How to Remove Iron on Letters from a Jersey: 3 Simple Ways

How to Remove Iron on Letters from a Jersey

Have you ever had a jersey with iron-on letters that you wanted to remove? Iron-on lettering is a popular way to customize sports jerseys. But sometimes, we change our minds or need to update the names and numbers.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to remove iron on letters from a jersey safely. Let’s get started on giving your beloved garment a fresh start!


Key Takeaways

  • To safely remove iron-on letters from a jersey, use heat and steam, an iron, or a chemical solvent.

  • Always test your removal method on a small, hidden part of the jersey first to avoid damage.

  • After taking off the letters, clean off any leftover glue with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.

  • Consider adding new lettering to personalize your jersey once it’s clean.

Understanding Jersey Lettering

Iron-on letters stick to jerseys with a heat-activated adhesive. You can find them on many sports jerseys and casual wear. Heat melts the glue, making the letters attach firmly to the fabric.

Some are vinyl, which is a popular choice for its durability and glossy finish. Others might be made from different types of plastic or polyester materials.

Removing these letters takes patience and care not to harm your jersey. Start by heating the letters gently; this softens the glue underneath. Then peel off each letter slowly, so you don’t rip or damage the fabric below.

If any glue residue remains, tackle it with a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol or an adhesive remover until it’s gone completely.

How to Remove Iron on Letters from a Jersey: 3 Ways

To remove iron-on letters from a jersey, you can use heat and steam, an iron, or a chemical solvent. Each method requires caution to avoid damaging the fabric. So, be sure to test a small area first before proceeding.

If you want to know more about safely removing lettering from your jersey, keep reading!

1. Using heat and steam

How to Remove Iron on Letters from a Jersey

Heat and steam can be an effective method for removing iron-on letters from a jersey. Here’s how to do it:

  • Turn the garment inside out to protect the fabric.

  • Place a damp towel on the area with the letters, ensuring it covers them completely.

  • Apply heat with an iron set to a medium-high temperature.

  • Steam the covered area for a few minutes to soften the adhesive.

  • Use a sharp knife or the edge of a spoon to gently scrape off the letters, ensuring that they do not damage the fabric.

  • Repeat as needed until all letters are removed.

  • Finally, wash and dry the jersey according to its care instructions.

2. Using an iron

How to Remove Iron on Letters from a Jersey

To safely remove iron-on letters from a jersey, using an iron is an effective method. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Place the jersey on a hard surface with the area holding the lettering facing up.

  • Lay a clean cloth over the lettering to protect it from direct heat exposure.

  • Preheat the iron to a cotton setting without steam.

  • Press the hot iron onto the cloth-covered lettering for 15-20 seconds.

  • Lift the iron and carefully peel off the cloth, ensuring that it does not disturb the adhesive residue.

  • Gently scrape off any remaining residue with a blunt knife or plastic scraper.

  • If needed, repeat this process until all letters are removed from the jersey.

3. Using a chemical solvent

How to Remove Iron on Letters from a Jersey

To safely remove iron-on letters from a jersey, you may want to consider using a chemical solvent. Here’s how to do it:

  • Lay the jersey on a flat surface, and put a clean cloth under the area with the lettering.

  • Apply the solvent to the backs of the letters. Make sure to use an adequate amount, but avoid soaking the fabric.

  • Gently rub the area with a cloth to help the solvent penetrate and loosen the adhesive.

  • Allow the solvent to sit for a few minutes to work on the adhesive.

  • Use a knife or the edge of a credit card wrapped in a clean cloth to scrape off the letters carefully, ensuring that they do not damage the fabric.

  • Wash and dry the jersey as per usual after removing the letters and residue.

Tips for Safely Removing Lettering

When removing iron-on letters from a jersey, it’s important to test a small area first to ensure you don’t damage the fabric. Use caution with chemical solvents, and always avoid applying too much heat.

After removal, be sure to take care of any residue and consider personalizing the jersey with new lettering.

Testing a small area first

Before tackling the entire jersey, test a small, hidden area with the chosen removal method. This ensures that you can assess any potential damage or adverse effects before proceeding.

It’s important to take this precaution to safeguard the fabric and ensure successful letter removal.

Avoiding damaging the fabric

To avoid damaging the fabric, test a small area first before attempting to remove the iron-on letters from your jersey. Exercise caution and use gentle movements when using a knife or any scraping tool to prevent any tears or rips in the fabric.

Be mindful of the heat level if using an iron or hairdryer to ensure that it does not scorch or melt the jersey material.

After removal, gently clean the area with a wet towel and mild detergent to eliminate any leftover adhesive residue without harming the fabric.

Using caution with chemical solvents

Exercise caution when using chemical solvents to remove iron-on letters from jerseys. Always test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure the solvent won’t damage the fabric. Work in a well-ventilated space and follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely when using chemical solvents.

After Removal: What to Do Next

After removing the iron-on letters from your jersey, you may need to remove any leftover residue and consider personalizing it with new lettering. Be sure to carefully clean the area where the letters were removed and take your time deciding on new lettering options.

Removing residue

  • Use a clean cloth and dab rubbing alcohol onto the residue.

  • Gently rub the area to lift off the remaining adhesive.

  • Alternatively, apply a small amount of nail polish remover to a cotton ball and gently rub the residue.

  • Use a blunt knife or spoon to scrape off any stubborn residue, being careful not to damage the fabric.

  • Place a Teflon sheet over the area and iron it to further diminish any leftover adhesive.

  • If there’s still residue, place the garment in the freezer for an hour to harden the adhesive, then scrape it off with a blunt tool.

  • Wash the jersey as usual to ensure all remnants are removed before personalizing it with new lettering.

Personalizing with new lettering

After successfully removing the old lettering, consider personalizing your jersey with new letters and numbers. Choose high-quality iron-on or vinyl letters that complement the fabric of your garment.

Position the new lettering carefully and use a hot iron to adhere them securely, ensuring they are straight and even. Finally, press down firmly with a sheet of Teflon to set the adhesive properly.

If you prefer stitched-on letters, take your jersey to a professional tailor or seamstress who can expertly affix the new lettering for a polished finish that lasts longer than iron-on or vinyl options.


In conclusion, safely removing iron-on letters from a jersey doesn’t have to be daunting. Take your time and follow the steps carefully. Soon, you’ll have a clean canvas ready for new customizations! Good luck with your jersey project!


1. What is the best way to heat the adhesive on iron-on letters before removing them?

The best way to heat the adhesive is to use an iron on a high setting or a hairdryer and apply heat for a few minutes directly onto the area, with a clean cloth in between.

2. How do I prepare my jersey to remove the lettering and numbering safely?

Turn your jersey inside out and put it on an ironing board or flat surface. Make sure that you only expose the area of the garment where you want to remove numbers or letters.

3. Will the heat damage my jersey when taking off iron-on letters?

Yes, too much heat can damage your jersey. So be careful not to make your iron too hot, and always use a cloth as protection.

4. Is there a method for removing iron-on letters without using an iron?

You can try using a hairdryer instead of an iron. Just blow hot air evenly over patches for easier removal.

5. After heating, how do I actually take off the letters from my jersey?

Once heated enough, gently use a knife edge or similar tool to scrape away at the edges of the patch and peel off slowly; if sewn-on as well, you may need additional tools like scissors.

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