You’re rushing to design a shirt, maybe because you want to complete an order by the day, or perhaps you want to be able to have your shirt ready to wear in time for a trip with your friends.
So you’re hurriedly making your design, cutting the vinyl, laying it on the shirt, and pressing it into place. You hold up your shirt, and you see that you messed it up! What will you do now? Throw the shirt away and start over?
NO! Don’t toss away that shirt. You can save it instead! But how?
Is it possible to remove vinyl off a t-shirt?
Yes! Vinyl can be removed from a t-shirt using appropriate methods.
How To Get Vinyl Off a Shirt?
To get the vinyl off a shirt, it is first loosened from the shirt and then scrapped off. The things which can help you clean out your shirt include:
- Household iron
Let’s see how you can easily remove the vinyl oopsie off your tee entirely by using some tricks that I will share with you today.
Top Tricks of Removing Vinyl from T-shirts
Method 1: Removing Vinyl Off a Shirt Through Hairdryer
This is how you can unstick the vinyl on your t-shirt using your hairdryer,
Step a: Layout your tee on a flat surface.
Also, consider slipping a towel or a cardboard/thick paper inside your tee to avoid ruining the other side of the fabric.
Step b: Plug your hairdryer, set it to the highest heat and then blow its hot air close to the vinyl transfer.
Note: This step requires patience because the vinyl might take some time to give in to the heat; it’ll surely start coming off.
Step c: Once you have noticed your heat vinyl transfer loosening, stop the hairdryer, use a sharp knife to help peel off the vinyl for even much easier removal.
Start by working along the edge of the design. Once you manage to remove one part of your transfer, pulling the rest should get easier.
Note: If you are working on an extensive design, consider doing a single heated segment of your vinyl transfer at a time to help keep it hot for easy scrapping.
Step d: After you have removed all the vinyl, your shirt will still have some adhesive residue left. Grab rubbing alcohol or adhesive remover to help you get rid of it. I found the Goo Gone adhesive remover to be quite useful.
Method 2: Removing Vinyl Off a Shirt Using Household Iron
Using household iron is one of the easiest and most popular methods used to unstick those vinyl letters or artwork you pressed onto the shirt using the best t-shirt press.
For this job, you’ll need the following:
- Ironing board
- Wax paper
- A small towel or rag
- T-shirt to be worked on
Steps to Follow:
Step a: Prepare the shirt for ironing.
Place your t-shirt on the ironing board. Layout the t-shirt flat on the board and ensure the design faces up. (Just in case, if you don’t have an ironing board with you, just lay a towel over a flat solid surface such as the table, washing machine, counter, dryer, etc.)
Next, slip a small towel or rag inside your tee such that it lays directly under the vinyl art you wish to remove. This helps prevent damage to the other side of the tee.
Step b: Heat the iron.
Now it’s time to grab that iron and heat it to complete the job. It is suggested that you make your iron as hot as possible to unstick the vinyl successfully.
Note: If you’re unsure which heat settings to use on the iron, then consider starting it with Medium heat setting and slowly increasing it until you find the right temperatures for your tee’s fabric.
Step c: Unsticking the vinyl
Before beginning to iron, you would want to lay the paper wax right on the vinyl art.
When vinyl transfer melts under heat, it will stick to the wax paper, and when removing the paper, it will simply peel the vinyl off of your tee. This makes unsticking vinyl much easier.
Start ironing your shirt. Work from the corner of your design and then find your way across to the other end.
Try to move your iron in quick strokes. Once you notice the edges coming off, quickly move the iron in the direction of the entire vinyl transfer. This will help the transfer to continue peeling and possibly burn as you go.
Continue ironing until all the vinyl is unstuck from your t-shirt.
Step d: Get rid of the remaining adhesive.
After having entirely removed the vinyl, your t-shirt might have some adhesive residue. You can use adhesive remove (e.g., Goo Gone) or you can try rubbing alcohol to remove the residue for a much cleaner look.
You can now continue washing your shirt as you normally would.
Method 3: Removing Vinyl Off a shirt Using Alcohol
If you fear that the hairdryer and ironing methods might end up damaging your tee, consider using a solvent such as rubbing alcohol.
In this method, heating the tee is not required, so you don’t have to worry about melting your garment due to high heat.
How to use rubbing alcohol to remove the vinyl from the shirt:
Step a: Turn your tee inside out and place it so that the side with the transfer behind it is facing up.
Step b: Grab the rubbing alcohol and apply it over your garment area, which has the vinyl design on the other side. The alcohol will soak through the fabric and loosen the adhesive bond.
Consider stretching the fabric to help the solvent penetrate the adhesive for better results.
Note: BEFORE applying the solvent on the shirt, consider using it on a small area of the cloth first to see whether the chemical will damage the t-shirt or not.
Step c: Give the solvent a few minutes to rest, and then try to peel up the vinyl. If the solvent works, the transfer will easily peel off the garment. A sharp knife or scraper can be used to make the peel up process easier.
You can also use the hairdryer for some heat to see if it’ll make the peeling process easier.
Step d: Now, use an adhesive remover of your choice to remove any residue left after you’re done removing the transfer.
Note: If you use this method, be sure to wash your shirt separately. This will help prevent any possible damage by the chemicals that are still soaked in the tee fabric to other clothes.
Can You Mend The Wrinkle in Heat Transfer Vinyl?
If you followed this article up until this point, then your clothes should be useful for a long time to come.
But things hardly go as planned, don’t they?
If you mistakenly got your vinyl shirt all wrinkled up, then the best solution to this is that you remove it altogether and do fresh ironing on it.
To remove the wrinkles, follow the instructions down below:
- Turn the cloth inside-out.
- Set your iron at the lowest temperature.
- Start ironing it.
- Give the vinyl transfer some time to cool off and then peel it away while it’s still a little bit hot.
- Now that your shirt doesn’t have any transfer prints on it put it in the drier to let it dry a bit.
- Once the tee has warmed up a bit, use your hands to smoothen it out.
- Now just lay it on the table and come back once it’s all fresh as new!
If you make a mistake when youâ€™re designing your tee with HTV, you can easily remove it using one of the top methods described above. Since the ironing and hairdryer methods involve using a lot of heat, you should make a point of checking your garment care instructions care first to avoid damaging it in the process.
For the chemical solvent method, you should test the chemical over a small area of your tee first to see if it’ll damage the garment.
Beatrix Ainsley (Bea to her friends) is an abstract artist who was heavily inspired in her twenties by the abstract expressionist movement of the 1940s. Since then Bea has acquired three degrees in Science, Education and most importantly Fine Art. Her art works showcase exploring emotion and introspection of self. To achieve this – the use of bold, sweeping, intricate layers of color, and spontaneity of form is enhanced by reflecting on decades of life experiences. Bea has amassed a vast knowledge of art in all its forms, and hopes to pass it on with her contributions here.