How to remove iron on patches (2023)

Maybe you found a great vintage leather jacket at the thrift store, but you don't like motorcycle patches stuck all over the place. Or maybe you've outgrown some of your favorite bands from years ago and want to remove the old embroidered patches from your favorite shirt. Either way, you can learn how to remove iron-on patches without damaging your clothes!

Iron-on patches are best removed with gentle heat by re-melting the adhesive with an iron or hair dryer. Other popular methods include freezing the patch to make the adhesive brittle. Finally, adhesive removers can dissolve the glue holding the patch in place.

In this article, you will learn seven easy iron-on patch removal methods. You will also find tips for handling iron-on vinyl. Finally, you will learn how to deal with patches on special clothing items such as a leather jacket.

How to remove iron on patches (1)

Fast navigation

  • Do iron-on patches come loose?
  • Can iron-on patches be removed?
  • How to remove iron stains: 7 methods
    • 1. With an iron
    • 2. Without iron - nail polish remover
    • 3. Soak in warm water
    • 4. Freezer
    • 5. Hair dryer
    • 6. White Vinegar
    • 7. Glue Remover
  • What is the easiest way to remove an iron-on patch?
  • Can you remove iron-on vinyl?
  • How do you get patch glue off clothes?
  • Tips for removing patches from special clothing
    • Uniform
    • Shirt
    • Jacket
    • Manager
    • Denim
  • Diploma

Do iron-on patches come loose?

Iron-on patches can separate from the fabric if the adhesive holding the patch gets too hot or if an adhesive remover dissolves the old adhesive. In fact, patches can come loose on their own if the garment gets too hot. For example, if you put a patched jacket in the dryer, the patches on the edges may come loose or even fall off!

However, embroidered patches these days have a fairly strong heat-activated adhesive backing. Most patches use some type of double-sided fusible fabric that has lots of sticky fibers to keep your patch in place.

When a badge is applied properly, by heating the surface of the badge and then also eating the fabric on the back, a badge will stay in place fairly permanently.

In these cases, you must intentionally remove the patch with heat or chemicals.

Can iron-on patches be removed?

You can removeIron-on patchesby using either a reapplication of heat or special chemical solvents. In some cases, you can also use extreme cold to make the glue brittle enough to easily remove.

You may want to remove iron-on patches for many reasons such as: B. to keep old patches as a keepsake or to upcycle a piece of clothing you found at a thrift store. However, before you start ripping the patches, there are a few factors you should consider.

(Video) Elementary Removal of Iron-On Patches

Firstly, what fabric is the garment, bag or item made of? You can easily get a patch from denim, leather, or thick polyester, but more delicate materials can fall apart or tear during the removal process.

Also, you should consider what the article will look like without the patch. Chances are the patch has been left on this fabric for a while, meaning the fabric behind the patch will look a lot less faded than the rest of the garment! This means if you peel a star shaped patch off a denim jacket, you have a dark blue star and faded denim all around it!

Finally, most of the patch removal methods you'll find here tend to leave a stiff layer of adhesive on the garment. You can remove the dried glue with special chemical solvents, but these could damage the fabric. Be sure to test the adhesive remover on a concealed area of ​​the fabric item or garment to ensure it is safe to use!

How to remove iron stains: 7 methods

You can remove an iron-on patch with surprisingly little effort by trying one of these seven easy methods! Heat, cold, or strong chemicals can break the original adhesive holding the embroidered badge in place.

Before you start, think about necessary safety precautions! If using a hot iron, do not touch the badge with your bare hands - use a glove or tweezers. If you use storm chemicals, make sure you don't get them on your skin!

1. With an iron

How to remove iron on patches (2)

The most popular method of removing an iron-on badge is to use an iron. This method usually gives you the most immediate results. The only danger is that you should not hot iron certain types of fabric to avoid melting or scorching.

You may find this counterintuitive as you probably used the iron to attach the badge in the first place! But if you think about it, the heat melted the glue the first time, and it can melt it again the second time too!

Before you begin, find out what kind of fabric the patch will stick to. Cotton fabrics like denim can withstand high heat. Leather or polyester require low heat settings.

  1. Start by setting up your ironing board and heating your iron to the highest temperature your fabric can handle. However, you don't want to turn on the steam setting.
  2. Next, either flatten a thin onepress clothor a piece of wax paper over the top of the badge. A handkerchief or a thin kitchen towel also works.
  3. Press the iron firmly onto the pressing cloth for fifteen seconds.
  4. Set the iron aside and remove the ironing cloth. Using your fingers or disposable tweezers, gently pull the edge of the badge. Is it easy to peel off?
  5. If the badge does not come off easily, replace the press cloth and reheat for 15 seconds.
  6. Once the patch glue melts, use the tweezers or your fingers to pull the patch away from the fabric.
  7. You will likely see a blob of old glue on the surface of the fabric. Don't worry about that! See removal tips later in this article.

2. Without iron - nail polish remover

How to remove iron on patches (3)One of the cheaper ways to remove an iron-on patch is to use nail polish remover that contains acetone. Acetone can dissolve many types of glue, making it an excellent and affordable choice for this project!

