Now that you’ve mastered applying your heat transfer vinyl designs, you may be wondering what the proper care instructions for these garments are. Good news! There is no hand-washing involved. 

To ensure you and your customers are left with long-lasting designs, we recommend following these few recommendations and tips. After all, you don’t want to put in all the work of designing, cutting and applying your heat transfer vinyl just to have it peel after one wash. 

Wait Before You Wash

This tip is extremely important! Before you wash anything with a just-made HTV design you need to make sure it has time to cure and fuse into the fabric’s fibers. We recommend waiting 24 hours before washing anything with heat transfer vinyl for the best, and most long-lasting, results. 

Turn it Inside Out 

To best protect your designs, turn your garments and bags inside out before they go into the washer and dryer. This prevents other articles of clothing from roughly rubbing against your HTV designs, causing them to peel or crack.

Keep it Mild

Skip harsh detergents, fabric softeners and bleach. The whitening and stain fighting additives in detergents can damage your garment’s HTV design. Instead opt for a more gentle formula. 

Hotter isn’t Better 

If you typically wash your clothes in warm water, turn down the temp for garments with HTV. Temps that are too hot can heat up the adhesive and cause the designs to lift.

Hang Dry or Keep it Low

Not all dryers are the same and one that is too hot is an easy way to damage your HTV. Instead, it is best to opt for the safest way to dry your decorated garments - hang or dry flat. We also recommend suggesting this to your customers. You don’t want them to have any issues when caring for your creations. If you must throw your garment in the dryer, be sure you turn the settings on low. 

Do not Iron Directly on HTV 

Just like how you wouldn't use your heat press or home iron directly on the material when applying, you should follow that same logic when ironing a wrinkled shirt. Be sure to cover your design before ironing to prevent damage. 


Skip the Dry Cleaners 

Washing your decorated items at home is your safest bet to ensure designs are long-lasting. The harsh chemicals and high water temperatures used at dry cleaners could damage your HTV. 

Still Having Issues?

While the washer and dryer are what most people may think are the culprits for a design that is not staying put, that isn’t always the case. If you notice your designs are peeling after being laundered following our recommendations, your application process may be what is actually causing the issue.

Check out the blog linked below to help troubleshoot what the problem may be before your decorated garment goes into the wash. 

Common Heat Transfer Vinyl Mistakes: Why Your HTV isn't Adhering

If you have more questions, message us on Facebook at or join our iCraft Vinyl Facebook group.

By joining, in addition to help and inspiration from a wonderful bunch of crafters, you will also get access to our weekly sales and the latest info from iCraft!

Join here: