Why is the Vinyl Peeling Off Shirt After Washing

Why is the Vinyl Peeling Off Shirt After Washing?

Have you ever washed a shirt and noticed that the vinyl lettering or designs start to peel off? It’s happened to me before, and I always wondered why. After doing some research, I found out that there are a few reasons why this might occur.

When you buy a new shirt, you probably don’t think about how long it will last. You might throw it in the wash and dryer without a second thought.

Unfortunately, this can make it loosen up the vinyl print, as too much harsh chemical in detergent can damage the print and make it come off. If you’re using a brush to scrub your vinyl, this can also lead it to peel easily.

In this blog post, I’ll explain the different reasons why this occurs and what you can do to prevent the vinyl print from peeling off your shirt. So read on to find out!

Why Does My Vinyl Come Off After Washing?

It’s a common problem that vinyl print comes off your t-shirt after washing it or after a few uses. A number of different things can cause that.

Wrong Type Vinyl

One of the most common causes is using the wrong type of vinyl. There are two main types of vinyl – heat transfer vinyl (HTV) and adhesive vinyl (AV). HTV is made to be applied with a heat press and is not intended to be washed. AV is made to be used with an adhesive and can be washed, but it’s not as durable as HTV.

Fabric Softener

When clothes are washed in hot water with fabric softener, they can become saturated with the chemicals in the softener. This causes a barrier between the fabric and the adhesive on the vinyl, leading to peeling.

Chemicals in Detergent

This can happen if you’re using a detergent that’s too harsh. For example, if you’re using dish soap or laundry detergent, it’s likely too harsh for your vinyl, causing it to peel off. Instead, it would help if you used a cleaner that’s designed to be gentle on your fabric.

Using too much detergent also causes damage. Excess detergent leaves a residue on clothing that attracts dirt and dust particles over time. These particles attach themselves to the adhesive on the vinyl, leading to peeling.

Hard Scrubbing

Suppose you’re using a brush to scrub your shirt. While using a brush to clean your fabric is okay, you should be careful not to scrub too hard. If you scrub too hard, you can damage the fabric and cause it to peel off the print. Also, when the vinyl is old and has lost its stickiness, it will come off quickly.

Hot Water

The common cause of vinyl prints coming off t-shirts is washing the shirt in hot water. The heat can cause the vinyl to warp and peel off.

If you use water at a high temperature, that will damage the printing. It’s best to wash shirts with vinyl prints in cold water and air dry them.

Low-Quality Printing

Unfortunately, some T-shirt companies use low-quality vinyl for their prints. This vinyl is not only more likely to peel off, but it can also look cheap and tacky. So if you’re looking for a shirt that will last, it’s essential to ensure that the print is of good quality.

One way to tell if a shirt has a high-quality print is to look at the price. Generally, the higher the price, the better the quality. Another way to tell if a T-shirt has a good print is to touch it. High-quality vinyl should feel smooth and durable, while low-quality vinyl will feel flimsy.

How to Prevent Vinyl Peeling Off Shirt After Washing?

To avoid having your vinyl come off your clothes after washing, follow these tips:

Wash Using Cold Water

Always wash vinyl in cold water on the gentle cycle. Use cold or lukewarm water when washing your clothes, this will help keep the adhesive strong.

Mild Detergent

The number one rule for keeping vinyl printed clothes looking new is to use a suitable detergent. Use a gentle detergent that doesn’t contain bleach, optical brighteners, or fabric softener. Fabric softeners can leave a residue on the vinyl that will cause it to peel off over time.

Avoid Using Fabric Softener

If you must use it, dilute it with equal parts water before adding it to your washer load. Choose a gentle cycle setting when laundering clothes containing vinyl. Try hand washing items with attached vinyl prints.

Can You Fix Wrinkled Vinyl After Washing?

Vinyl printing is a great way to add a personal touch to your shirts, but keeping them looking their best can be a pain. If you’ve ever washed a shirt with a vinyl print, the design can often look wrinkled and less than perfect. However, you can do a few things to try and salvage your shirt.

Heat Press

Use a heat press to apply the vinyl. A heat press gives a more consistent heat, which will help the vinyl adhere better.

