How to Remove Heat Transfer Vinyl from a Shirt Easily?

Using an iron to press heat transfer vinyl onto a shirt is an exciting way to express your style and add a cool design to different clothing items.

However, mistakes sometimes occur and the end results become faulty. Occasionally, you may get tired of looking at a design.

So what should you do when you want to remove a heat transfer vinyl from a shirt?

How to Remove Heat Transfer Vinyl from a Shirt


To get started, place the shirt on a flat surface that is not sensitive to heat. A table top or ironing board will suffice.

Place a small rag or towel inside the shirt to prevent any potential damage to the other side of the garment. You can also use a thin plywood or piece of cardboard.

Make sure that you check the garment care instructions so that you don’t heat it beyond the recommended settings.

Heat the transfer using a hairdryer at the hottest settings and held close to the design. This will cause the adhesive to become malleable enough for removable.

If you don’t have a hairdryer, you can use steam. Simply place a wet towel over the design and put a hot iron on top of it. This will have the same effect as the hairdryer.

Use a sharp knife to scrape off the loosened transfer.

Repeat the last two steps until you have scraped off all the transfer. Be patient as this is a slow method of heat transfer vinyl removal.


It is important that you use a chemical solvent that’s special made for removal of heat transfer vinyl. You can also try household solvents like nail polish remover, adhesive remover or alcohol.

Place the shirt in the dryer at high heat for a few minutes. This will loosen the adhesive on the transfer. Remove it from the dryer then turn the shirt inside out such that inside of the shirt with the vinyl behind it faces up.

You will want to test the solvent on a small area to make sure it doesn’t damage your shirt. Now you can apply the chemical solvent to all areas of the shirt with vinyl on the other side.

Stretch the fabric so that the solvent can soak through and loosen the adhesive. Apply more solvent if necessary.

Peel off the transfer. Keep in mind that you need to scrape the transfer with a knife or apply extra heat to speed things along.


Place the shirt on an ironing board with the transfer facing up. You can use any hard surface like a counter, dryer, washing machine or table if you don’t have an ironing board.

Be sure to place a towel, thin plywood or cardboard between the shirt to prevent unnecessary damage to the other side of the shirt.

Check the care instructions of the garment and ensure that the iron is as hot as possible. If you are worried about damaging your shirt, start with a medium heat setting and gradually increase the heat until you find the right temperature.

Place a wax paper over the vinyl and iron directly over the paper. The transfer will slowly melt, allowing you to easily peel off the letters. Watch the following video to get better understanding.


Once you have removed all of the heat transfer vinyl, make sure you remove the residual glue. Use an adhesive remover or rubbing alcohol to remove any glue residue after removing all of the transfer.

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