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Are you a garment decorator who’s looking for a way to fix the peeling issue that sometimes occurs with your vinyl? Maybe you just want to remove the vinyl sticker from a shirt because it no longer fits, and you’d rather not part ways with your favorite design. Whatever the reason, you’re in luck because, unlike some other things like ink, there are some excellent ways you can remove the vinyl from a shirt without damaging either!
So stop throwing away your t-shirts after a failed attempt at correcting them, and go through this article to know everything about how a vinyl transfer works and how you can save your shirts.
How Does Vinyl Transfer?
To get vinyl out of shirts and other garments, you’ll first have to understand how it works and how it got on the shirt in the first place.
Vinyl transfers are a process that actually applies a transfer tape over a design and then heat presses the design onto your garment or whatever surface you want to apply it on. The vinyl is basically melted down and becomes part of what it’s being applied to. This product is highly sought after in the crafting industry since it allows designers to simply cut out and attach designs to t-shirts, bags, and other textiles with ease.
There are several steps involved in the process of applying the vinyl to t-shirts and other garments. Similarly, the process of removing the vinyl from the t-shirt to make room for another design is also very particular. However, it’s fun and allows you to be as creative as you want! It might take some time and perseverance to remove the vinyl from t-shirts, but there are a few methods that will allow you to do so safely and effectively- let’s find out how.
How To Remove Vinyl From Shirt
Now that you know how vinyl transfers, it’s time to learn some methods that can be useful in removing it from your shirt.
Some methods take more time than others but may feel safer if you prefer all-natural products.
When selecting a technique, check the label inside your t-shirt first. What type of fabric is it? The choice of the method also greatly varies based on the garment’s material. If you have a shirt with 100% cotton content, you can test any of these eight methods. Still, if your clothing is mainly composed of synthetic materials like polyester, we would recommend avoiding heat-based techniques. Don’t worry because we’ll help you learn how to deal with that material in this article as well.
How To Remove Vinyl From Shirt Using Commercial Vinyl Remover
Like most products, heat transferred vinyl stickers also have a remover you can buy commercially. This is an excellent way to remove the vinyl from your shirt; however, the application time might vary, and we recommend testing on a small part of your garment first before removing the entire design.
Pro Tip: Commercial products are often made with powerful chemical solvents, which produce toxic fumes. If you use this commercial product, make sure you work in a well-ventilated area!
1. Start by reading the instructions given on the back of the packaging.
2. Once done, turn your cloth inside out and apply the remover solution generously on the back of the vinyl sticker according to the guidelines given by the manufacturer’s instructions
3. Let it sit for five minutes before turning the shirt back to the right side. Pinch a little fabric on either side of the decal with your finger, then pull back and forth. This will release the fibers beneath the vinyl.
4. Use your tweezers to pick the sticker’s edges and remove them gently. Wash the t-shirt as usual to remove any residue
How To Remove Vinyl From Shirt Using Rubbing Alcohol
If you want to take the route of using household items, then rubbing alcohol is an excellent solvent to dissolve the adhesive. This method works best on fabrics that are composed of 50% or more cotton. The best part is that it doesn’t require heat, so you can use it on fabrics that caution against it.
1. Turn the shirt inside out and thoroughly saturate the decal with your rubbing alcohol solution.
2. Use your fingers to pull and loosen the fabric from the vinyl, then turn the t-shirt right side out.
3. Pick up the loose vinyl decal with tweezers or a knife. If the vinyl does not easily lift away, you may need to scrape pieces of it away.
4. Repeat the process if necessary; if not, then wash the cloth with cold water.
How To Remove Vinyl From Shirt Using Iron
Using an iron to remove vinyl decals is possibly the quickest and most accessible method on this list. Since vinyl uses heat to get on the shirt, it is only sensible that you use heat to get it off. The only point of caution is to use the iron carefully, as getting sticky vinyl glued to your iron is the worst outcome.
1. Set your iron to the highest heat the fabric can handle and lay down a towel inside the shirt, with the vinyl decal facing up.
2. Find a piece of paper large enough to cover the entire decal. You can use printer paper or a brown paper bag for this. You should not use paper that might have a waxy coating, like wrapping paper
3. Press the iron on the decal- one part to another- every 30 seconds. Now slowly peel away the paper so that the vinyl also peels off with it.
