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HTV Care and Washing Instructions

HTV Care and Washing Instructions

Aug 30th 2021

HTV Care and Washing Instructions

Yay! You have your new, customized garments decorated with HTV but what comes next? How do you care for your personalized clothing? Taking care of your heat transfer vinyl decorated creation is a must, let’s talk about some easy things to keep in mind to make sure your garments are well taken care of and last a lifetime!


Don't wash for at least 24 hours after pressing

HTV needs time to cure. When you press your HTV, the adhesive is activated by heat. In order for the adhesive to stick, it needs time to harden and cool without interruption. If you take your garment and immediately wash and dry it, there’s a good chance the vinyl could peel or crack. You should also wait 24-48 hours to wear the shirt. You do this because sweat can loosen the adhesive if it is not completely set. If you are planning on selling the garment, tell your customers to wait 24-48 hours before wearing it to protect the vinyl!

Don't dry clean

You should never dry clean garments decorated with HTV. The dry cleaning process has a lot of chemicals and high temperatures that will damage your heat transfer vinyl.

Wash and dry inside out

This step is recommended for not only the intial wash, but also every wash / dry cycle after that. When washing and drying clothes, they rub against each other and can cause irritation or abrasion of the HTV. If you wash the garments inside out, there is an extra layer of protection between your vinyl and the other clothing in the laundry.

Choose cold or warm water for washing

When washing clothing decorated with HTV, you should never use temperatures that exceed 178 F. If the temperature of the water is too high, it can weaken the adhesive of the vinyl, causing it to peel or crack with time. We recommend washing in cold or warm water.

Use mild detergent

Any detergent that has special additives to "whiten", "fight stains", or "brighten colors" is going to be too harsh for your HTV. Also, “green” detergent is typically too corrosive for heat transfer vinyl.

Dry on low or hang dry

Hang dry is the best way to dry HTV decorated garments, but it is okay to tumble dry or use low heat. Just like with the washing process, you want to use minimal heat to protect your heat transfer vinyl. If you choose to hang dry your clothing, it will also help minimize wrinkles seen in the HTV after washing.

Don’t iron directly on it

Just like with washing and drying, ironing can be very high temperatures, so you want to avoid ironing the garment when possible. Ironing can cause the vinyl or adhesive to melt or burn. If you must iron the shirt, make sure you are using low heat and you have a cloth or towel between the iron and transfer.

No bleach or fabric softeners

Just like with detergent, fabric softeners and bleach can be very damaging to your HTV. We suggest NEVER using bleach or fabric softeners on your decorated garments, to ensure your transfer lasts.

If you follow those 8 simple suggestions, your heat transfer vinyl should last the lifetime of your garment!