We had to call in the professionals.
2 weeks ago, June decided she would strip off the solar film coating the inside of our windows 'cos she wanted a brighter house. Her first attempt was in the guest room where she started peeling the film off one shred at a time. The film is stuck on so tightly it takes quite some effort to remove and it really is slow going. Worse, the film leaves behind a nasty adhesive residue that opaques out the window even worse than ever. Undaunted, June used a rag and a bit of water to scrub each window clean of the gummy stuff, failing which she tried paint thinner which smudged the window worse than ever, then she enlisted my help and together we both ripped at the remaining windows in the guest room, followed by the windows in our living room. Once you start, you can't stop.
Ripping out the film is the fun part. Scrubbing the windows clean, that was the killer. All our household solvents were less help than the elbow grease we eventually resorted to. Before long, we developed serious blisters on nearly all our fingers and had to concede defeat. 5 panes completely clean, 1 pane semi-clean, 1 pane left untouched and 4 panes left in our bedroom also untouched. It took us close to a whole week to get this far. However, this wouldn't do for the new year. All the film had to go, and all the panes clean else it'll just look and feel half-done.
June found Window-Cool, a company that does solar shielding and today they came over to finish the job for us. The rep was quite impressed with what we had accomplished so far -- but at what cost, we asked, thinking of our poor, abused fingers. The pros had a bladed tool that easily stripped the film off without scratching the glass. Phase 2 involved a chemical solvent that they sprayed on the window which they then scraped clean with a smaller bladed tool and finally buffed with cloth. 5-and-a-half panes completely clean in 30 minutes. Casualties: none. Damage to wallet: $120. Should'a called them in earlier.