Or buy some and lay them out for a while. The smell is mostly new-ness and will come off (as will it with plastic curtains and vinyl).

Is it just psychological sensitivity or are you allergic/migrains too?
    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 11:47AM
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I went to Lowe's this afternoon and the ones they had there were super stinky. Even my husband said they were gross. I am glad I tested those ones out. I will search to see if there are some other brands. But perhaps I will have to go with curtains instead of window film.

I don't know why some chemicals bother me. And I am not sure what psychological sensitivity is. I have never heard that term before. It all started after chemotherapy. Suddenly so many smells started to bother me that never did before. I get a fluttering feeling in my throat and burning red eyes and get light headed. Even strong natural smells like essential oils. I am so sensitive to everything. At least it has made me a whole lot more aware of what kinds of chemicals are in so many of the things we buy for our house and for the most part I have found good alternatives. Who wants to be breathing in VOCs anyway?
    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 3:08PM
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I understand. Having too many chemicals/toxins in your body probably makes your alarm system go wild.
(at least I guess so, I'm allergic to most chemicals and when eating too many conserved/canned/sweetened foods and using ordinary shampoos and such I get rashes all over, but I refuse to get tested)
    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 3:13PM
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Depending upon what you want the film to do for you there are many options that dont have the heavy VOC adhesives. If you want something decorative, many of these products will have an odor to the adhesive. Static cling product have little odor but lack the durability and clarity of adhesive films. Find a local pro to show you options and make recommendations.
    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 12:00PM
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We bought decorative window film through an eBay dealer two years ago, an older type (we later learned) with adhesive backing, as opposed to the newer type, which simply clings to a dampened window. The smell has been annoying, and we don't know if it's connected to the adhesive or to the plastic film itself. It's worse when the sun directly hits the windows. As many types of plastic emit an odor when heated, it may not be the adhesive that we smell. We've tried to find health or safety information about this without success, but it seems that the plastic is releasing molecules of some kind into the air. To remove, we'd have to pull the film off (in one piece hopefully) then use a scraper or steel wool and mineral spirits to remove the adhesive! It's nuts that products can be marketed and sold with no testing for problems like this being done first. It never occured to us that odor would be an issue.
    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 5:42AM
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Not knowing who actually made the product you purchased I would guess that it is a low quality overseas manufactured film with a questionable adhesive. Some of these products use vinyls as well which can carry their own odor. If it smells that bad, remove it and get something from a reputable source like

Don't use mineral spirits for removal, the adhesive will soften with soapy water and a razor scraper will remove the rest. Less chemicals wherever possible is a good idea.

As far as newer static cling films, there are fewer options available but they can be easier to install. My experience has been that they are not as optically clear as adhesive backed films and may need some "touch up" reapplication down the road. This is simple to do, just peel and attach like the original installation with squeegee and water. Some cling films can carry an odor as well, always best to see samples before you buy and install.

We install adhesive backed films every day and all of the best quality products are still adhesive backed. The durability and clarity of adhesive backed films make them the best choice available. Dealing with a professional installer should allow you to enjoy years of problem and odor free living.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 6:24AM
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I forgot to add that will let you order up to 5 samples at no cost to help you pick the right product for your home. We also have sample books available for clients in the markets we serve.
1 Like    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 6:34AM
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