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Heat Transfer Vinyl Remover for Lights and Darks: Review

Did you ever need to remove heat transfer vinyl from a shirt?

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There are several different ways to remove heat transfer vinyl - some use actual heat while other use a solvent.
I've tested various methods and products - but the one thing that always seems to happen is the adhesive from the HTV is left behind.

I recently came across the AlbaChem No. 1020 Removing Solvent so I decided to give it a try.

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To use this chemical heat transfer vinyl remover you'll first need to puncture the top, making a small hole.


You really want to make it as small as possible because that will allow you to have greater control of how much HTV remover comes out and where it goes.

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Heat Transfer Vinyl Remover on Lights

To use this HTV vinyl remover you want to flip your garment inside out and apply it from the back side. After the entire back side of the heat transfer vinyl design is covered in the remover, give it about a minute to work.

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Flip the shirt right side out and use a pair of tweezers or a hook to lift a corner or edge of the HTV. Once you get it going, the entire design should easily peel away.  As you can see from this quick video I was easily able to remove the heat transfer vinyl design in about 90 seconds.



The question I'm always asked is - does the HTV remover take off the adhesive too? On a white shirt it's hard to see the adhesive which is good and bad.  It's bad because it doesn't look like there's adhesive there, but if you don't get it all off it will show after you wash it. So, you want to apply more of the heat transfer vinyl remover to the front of the shirt and then use a white rag to gently rub away the adhesive.

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You can see it did a great job on this shirt. Usually you'll just have a small area that needs to be removed - but even on this large design it took off everything.  And keep in mind because the hole I punctured was so small I was really able to control where the remover went and it didn't take off the HTV in the areas that I did not want to remove.

I was able to apply a new piece of HTV on this shirt and then wash it. But when it came out of the washer there was a faint line where the original piece of HTV had been - like the color from that HTV had bled through.  This is probably the biggest con when removing HTV from white shirts.  If it's a small area it would likely not be a big deal, but just be aware that thish can happen on white shirts.

Heat Transfer Vinyl Remover on Dark Shirts

With heat transfer vinyl designs on dark colored shirts, it's far easier to see the adhesive that's left behind.

You can see that after the HTV was removed from this dark gray shirt, the adhesive was clearly left behind.

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Again, I poured some vinyl remover directly onto the adhesive from the front and used a rag to remove as much as possible.  I let the shirt dry, but could still see some of the adhesive.

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This process was repeated two more times...


....until the heat transfer vinyl and adhesive was completely removed from the shirt.
  
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I added a new piece of heat transfer vinyl in the same area.  It adhered just like normal and washed perfectly!

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By the way, there was no color bleed from the HTV onto the dark shirts - so this was a total win!

I'm happy to say, yes...this AlbaChem heat transfer vinyl remover works on both light and dark colored surfaces to remove both the HTV and the hard-to-remove adhesive.  I was actually surprised that I think it works better for dark shirts than light as long as you're patient enough to remove all of the adhesive.

The biggest con is the faint color bleed left on the white shirt from the original HTV  - but I have a feeling that may be a result of the HTV itself and not the remover.

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Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!


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5 comments

  1. so before you put more HTV on it you don't wash the chemical off? just let it dry?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Would this work the same way on a hat??

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is this better than the stuff from rhinestone world you've talked about using in the past?

    ReplyDelete
  4. does this product work for removing the adhesive from heat transfer fabric interfacing?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Positively brilliant, thank you for your review. The video is so helpful. I'm saving the link to both your blog post and the remover.
    ~ Christina in SW FL

    ReplyDelete

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