How to Remove Iron On Patches

Embroidered iron-on patches are great for a variety of reasons. They are great add-ons to your clothes and excellent merchandise for businesses, brands, or organizations. You can create something creative with iron-on patches and turn your everyday items into something extraordinary. 

One of the most appealing attributes of embroidered iron-on patches is their easy application. Thanks to the heat-activated or fusible adhesive, iron-on patches are attached to the fabric. However, while iron-on patches are easy to apply, they can be difficult to remove, and removed patches tend to leave behind an unsightly glue residue that can stain the fabric. Patches can be applied and removed, and today, we look at the best way to remove iron-on patches.

Reasons for Removing Iron-on Patches

While iron-on patches offer a versatile and temporary means of customizing apparel, there are several reasons why individuals may find themselves wanting to remove them. Fashion trends change, personal tastes evolve, and clothing items may be repurposed or handed down. In these cases, removing iron-on patches becomes necessary to refresh the appearance of garments or adapt them to new preferences. Additionally, there might be a desire to salvage the patch for reuse on a different item or to restore the original aesthetic of the fabric. Understanding the methods for safely and effectively removing iron-on patches ensures individuals can update their wardrobes without compromising the integrity of their favorite pieces. 

How to Remove Embroidered Iron on Patches

Removing iron-on patches can be easier than it looks. However, there are several methods of removing them, which are listed below:

Method 1: Removing Patches with Iron

Unless you add the patch yourself, you must first check to see if your item can take the heat of the iron. Remember that not all “iron-on patches” are applied with heat.

Steps in removing patches by iron:

  1. Set up the ironing board and position your item so the cloth part of the patch is exposed.
  2. Cover a thin cloth or wax paper directly over the patch. Make sure the covering is clean and free from anything that could melt in the fabric of your item.
  3. Turn the iron on to the setting appropriate for the fabric you are working on.
  4. Press the iron down into the top of the cloth or paper for at least 15 seconds.
  5. Remove the iron and the cover from your fabric. (If the glue does not appear softened, repeat the process until the adhesive melts.)
  6. Once the heat from the iron melts or softens the adhesive, lift the edge of the patch and peel it off from the fabric. (Use tweezers or your finger to lift the patch; be cautious as the adhesive will be hot.)
  7. Once the patch comes off, proceed to remove the residue section below.

Method 2: Removing Patches Using an Adhesive Remover

Steps in removing patches by using an adhesive remover:

  1. Buy a fabric-safe adhesive remover. (Select a liquid-based remover because it will ‌soak through the fabric.)
  2. Test the remover on a small area on a clean rug or old clothing by applying some and letting it sit for a couple of minutes, then rinse. If the product discolored the fabric, do not continue.
  3. Turn the cloth, item, or bag inside to expose the fabric behind the patch.
  4. Work over a sink and apply the adhesive remover at the back of the patched area of the cloth. (Use enough remover to soak the fabric thoroughly.)
  5. Wait for a few minutes until the remover loosens the patch. 
  6. After a few minutes, check to see if the patch will peel off. If a part of the patch peels off, lift it away to remove the patch completely.
  7. If a part of a patch is still stuck in the cloth, repeat the process until it peels off completely.
  8. Once the patch comes off, proceed to remove the residue section below.

Method 3: Removing Iron on Patches with Hair Dryer

The heated air from the blow dryer can also work wonders in loosening the glue of the iron-on patch. Here are the steps for removing patches through a hairdryer:

  1. Set the hairdryer at a high heat temperature and position it over the back portion of the cloth where the patch is fixed.
  2. Keep blow-drying the backside of the cloth until the glue gets heated up.
  3. Continue blow-drying, followed by gently lifting the patch until it peels off the cloth. Continue the process until the patch falls off.

How to Remove Adhesive Residue

The glue from the patch will probably leave a residue behind. If the patch area is discolored or sticky, you will need to take action to make it look clean and like new again.

  1. If you used an adhesive remover, wash your item first, as this may remove the adhesive entirely on its own. 
  2. If the adhesive is not removed after washing, apply an adhesive remover directly to the residue. Gently massage it using your fingers or a clean rug and allow it to work for a few minutes.
  3. Rewash the cloth to remove the adhesive. 

Tips on Removing Iron on Patch Residue

  • You can make your adhesive remover at home by mixing two parts of baking soda with one part of coconut oil and two drops of orange essential oil. This natural adhesive remover works well at removing the residue.
  • You can also use white vinegar to loosen the glue residue on the cloth before rinsing it away.
  • Before soaking, try saturating the spot with the white vinegar before washing. This works well for delicate clothes with caked- glue from the iron-on method.
  • If the spot treatment does not work, try soaking the cloth overnight.

FAQs on Removing Iron on Patches

1. Can You Remove an Iron on Patch?

Yes, you can remove an iron-on patch. The process involves applying heat to the patch to soften the adhesive, making it easier to peel off. 

2. How do I know if my patch is iron-on or sew-on?

Iron patches typically have a shiny, adhesive backing, while sew-on patches have a flat, fabric backing. Check the packaging or product description for confirmation.

3. Can I remove an iron-on patch without using heat?

While heat is the most effective method, you can attempt to remove an iron-on patch by carefully peeling it off. However, using heat is recommended to soften the adhesive and reduce the risk of fabric damage.

4. Will removing an iron-on patch damage my clothes?

When done correctly, removing an iron-on patch should not damage your clothes. Using low to medium heat and a protective cloth minimizes the risk of fabric harm.

5. Is it necessary to wash the garment after patch removal?

Yes, washing the garment after patch removal helps remove any remaining adhesive or residue. Follow the care instructions on the garment to ensure proper washing.

6. Can I use a hairdryer instead of an iron to remove a patch?

While a hairdryer generates heat, it may not be as effective as an iron for removing patches. The direct contact of an iron helps soften the adhesive, making it easier to peel off the patch.

7. Can I remove an iron-on patch from delicate fabrics?

Yes, you can remove iron-on patches from delicate fabrics, but extra care is needed. Use the lowest heat setting possible and a protective cloth to minimize the risk of damage to delicate materials.


Removing iron-on patches requires a delicate touch and patience, but with the right tools and technique, you can refresh your wardrobe and start anew. By following these steps, you can safely remove patches and preserve the integrity of your favorite garments.

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