Help and Education
Heat Transfer Insider Tips

From general heat press usage to application of heat transfer materials onto tricky garments, make your work easier with these tips from knowledgeable professionals. Let their trial-and-error experiences save you time and money!


  • When lining up shirts on the platen, make sure that the collar tag is not off-center. Next use the underarm area to center your shirt on the top of the platen and check again on the bottom of the shirt. This will give you three reference points for correctly aligning your shirt. – Bruce W., Sales

  • Keep a lint roller by your press. Many boxed shirts arrive with extra threads and lint on them, which can interfere with the application of your design. Just sweep them away with a lint roller. – Peggy D., Customer Service

  • Print the care instructions for the material you are using and provide it to the customer with their garment. – Jessica R., Customer Service

  • Metal zippers can withstand a heat press, but plastic ones cannot. Be careful to place plastic zippers, snaps, and buttons off the heat press machine, as they will melt under the heat and pressure of your press. – Peggy D., Customer Service

  • Use a rubber mat under your feet if have your heat press in a carpeted area. The heat press generates static electricity - a rubber mat will help reduce shocks. – Peggy D., Customer Service

  • To save time, keep a 16"x20" Heat Printing Pillow placed on the lower platen rather than inserting it into a shirt. Place the shirt directly on top of the pillow and pull under the arms a bit to straighten it on the platen. – Juliet K., Customer Service

  • Own a cap press? Don't just use it to print hats. A cap press is perfect for printing on a variety of small areas such as polo shirt pockets, shorts, small infant shirts and onesies, small dog apparel, etc. – Peggy D., Customer Service

  • To easily slide garments on and off of a press, wrap a Quick Slip Pad Protector on the bottom platen to make heat applying faster and easier. – Peggy D., Customer Service

Application Tips

  • Always read and follow the application instructions for each material. – Jessica R., Customer Service

  • Always use a cover sheet. – Jessica R., Customer Service

  • Dog-ear a corner of your square heat transfer paper – it makes it much easier to peel away the paper when you open your press. - Peggy D., Customer Service

  • To ensure quality application, pre-heat your garment to remove moisture and wrinkles. – Jessica R., Customer Service

  • For best results, peel carrier diagonally from one corner to another in a fluid motion. – Jessica R., Customer Service

Application to Irregular Garments

  • The 5"x6" or 8"x10" Print Perfect Pad fits nicely in the front pocket of a hooded sweatshirt. – Juliet K., Customer Service

  • When applying a design to a hoodie using a clam style press, dress the hoodie upside down on the lower platen. This allows for the bulky hood to drape off the front of the press and away from the platen. - Peggy D., Customer Service

  • The hood of a sweatshirt or jacket can be tricky to heat apply. Use the 5"x6" Print Perfect Pad toward the bottom corner of the heat press or even stack two pads for extra-thick hoods. – Juliet K., Customer Service

  • When heat applying on T-shirt sleeves, you can insert each end of the 3.5" x 15" Print Perfect Pad into a sleeve and heat apply two sleeves at the same time. – Juliet K., Customer Service

  • The 5"x6" Print Perfect Pad fits the center chest and pockets of an apron nicely and helps the vinyl heat apply evenly around the heavy seam or apron string. – Juliet K., Customer Service

  • Fleece tends to flatten where the press touches. Use Print Perfect Pads to raise the garment in the area being pressed, allowing the rest of the substrate to stay plush. – Juliet K., Customer Service

  • Cut a 3.5" x 15" Print Perfect Pad into three sections. Use one or two pads stacked on the platen of a cap press for hats that don't fit snugly. – Juliet K., Customer Service

Application of Letters and Numbers

  • When using pre-cut two-color name or number transfers, tack the background down for a few seconds then put the foregrounds on. This will prevent foregrounds from shifting when you put the cover sheet on. – Cheryl S., Customer Service

  • When applying Player Names to girls uniforms or shirts, place the player name lower than the shoulder area. Many girls have long hair and ponytails which cover the traditional placement. – Peggy D., Customer Service

  • The 3.5" x 15" Print Perfect Pad works great for applying straight player names across the back of jerseys with heavy seams. Place the pad inside the jersey to lift this area. – Juliet K., Customer Service

  • When spelling names with pre-cut (Die Cut) letters:

    1. Place a long piece of pre-mask tape on a table, from left to right, with adhesive side up.
    2. Stick each letter (backwards) to the tape, using the top edge as a guide.
    3. Once the name is spelled (backwards), using the tape as your carrier, place the name on the garment where needed, cover, and press.
    4. Peel tape after heat application. – Cheryl S., Customer Service

Equipment Tips

  • Do not plug your heat press into a surge protector. Maxx and Hotronix® presses have their own internal breakers. Plugging them into a surge protector could cause issues with the breaker working correctly as well as limiting the power supplied to the press. Also, as surge protectors are not made to support the power needed for a heat press, they will overheat and eventually fail if used. – Patrick S., Sales

  • Always check the pressure of your heat press machine with your garment on the press. Different thicknesses will affect pressure, so check with each type of item you will be pressing. – Peggy D., Customer Service

  • To remove stuck-on transfers from a non-stick coated heater: heat the press to around 400° then, using a plastic spatula, gently scrape the ink/vinyl off. Do not use a metal spatula. – Patrick S., Sales

  • If your heat press is on but hasn't been used in a while, preheat the lower pad before applying designs. Inks and adhesives tend to flow to heat, so heating the lower platen will make application easier. – Peggy D., Sales

  • Glass cleaner (Windex) works great on silicone pads, whether they are hot or cold. Using a hand towel, work the cleaner into the pad until clean. – Patrick S., Sales

Sales Suggestions

  • After your customer provides their artwork for garments or caps, suggest a banner, decal, or bumper sticker. – Peggy E., Marketing

  • Create "Any Word" design samples for your store to show customers the customization options available. – Jamie W., Marketing

  • Custom CAD-PRINTZ™ Wall Graphics make for terrific point-of-purchase displays. – Nicole H., Marketing

  • Banners are great for advertising businesses and organizations that sponsor teams and sporting events. – Matt D., Marketing