Heat the Print Using Hair Dryer

You can try stretching the fabric around the print. This may help to smooth out some of the wrinkles. Use a hairdryer on medium heat to gently warm up the vinyl and help smooth it out. You can also try using a lint roller to remove any wrinkles from the vinyl.

Use an Iron

Start by ironing the shirt inside out on a low heat setting. Place the shirt on an ironing board and set it to a low heat setting. Slowly run the iron over the print, careful not to overheat the material.

This will help flatten the design and make it look less wrinkled. But be careful not to leave the iron in one spot for too long, or you could damage the shirt.

Use Steam

If the vinyl is still looking a bit crinkled after ironing, you can try lightly steaming it with a handheld steamer. Be sure to hold the steamer about an inch away from the shirt to avoid damaging the vinyl.

Use Nail Polish

You can try applying a thin layer of clear nail polish to the design if your shirt is still looking less than perfect. This will help to seal the design and prevent further wrinkles. Let the shirt dry completely before wearing.

Put It in a Dryer

One most straightforward way to remove wrinkles from vinyl is to place the vinyl in a dryer on a low heat setting. This will help to loosen the fibers and relax the wrinkles.

The Best Detergents for Vinyl Shirts

Vinyl is a synthetic material made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It’s often used to make clothing that’s waterproof or resistant to stains. While this makes vinyl an ideal fabric for some things, it is also more challenging to clean.

You have to be careful not to use regular detergent, as it can damage the shirt. Instead, you need to use a detergent that is specifically designed for vinyl shirts.

There are a few different options on the market, so it can be tough to know which one to choose. I’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the best detergents for vinyl shirts.

Woolite Delicates Laundry Detergent

This is an excellent option for those with vinyl shirts. It’s designed to be gentle on delicate fabrics, so you don’t have to worry about it damaging your shirt. It’s also affordable and easy to find in most stores.

Ivory Snow Baby Laundry Detergent

Ivory Snow is a great option if you’re looking for a low-cost laundry detergent that doesn’t skimp on quality. One of the things that makes it so effective is its ability to dissolve quickly in water.

It is free of many harsh chemicals that can be found in other laundry detergents. This includes phthalates, dyes, optical brighteners, and perfumes. As a result, it’s an excellent choice for delicate fabrics and people with sensitive skin or allergies.

Dreft Stage 2: Active Baby Laundry Detergent

Active Baby Laundry Detergent is one of the best options for those looking to keep their vinyl print shirts looking new. This laundry detergent is specially formulated to be gentle on prints and colors so that it won’t cause fading or bleeding.

This detergent is also safe for all fabrics so you can use it on everything from delicate clothing to heavy-duty work wear. Best of all, this is affordably priced.

Persil ProClean Liquid Laundry Detergent

When washing your vinyl printed shirts, you want to make sure you use a gentle detergent that will not damage the material. Persil ProClean liquid laundry detergent is one of the best options out there. This detergent is designed to be gentle on all types of fabric and print, including vinyl. It will also leave your shirts looking and smelling great. In addition, this is designed to be gentle on delicate fabrics.

Tide Free and Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent

Tide Free and Gentle Liquid Laundry detergent are also suitable for vinyl printed shirts. Since there is no harmful chemical used in this, so it won’t damage the print.

This laundry detergent is gentle on clothes and does not contain any dyes or perfumes, making it ideal for people with sensitive skin. It is also effective in removing stains and dirt from clothes.


Vinyl peeling off shirts after washing seems to be a common problem. The most likely reason for the print peeling off the shirt after washing is that the shirt was not properly prepped before the vinyl was applied.

If the shirt was not cleaned and free of lint, the print may not have adequately adhered and is now peeling off. When you find that your vinyl print is coming off after washing, it is likely due to the detergent you are using.

Many detergents contain enzymes that can break down the adhesive that holds the vinyl to the fabric. To avoid this, you can switch to a detergent that is enzyme-free or hand wash your shirt using a mild soap.

Sifat Muntasir

Sifat Muntasir


I’m Sifat. I work as a lecturer in the Department of Textile Engineering at Port City International University. I’m fascinated by the latest developments in the world of fashion and clothing, so I spend most of my time writing about them on this blog.

I also enjoy singing and playing games on the internet in my free time – though I’m not very good at either!

© Copyright - TextileTuts