You should spot test a drop of nail polish remover on a hidden inseam and leave it on for fifteen minutes. Check and make sure you don't see any discoloration on the fabric before proceeding.

  1. Dip a cotton ball in nail polish remover and dab repeatedly around the edge of the badge.
  2. Use tweezers to loosen the edge of the badge if it starts to come loose.
  3. Soak another cotton ball and slide it under the badge.
  4. Continue while peeling off the badge and applying acetone to the folded edge.
  5. If the badge peels off, set it aside and use a fresh cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover to wipe the remaining adhesive residue until it dissolves and peels away.

3. Soak in warm water

How to remove iron on patches (4)

(Video) How to remove that sticky junk from patches off your shirts

Not every iron-on patch will come off in warm water, but older patches that already look loose may just need a hot bath!

Please note that you should not try this method on leather. Make sure you can safely submerge the item or garment in water before trying the soaking technique!

  1. First, fill a bucket with warm water.
  2. Lower the item with the patch on it into the water. For a bulky garment like a jacket, put the part with the patch in first so the rest of the garment can hold it in place. You can also use a clean glass or other waterproof weight to keep the badge submerged.
  3. You should let the iron-on patch soak for at least three hours, but keep checking the water. Once it has reached room temperature, empty out the water and replace it with fresh, warm water.
  4. Drain or pour off the water after three hours.
  5. Carefully peel the badge off the fabric. If it doesn't come loose right away, you may need to rock it back and forth and gently pull.

4. Freezer

Another way to drastically change the temperature and alter the state of the glue holding your patch in place is to freeze it! When the glue freezes, it usually becomes more brittle and breaks more easily.

Of course, for this method to work, the garment or item with the patch has to fit in your freezer! A bulky winter coat or a large backpack may not fit inside. In that case, just try another method!

  1. Place the garment or item in a plastic trash bag. Put it in your freezer.
  2. You can set a timer for two to three hours or just leave it in overnight!
  3. Before you take it out of the freezer again, set up a flat work area, e.g. B. a table or a counter. Have a blunt spoon ready. You should not use anything sharp like a craft knife as this could cut the fabric underneath the badge.
  4. Take the garment out of the freezer. Immediately work around the edge of the badge, trying to slide the blunt spoon under the edge. In most cases the brittle adhesive will break and the badge should pop out!
  5. You will need to use a glue removal method to remove the remaining flakes of glue once the badge is gone.

5. Hair dryer

If you don't have an iron at home, you can also heat and remove the adhesive behind an iron-on transfer with a hair dryer!

This method can also work well if you have a bulky item that you can't iron easily, such as a B. a backpack.

  1. If possible, lay the garment or item flat with the badge facing down so you can access the material behind it. If that's not possible, find a way to access the back of the badge, for example by reaching into a backpack.
  2. Turn on your hair dryer on the hottest setting you can.
  3. Hold the dryer so that the hot air hits the back of the patch and heats the fabric behind the patch.
  4. Leave it here for fifteen seconds, and then try to peel off the edge of the patch. When it pops up, keep peeling it gently! If it doesn't, use the hair dryer again for another fifteen seconds.
  5. Once you've taken the badge off, you'll likely need to use an adhesive remover to remove any remaining stickiness from the surface of the fabric.

6. White Vinegar

How to remove iron on patches (5)For a chemical-free method that doesn't require heat, consider using white vinegar! Vinegar doesn't dissolve glue as well as acetone, that's true. But if you want a gentler method and have some spare time, try this technique!

  1. Fill a bucket one-third full with water. Add an equal amount of white vinegar and swirl around to mix the solution.
  2. Add the item that the patch is on. Make sure it sinks completely under the water.
  3. Let this soak overnight or for at least 12 hours.
  4. After soaking, remove the item from the water and pry the edge of the patch with a spoon, credit card, or dull butter knife. If it comes off even a little, keep going! Work gently but firmly, you should pry the badge all the way off.
  5. You may need to use another method to remove any remaining adhesives from the fabric after removing the badge.

7. Glue Remover

How to remove iron on patches (6)A commercial adhesive remover is also an efficient way to remove stubborn stains from your clothing or bag. The disadvantage is that you have to buy a special commercial product, such asGo away.

The added benefit here is that you can also use the product to remove any remaining glue from the fabric after the badge has come loose!

Popular commercial adhesive removers include Goo Gone, Elmer's Sticky Out, Uni Solve Wipes, 3M Adhesive Cleaner and many more!

To use the product, simply follow the instructions on the packaging. For example, some products require you to leave the item on for a few minutes, while others work instantly.

What is the easiest way to remove an iron-on patch?

The quickest and easiest way to remove an iron-on patch is the iron-on method, which reheats the adhesive so that it becomes tacky and you can easily peel off the old patch.

(Video) How To Remove Glued On Patches

However, some bulky garments or items may prove difficult to iron. In these cases, you can try using a hair dryer for better access.

