There are basically, two ways you can add vinyl to a shirt. Iron-on transfer and heat transfer. While you can easily brand a shirt using heat transfer vinyl, for some reason you may want to remove it. It is a little tricky to remove heat transfer vinyl from a shirt but not impossible. If you are in a situation where you want to remove heat transfer vinyl from your shirt then you are at the right place. We will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to remove heat transfer vinyl from your shirt.
Why remove heat transfer vinyl?
There are several reasons why you might be interested in removing heat transfer vinyl from a shirt. However, the most common reasons why people would want to remove heat transfer vinyl from a shirt include;
- You made a mistake while applying the heat transfer vinyl to the shirt but still want to continue on the project you were doing. Rather than starting from scratch again, it is much easier to remove the vinyl and continue.
- You want to refresh a peeling vinyl or revamp old clothing. If you have old clothing whose vinyl is peeling off, then you can choose to remove the vinyl and refresh or reuse the clothing without having to incur great expenses.
- When you want to recycle old crafts. Some of the vinyl applied to old craft maybe be outdated. Instead of throwing away the whole craft, you can choose to remove the heat transfer vinyl and repurpose the craft and thus preventing much waste.
There are many other reasons why you may want to remove heat transfer vinyl from a shirt. Whatever reason you have to remove the vinyl from a shirt don’t worry, we are going to guide you until you are completely satisfied with your project.
What materials do you need?
- Iron box
- Needle nosed tweezers
- Set the temperature
You will need to plug in the iron box and set it. Depending on the material of the shirt you need to remove the vinyl from, you may need to set the iron box temperature on different settings for it to work as efficiently as possible. For cotton and linen, set the temperature at the highest level or 302 degrees F. Polyester on the other hand is lighter and therefore burns much easily, use 275 degrees F. Nylon is the lightest of all and requires the lightest setting.
- Place the shirt over the iron
With the iron set at the right temperature, it is now time to start working on the adhesive Pull the shirt tightly on the area where you want to remove the vinyl and place the shirt over the iron. Be patient for the adhesive to start melting rather than choosing to increase the temperature setting of your iron. If you raise the temperature suddenly you risk ruining your shirt or the vinyl coming out in bits rather than in one smooth piece.
- Pick away the heat transfer Vinyl
When do you know that the heat transfer vinyl is hot enough to start picking it off? You can easily know that the heat transfer vinyl is ready to be removed when you see it peeling away from the shirt or when it starts to wrinkle. You can now start picking it slowly from the edges. If the temperature is right, it should peel off much easier.
- Remove traces of adhesive
Heat transfer vinyl usually sticks to a shirt with the help of an adhesive. As such, it is likely that once you have removed the vinyl using this method, there will be traces of adhesive left on your shirt. There are two ways you can easily use to get these traces of adhesive from your shirt:
- Wash your shirt in a washing machine. Once you have washed your shirt, turn on the hot setting on your dryer (Make sure your shirt is machine hot washable, otherwise it might shrink). This should be able to get rid of the adhesive. If it doesn’t, then try using a steamer instead.
- Use an adhesive remover such as Goo gone. Adhesive removers have some chemical components that work on the adhesive breaking its bond with the shirt easily. However, when using Goo gone, make sure that the shirt has cooled off completely. When you are done, wash your shirt before using it again.
What should you avoid when removing heat transfer vinyl?
To avoid any damage or ruin to your shirt, take the following precautions removing heat transfer vinyl:
- Use Goo gone on completely cooled off clothes. Furthermore, never use Goo gone on leather and silk as it will damage the fabric.
- A heat press won’t work as well as iron. Therefore don’t use one.
- Washing your shirt before beginning the heat transfer vinyl is helpful as it loosens the vinyl making it much easier to remove.
- When using the dryer, set the correct temperature for the fabric you are drying. If you are not careful on this end you might end up with a shrunk shirt.
Is it possible to remove Iron-On Transfers?
Even though most iron-on transfers are permanent, you can still be able to remove the vinyl from your shirt. You will need to use a bit of heat and an adhesive remover. Vinyl Letter Remover will aid you greatly in loosening up the transfer if you can get hold of it.
How do you remove heat transfer Vinyl with acetone?
Using an iron is the safest option in terms of preserving your fabric when removing heat transfer vinyl. However, you can still use acetone to remove vinyl as well. All you need to do is pour the acetone in the area affected by the vinyl, straighten the cloth and rub it vigorously. This method takes longer so you will have to exercise some patience. Moreover, acetone may remove the color from your fabric. It is therefore recommended that you exercise caution by trying a patch test.
Hooray! You have done it! With this guide, you are now able to repurpose, reuse and refresh your clothes. You don’t have to be wasteful because of bad vinyl on your favorite shirt or even worry about starting your project from scratch when you have made a mistake applying heat transfer vinyl. We hope you have acquired the skills to work it off like a pro and get impressive results. With these skills, you can as well improve your crafting skills.