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How To Get Melted Plastic Off Heat Press [Quick Tips]

The heat press machine uses a high temperature, which can melt many things inside the press. If you do anything wrong, it can make a mess that is hard to clean. For example, if you mistakenly heat press a decal on the wrong side, it is evident that it will melt the plastic inside the media. Happening such mess is a common fact for the heat press machine.

When you perform lots of printing by the heat press machine, you may not notice, but there will be a mess. Cleaning all the mess at a regular interval is a necessary fact for maintaining the machine. There are different types of dirt and debris as you have to enter additional material-made ingredients inside the machine. The hardest dirt is the plastic. Stickers, labels, adhesives, etc., have plastic components. If you learn how to get melted plastic off heat press, it will not be an obstacle for your printing job. So, know the steps and clean the most challenging mess from your machine.

How To Get Melted Plastic Off Heat Press

You can clean the plastic dirt from the inside of your heat press machine with professionals. For heavy printing jobs, getting plastic dirt inside the device can be an ordinary matter. So, it will be costly to clean this mess from your machine with the help of an expert. It is a necessary fact to learn this cleaning process.

Let’s know the necessary ingredients and the steps to follow.

Necessary Items

  • Hot iron cleaner
  • One scrap piece of fabric
  • One rag
  • One protective paper or a Teflon sheet
  • Tweezers
  • Ventilated area
  • Heat protective gloves

Step-1: Shut off the Machine

If you make the mistake of setting things in the wrong direction, you have to clean at first before working for the next batch. So, your heat press is already hot. If you plan to clean the plastic mess after a day or after passing some hours, you have to start the machine and heat it. The heat has to be a minimum of 300-degree Fahrenheit. After reaching the desired heat, unplug the press before performing the next step.

If you are going to clean the mess during printing, then immediately unplug the machine. It is because it can occur some fire accidents when keeping the plastic inside at high temperature.

Step-2: Prepare the Cleaning Rag

There is a foamy bottom part in the heat press machine. You have to scrape the much which is placed on this foam. So, to protect the foam from the scraping, put a Teflon sheet over the foamy part. You can use another protective sheet instead of Teflon if you do not have it. If there is any vinyl sheet leftover on the platen, peel the sheet using the tweezers softly.

How To Get Melted Plastic Off Heat Press

Now, take the rag and fold it so that you can hold the liquid cleaner. Pour a little quantity of hot iron cleaner into the folded rag. The cleanser is ready to scrape. Wear heat-protective gloves before going to rub the machine platen.

Step-3: Cleaning the Melted Plastic

You have to clean the plastic when the machine is still hot. The hot machine helps clean the plastic well as the plastic stays melted for long at high temperatures. Rub the platen using the cleaner and a scrubber. You will see fumes or creamy sizzling, which is a positive sign that indicates a delicate cleaning process. Do not breathe the stench mistakenly. You have to continue scrubbing the platen till the muck becomes soft and starts falling. If you need, you can add more creamy cleaners to the platen.

How To Get Melted Plastic Off Heat Press
Ted Stahl’s Blog

While scrubbing, keep the rag folded so that the clean side of the rag is seen for the outer part. Keep scrubbing until the platen looks clean.

Step-4: Run a Printing Test

When you see that the platen is clean, fold the rag so that the clean side is exposed again. Now, wipe the excess cream or cleaner from the platen. After finishing the cleaning process, run a test to check if the heat press is working well. If there is any melted plastic left, it will damage your printing job. So, take a scrap T-shirt or fabric and test printing after starting the machine. It will also help to remove extra cleaners which can attach to the next printing batch. Finally, the scrap fabric will wipe off the excess cream or cleaner.

Run a Printing Test on heat press
Transfer Express Blog

Now the heat press is ready to work for the next printing job. There is no dirt and other mess left inside the machine.

Additional Tips

It is a dirty mess inside the press when there is melted plastic. But you must have to be careful while cleaning this mess. A hot heat press can be dangerous as it can occur accidents at any time. So, follow the instruction given below.

  • You must turn off the heat press before going to clean it
  • Hotpress keeps the plastic melted, and that’s when it is easy to clean. So, do cleaning at a fast speed. When it gets cool, the plastic will be caked again.
  • Do not put anything inside the press during cleaning. It will create another mess.
  • Do not use any solvent to wash the heat press. It is because the solvent at high heat occurs fire.
  • There Teflon coated heat press machine. Do not wash these machines with abrasives such as a comet. It will scrape off the Teflon.
  • To rub the platen, do not use the harsh scraper. It can peel off the Teflon part.
  • Try to use the Teflon sheet always at the time of the cleaning

Precautions To Avoid Mess

Almost every ingredient can be melted or left inside the machine. For example, when T-shirts have a starch coating, they can leave a mark or dirt or a mess for overheating. Even fabric itself can be melted for overheating. There are some ingredients needed while making the design on the material and heat pressing it. Almost all the things can leave spots inside the machine. If you want to reduce the chance of getting the mess, you should be careful about the heat. Do not create overheat than the required temperature.

How To Get Melted Plastic Off Heat Press

Besides, placing the heat press vinyl can create the most challenging mess. In overheated conditions, it also makes some plastic dirt. If you accidentally put it upside down, then the mess is enormous. So, you have to be more careful while working with vinyl sheets. But, if you can be cautious enough, it will keep you safe and minimize the mess.


Fabric printing is enjoyable. You can make many designs, patterns, and images on your T-shirts or favorite dress or bags. For that, you must know to use the heat press machine and all the necessary handling facts. Cleaning it in time is an important job to run your printing fluently. If you have a business in fabric printing, you may have to clean it frequently. Cleaning the melted plastic is the most challenging job.

To clean this mess, you have to know how to get melted plastic off heat press. If you follow the steps from this page, this work will be easy enough to finish cleaning nicely.

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