How to Remove an Iron-on Patch

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Iron-on patches are at the top-notch in the fashion game. They can be used almost anywhere. You can apply iron-on patches on jeans, denim shirts, accessories and the like. The best part about iron-on patches is they can be easily applied as well as removed.


They are not permanent. You can remove the patch and replace it with other cool items to recreate a new look. You can also remove it to restore the original look of the item. To make this happen, you can use an adhesive remover or heat.


Iron-on patches can be attached to the fabric with fusible adhesive or pre-heated iron. Some patches can be easily applied, but it might get difficult to remove them. But some custom embroidery patches tend to leave a glue type residue behind. Fortunately, we have some quick and easy tips for removing iron-on patches.


Here are some of the best methods and tricks to remove iron-on patches from your clothes and accessories.


Method 1: Use Iron to Remove Patches


Step:1: Test the Cloth


Check if the item/ cloth on which patch is present can bear the heat. Unless the patch is added by you, you need to make sure that the item would not be damaged in any way while ironing it. Not all iron on patches is compatible with the heat application process.

  • Pick a small part of the item during normal use
  • Place wax paper on top of the area
  • Press down with a pre-heated iron on a small area that is being tested and hold it for 15 seconds.
  • Remove the iron and then assess the damage if any or any discolouration that could have been caused.
  • If it is a delicate item, the iron needs to be on an accurate setting. If you cannot iron this kind of fabric, stick to the adhesive remover method instead.


Now that we have ensured that Cloth can bear the heat from Iron, let us move on to step 2.


Step 2 – Cover the Patch:


For that, position your item in a way that some cloth part of the patch is completely exposed. Place wax paper directly over the patch while making sure it is clean and free from any substance that could melt within the fabric itself.


Step 3 – Iron the Patch:


Preheat the iron to the highest temperature before use. Press your iron right on top of the cloth where the patch needs to be placed and keep it for 15 seconds. Remove the iron and the covering itself.


If the glue does not soften, apply iron again. Keep adding heat to melt the adhesive completely.


Step 4 – Peel the Patch Off:


The iron heat should melt the glue and make it sticky too. Lift the patch edge up and peel the same from the item.


  • Hold the item in one hand and peel with others.
  • Use your fingers for the process and move forward cautiously since the adhesive will be hot.
  • To lift the first part of the patch, use tweezers to slide between a patch and the item and then take hold of the patch well. A butter knife can come in handy for the same. Lift up the patch and remove the rest with your fingers.
  • If the patch is large, get a few passes with the iron and peel large patches part by part.

Method 2 – Using Adhesive Remover


Step 1: First and foremost, purchase adhesive remover that is fabric-safe. Glue removers based on orange oil are quite effective too. Pick a liquid-based one so that you can soak through the fabric. An adhesive remover in a spray bottle is handy for this purpose. Rubbing alcohol is also an option.


Step 2: Patch Test your Clothing. Even if the adhesive remover is touted to be fabric-safe, it could stain the fabric inadvertently. Test it out before using the remover on the patch on a clean sink, to avoid a mess.


  • Use a small area on your item that is not visible like the inside back bottom edge.
  • Dab a small amount of adhesive remover on the area.
  • Use fingers or a rag to dab the adhesive remover on the patch.
  • Rinse it off and check for discolourations.


Step 3: Expose the area below the patch. If you are using a T-shirt or pants, turn them inside out. Access the fabric bonded to the patch. Layout canvas bags flat upside-down.


Step 4: Pour the glue remover on the back of the cloth, enough to soak through your item wholly. Make sure you cover the entire area behind the patch. Work the remover using fingers or a clean rag. Let the remover loosen the patch in about a minute or so.


Step 5: Peel off the patch after the glue remover softens the glue, ensuring stickiness. The patch should come off easily.


  • Turn the item right-side-out in one hand.
  • Grip the patch edge between the index finger and thumb of another hand.
  • Pull back to lift the patch edge up and off the item.
  • Workaround the patch to completely peel away.


Step 6: Repeat on stubborn areas. If a patch part is stuck to your item, try repeating the entire process, focusing on spots that did not get softened properly.


Re-apply the glue remover multiple times to ensure complete removal of the patch. However, if it does not soften the adhesive, try a different one.


If you don’t plan on retaining the patch, trim the already peeled patch with a pair of scissors. Now you can keep the patch from sticking onto your item again.


Method 3 – How to Remove Residue Method


Step 1: Check for all kinds of stains. The glue from the patch does leave a residue. If the area is discoloured, you will need to take further action for ensuring the item is clean again.


Launder your item if you have used the adhesive remover method to eliminate adhesive completely.


Step 2: Apply adhesive remover to the residue. Pour more adhesive remover to the patch and use fingers to massage it for a minute.


You can make your own adhesive remover by mixing baking soda and coconut oil in 2:1 ratio with some drops of orange essential oil. This solution works well to remove residue but cannot remove the patch itself. The paste cannot soak through fabrics.


Step 3: Launder the item and then wash it normally. Do this to remove the solvent immediately else it may cause further damage.


  • If the item is touted to be machine wash safe, put it in the washing machine with your regular laundry.
  • Hand soak delicate items in cold or normal water with some detergent.
  • If the glue is stuck-on, scrub it with a toothbrush especially after using the adhesive remover method.
  • Apply liquid laundry detergent to the residue patch to pre-treat it.
  • For residue left after the wash, try repeating the adhesive remover method again and again.
  • Do not place the item in the dryer until stains are completely eliminated.


Step 4: Use white vinegar for removing tough stains and to loosen glue enough for being rinsed by water.


  • Before soaking, try saturating the area with white vinegar and wash normally especially if you have caked-on glue on delicate items from the iron-on method.
  • If the spot treatment fails, soak the item overnight. Undiluted vinegar is useful to treat white items. Keep coloured fabric from shedding its colours, dilute the vinegar with one cup of vinegar in 1 gallon of water.
  • Do a patch test first with white vinegar, to be sure. Use white vinegar only for the method.


Hope these tips help you remove the tough iron-on patch from your piece of cloth as well as an accessory. Retain the look and quality immediately.