Using heat usually works the quickest way to take down a badge. However, this process often leaves a sticky residue on the fabric surface. To treat that you will also need an adhesive remover like acetone or a commercial product like Goo Gone.

Can you remove iron-on vinyl?

How to remove iron on patches (7)

Remove ironing vinylis not as easy as removing an iron-on patch, but you can do it with the help of an iron, knife and tweezers.

  1. Start by heating your iron to the hottest setting. If you have a heat press, use that instead! You shouldn't have to worry about damaging the fabric as whoever put the vinyl on first had to use heat to get it there too!
  2. Next, orient the garment or item so you can press the iron onto the back of the vinyl. You want to iron the fabric, not the vinyl itself.
  3. Press the iron on the material behind the vinyl for 10-20 seconds.
  4. Quickly remove the iron and flip the fabric so you can immediately pry around the edge of the vinyl with your knife. It may peel off in flakes at first, but hopefully pieces of vinyl will peel off once you've started!
  5. If nothing happens, you'll need to reheat the back of the fabric and then try prying at the edges.

How do you get patch glue off clothes?

You can remove patch adhesive from clothing in a number of ways, including using a commercial adhesive remover, acetone, or your freezer.

Commercial adhesive removers come with instructions. These indicate how the product is applied and how long it needs to work and whether you need to wash the item to remove the remover afterwards!

If your glue remover of choice doesn't seem strong enough, try using an old toothbrush to scrub the old glue. Then rinse everything away and apply detergent to the tacky area before washing in a cold water cycle.

As a cheaper alternative, you can also use nail polish remover that contains acetone. In most cases, you can simply soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover and run it over the dried glue several times to wipe away the old glue.

Finally, you can use the freezing method and refrigerate the old glue for a few hours. Then use a dull butter knife to scrape away the remaining glue!

Really strong products like paint thinner could no doubt dissolve the sticker glue as well, but the paint thinner will almost certainly damage the fabric of the clothing or bag.

Tips for removing patches from special clothing

Now that you know the seven easiest ways to remove an iron-on badge, check out these tips to learn how to remove a patch from special clothing!


In some cases, the easiest way to remove insignia from a uniform without damaging it is to dry clean the garment. The chemicals used in this process will likely cause old badges to fall off.

(Video) Easy Removal of Iron on Transfer From Clothes

If you decide to use this method, be sure to speak to the dry cleaner to let them know you want to remove the iron-on patches!

You can also use a spray adhesive remover like Badge Magic on the inside of the badge and on the fabric inside the uniform. Let this sit for fifteen minutes before attempting to peel off the patch.


Removing an iron-on patch from a shirt usually does not require any special steps. As long as you can safely heat the fabric, you can just use the ironing method! This allows you to quickly reheat the adhesive and peel off the patch.

If you have a shirt made of a more delicate material, you should avoid high heat and strong chemicals. In this case, try the freezing or warm water method. In addition to a spot test with the iron on a hidden seam of the shirt, you can easily tell if your shirt can withstand the heat by checking the manufacturer's label on the inside. This label usually has an image of iron with an X over it when you shouldn't apply heat.


Most of the time, you can safely use an iron or jacket glue remover. Khaki or denim jackets, in particular, should withstand all of the removal methods in this article. On the other hand, if you're wearing athletic gear or an acrylic jacket, you may need to try gentle methods that don't damage the synthetic material.

If you have a patch on a thick, fluffy coat, you probably shouldn't try the heat method. Try the warm water soaking method instead, which shouldn't melt the fabric!


Many cool vintage leather jackets come with vintage motorcycle patches, band logos, or other embroidered patches! If you still like all the patches, that's a cool decorative element, but if you want to remove them, you'll need to be a little more careful.

Leather should not be exposed to water or excessive heat. This means no ironing method, blow drying method, or soaking in warm water! Leather may also react poorly to some solvents.

To remove a patch from leather, you can try the freezing method, or you can test a commercial product like Goo Gone on a hidden spot to make sure it won't damage the leather. Use this to gently loosen the glue holding the badge in place and remove it from the leather!

That said, most iron-on patches don't adhere well to leather in the first place. Because of this, you'll more often find patches sewn onto leather rather than being attached with heat-activated adhesive.


Getting iron-on denim patches is generally pretty easy. Denim is cotton so you can safely wet it, heat it or apply many commercial adhesive removers.

However, denim is very fading, so you may find obvious stains in the form of patches on your denim after removing the patches. There's not much you can do about it other than apply new patches to hide those spots!

(Video) Removing Badge Magic


You can remove iron-on patches from most types of fabric with heat, either from an iron or from a hair dryer. Another easy way to get a fabric stain is to either apply nail polish remover with acetone or use a commercial glue remover like Goo Gone to dissolve the old glue. If you don't want to use heat or chemicals, you can also use a warm water bath or put the clothes in your freezer and then snap off the badge!

If your patch is on leather or delicate material, you may need to work carefully. For a patch on leather, try spot testing a commercial adhesive remover and use it to loosen the badge. For more delicate fabrics, you may want to start by soaking them in warm water overnight to see if that loosens the patch.


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