I read a method on these forums where if you place a sheet of regular paper over the shirt and press for the same time as your heat transfer vinyl, then peel hot, you can gradually remove it. I have not tried it myself, but I've heard from other members that it worked, but took a few presses. I wish I could find the original link that mentioned it, but not seeing it offhand.
Other methods that I've read have involved a heat gun, or using acetone, but both may damage the garment, so I'd try this method first. A former forum member used to produce a product called t-saver that helped remove vinyl and transfer material from garments, but I am unsure if his product is still being made as he has passed away.
I was the one who posted the plain paper technique. The method is a cheap way of removing the opaque material but it leaves the adhesive on the fabric. It is good if the new opaque will cover the adhesive entirely. Heat gun can damage the fabric.
I use Specialty Materials vinyl and this solvent (or one similar to it) works just great. Very easy to do and no residue of any type is left on the garment. I purchased mine through Wellington House in Portland, OR.
Saw this from a couple of years ago and thought I'd share, since everyone has such good information for me most of the time when I need help!
The man I used to work for is the one that taught me this. Apparently he tried it on vinyl and it worked. When he retired and closed, I opened my own shop and this is what works for me to remove vinyl. Keep in mind it is a little pricey to start, but it is a tool that will last forever.
(It also works for screen printing ink)
the gun is called a "goof gun". It plugs into a regular elect. outlet. (it may also be called a spot cleaning gun)
The liquid is called "TexOut" it is a "cured plastisol remover".
The gun runs $59 and the TexOut runs $20 (through Graphic Solutions Group. (Graphic Solutions Group). Offices in Dallas, Houston, Tulsa, and Ok City.
I spray directly on the vinyl I want to remove. It is a high pressure spray and it will hurt you if you spray it directly on yourself, so I recommend a towel or something under the item you are removing. High pressure spray the vinyl and watch it begin to peel up. I would almost say it melts it, but it stays cold like acetone. It doesn't take much but it does work!!! You can also use it in small areas without the gun if you have patience to use q-tips etc and apply it enough to "soak through" the vinyl until it releases from the shirt.
after you get the vinyl off, you may see a "white" residue that almost looks like it faded the shirt or discolored it. Just set it under your heat press for several seconds and it goes away. The texout will not harm the apparel, nor the person wearing it. I have removed names and numbers from baseball jerseys from local competition that put the wrong things on the wrong shirt right before a game, and they didn't have any allergic reactions at all.
It leaves no tackiness or glue residue at all. I tried it on a DTG shirt that I printed, and it didn't work after curing-- it might have if I didn't heat set it first.
It did not work very well on transferred apparel. (for me)
I hope this is useful to everyone looking to find ways to remove vinyl from shirts/apparel. Feel free to contact me with further questions.
I didn't post this to advertise for Graphics Solutions, but it's the only place I deal with the most, and I got mine from them....don't even know anyone else that might carry the TexOut....
Heat Transfer Warehouse also sells a product called 'Vinyl Letter Remover' --- I've used it and it works well. However, the larger the design and the darker the garment, there could be residue leftover. I think it's relatively inexpensive (< $20).