4. If you see that the vinyl hasn’t come off completely, use fresh paper to repeat the process.
Pro Tip: If the paper technique fails to work, you can also press the iron directly onto the decal’s reverse and scrape away the vinyl with a knife. Although your hands are close to the hot iron when you do this procedure, so, be cautious.
How To Remove Vinyl From Shirt Using Hair Dryer
Using heat does not have to be limited to iron. You can also use your hairdryer. This is the best solution for removing vinyl off white T-shirts or other light-colored fabrics that are sensitive to direct heat!
1. Insert a towel or cardboard inside your shirt and lay it flat with the decal facing up.
2. Turn on the hairdryer and set it to the highest heat that the fabric can take. Now slowly move the hairdryer back and forth, holding it as close as possible to the vinyl decal- but not touching it.
3. Continue this movement for about 30 seconds, then use tweezers to pick the decal’s edges—Peel off as much of it as possible.
4. Repeat the process again if the entire decal isn’t removed yet.
How To Remove Vinyl From Shirt Using Acetone
Acetone is not only the most powerful of all household solvents, but it can also be found in your kitchen cupboard! It will dissolve the adhesive making it easier for you to peel it off. Here are the steps you need to follow to remove the vinyl decal from the garment.
1. Turn your T-shirt inside out and pour acetone on the decal so that the fabric is completely soaked.
2. Use a cotton ball or cotton pad to rub the decal until you see that it is starting to break up.
3. Tug at the fabric with your fingers and wiggle the decal back and forth to loosen it up. Now turn the shirt back to the right side before using tweezers to peel an edge of the design.
4. You can also use a knife to peel away the decal. Once the decal is off, wash the cloth thoroughly to remove acetone.
How To Remove Vinyl From Shirt Using Petroleum Jelly
Using petroleum jelly to remove the vinyl from the shirt may be more time-consuming than all the other methods listed here. Still, it is nonetheless an excellent follow-up solution to remove any residue.
1. Turn the shirt inside out and stretch it from corner to corner by stuffing flat cardboard inside it.
2. Pour petroleum jelly on the decal and rub it in with your fingers to get an even coat of grease over the design.
2. Now, drop a few drops of liquid detergent on the decal, and mix in gentle circular motions. You will see that the adhesive is peeling off and chumming together.
3. Rinse the shirt under hot water to remove the vinyl decal completely. It is possible that the petroleum jelly leaves behind an oily patch, so wash the cloth in your washing machine instantly.
How To Remove Vinyl From Shirt Using Washing Dryer
Mixing cold water and heat is the best way to dissolve the vinyl adhesive. This is why using a washing dryer can be especially handy! It is by far the simplest method to remove the vinyl decal and works best if you instantly follow the steps after making a mistake!
1. Throw the shirt you want to get vinyl off into your washing machine.
2. Once washed, shift it to the dryer and set it on the hot setting. This will loosen the vinyl quickly.
3. Peel off any lingering bits of decal using your fingers, knife, or tweezer.
Pro Tip: This method is not only great for removing vinyl from shirts but also works as a follow-up solution for other methods in case you want to get rid of the adhesive residue.
How To Remove Vinyl Or HTV From Polyester Shirt
Polyester, unlike cotton, reacts badly with just about every solvent and will melt rather than dissolve. This means that you’ll never be able to use acetone or petroleum jelly to get rid of the design on your shirt! You can, however, use a combination of methods such as using water and heat from a hairdryer to soften up the adhesive.
If you do not have any other alternative and have to use an iron to remove a vinyl decal, then ensure that the heat is set to the lowest. Many household irons now come with a synthetic setting that will help you pick the right temperature.
Another way to see if you can use the methods listed above on polyester safely is to test a small section of the shirt before using any solvent on the entire garment.
We hope you find this detailed guide on how to remove vinyl from shirt helpful! The process of removing the vinyl decal from your beloved T-shirt can be a little time-consuming, but it is not hectic or expensive at all, so don’t panic if you made a mistake while putting on the sticker. There is no need to replace it or buy a new one- all you need to do is follow these methods and safely remove the decal from the cloth!