How to Remove Vinyl and HTV

You may want to remove vinyl because of a mistake or to reuse the base materials. Regardless, it is possible and there are many ways to get this done.

Sometimes I get tired of seeing the same DIY piece at home and want to switch it out. It seems so expensive to just throw the whole thing out. Once in a while, I will just remove the decal and redo a new look on the base material.

Other times, I made a mistake, the decal is lopsided or I iron on the wrong thing. Either way, it’s not a big deal, you can just take it off and redo the project altogether without wasting the base material.

Here’s a few ways to remove Vinyl and HTV depending on your situation:

Removing Vinyl Decals with a blow dryer

Ideal for…mugs, ceramics, glass, heat proof items

This is probably the most common situation I encounter. I have a decal on a mug or a bottle and I want to switch it up.

As long as the base material can take some heat, the easiest way to just use your blow dryer on the vinyl decal. Heat it up for about 30 seconds. I find most of the time I can just scrape an edge with my nail and peel the rest off.

You can use a scraper, credit card or tweezers to get things started as well.

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Removing Vinyl with Washing Soda

Ideal for: Heat sensitive items or a decal with a lot of little pieces.

I usually have some washing soda around as a laundry detergent booster. If my base material is sensitive to heat like an acrylic or plastic cut, I will soak it in a washing soda solution for about 20 minutes and the whole thing slides off:

How to Remove Vinyl Residue

Once in a while, there will be some sticky stuff left over. In this scenario, I have a few solutions.

The easiest way is to apply some Goo Gone and wipe.

If you don’t have any around, and your base item can be scrubbed, I would do a simple mixture of oil and baking soda. I get to a dryer paste and just rub the residue off. Then just wash the item with soap and water.

Nail polish remover works a lot of the time as well but I find it reacts and etches some surfaces so it is usually a last resort for me.

How to Remove HTV

I find the easiest way to remove mistakes is to use an iron or heat press. I sort of drape the piece over the iron and wait for the HTV to heat up a bit. It will start warping at which point you can just peel it off.

You could also use Goo Gone or Nail polish remover to remove HTV. I like to dip a little with a q-tip and start at an edge and just wiping it off. It take a few tries. The base material underneath the HTV usually has to be covered in the solution.

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remove vinyl and HTV
How to remove vinyl

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