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Clear Window Decals vs. Window Clings


Clear Decals vs Clings

By Naomi J. Golbeck, Decals.com Staff


Vinyl is a well-known and versatile material. It is used to make decals, stickers, records, and even window clings.  Decals create giant wall art, while stickers decorate laptops and window clings share your store hours with the town.  But you can listen to records while doing all three! 

Sometimes though, vinyl breeds fraternal products, in this case: clear decals and window clings. Both call vinyl Mama, but they act slightly different, no, not bad different, just different.

Clings Aren’t That Clingy

 Window clings are produced from either a 4 mil transparent or 4 mil white vinyl material. Each is designed for both interior and exterior applications. Let me elaborate.

Basically, custom window clings are made out of vinyl with a low-tack adhesive, or less-sticky adhesive, thus making them ideal for repositioning. Remember those Rudolph and Frosty winter window decorations? Those are static clings, and they use static instead of an adhesive.  It’s basically the same concept, which is great if you own a business with ever changing window signs!

Decals Are Dedicated

Clear window decals are made of 4 mil transparent vinyl material that uses a high-tack adhesive or a more aggressive adhesive than our clings use.

Decals are excellent for graphics that need to, well, stick around for a while. Due to their superior stickiness, these vinyl decals are intended for permanent use. But they can be easily removed with little to no residue.  If you do have some leftover goo, then just use some warm soapy water to remove it.

Front-adhesive vs. Back-adhesive

Front-adhesive means that the front of the product sticks on the inside of a window, facing outward. Picture an indoor shopping mall, with advertisements on every storefront, many of those are probably front-adhesive products. 

Back-adhesive is used for a typical decal or sticker. The adhesive is placed on the back of the product which sits on the outside of a window, exposed to the elements, facing outward, like on store fronts.

So, what’s the breakdown?

  • Clear vinyl clings may have either front adhesive or back adhesive. 
  • White vinyl clings may only have back-adhesive.
  • Either cling material option is available only in die-cut.
  • Clear decals may have either front adhesive or back adhesive and can be die-cut or kiss-cut.
  • Any of these products can be printed in full color.

Common Uses

Clear decals are used for car windows, see our custom window decals for anything that goes on a window, or lettering on storefront windows. Many establishments use them for displaying their logos and branding. 

Clings are often used for storefront messaging like operational hours, seasonal decorative window dressings. A lot of auto shops use clear vinyl back-adhesive clings for those little oil change reminders on your windshield.


Just like humanoid twins, window decals and window clings have their differences, which are pretty much just varying degrees of stickiness and which side of the window they prefer. Both are high-quality products that you can use all year long. Whether you’re selling party supplies, office supplies or fresh produce our clings and clear decals can be used in conjunction to market your products and services.