How to Remove Iron-On Heat Transfers

Updated November 21, 2016

Iron-on heat transfers are often used to decorate or embellish clothing and fabric. Unfortunately, iron-on heat transfers do not always iron on exactly as they were intended. At times they stain or crack and the remaining shirt below becomes unwearable with the transfer still on. There are many ways to remove a transfer, through manipulating either the transfer or the glue. Many sources recommend placing a piece of parchment paper and reheating the area with an iron. This method is less effective due to only parts of the transfer being removed and bits of glue remaining.

Focusing on the glue is a more direct way to solve the problem and saves you the extra step of removing both the transfer and the glue.

Place the fabric that sports the transfer on a table with the glue side facing up. This will be the inside of the clothing or piece of cloth.

Wet a corner of the cleaning cloth with rubbing alcohol so it is moist but not dripping.

Gently dab rubbing alcohol, using a circular motion, over the entire back of the transfer. The transfer should begin to peel off, with no residue remaining.

If any iron-on transfer remains, remove with tweezers and dab again with rubbing alcohol.

Wash the article of clothing or fabric in warm water, with detergent, to remove the rubbing alcohol.


An outline may still be on your clothing or fabric due to sun fading.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Tweezers
  • Washing powder
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