How to Clean Your Heat Press Platen

Almost everyone who uses a heat press has wondered how to effectively clean the platen. Whether it needs to be cleaned because there is adhesive residue on it, you accidentally printed a transfer upside down or the heat press temperature was so high that something melted and the area smells like chemicals and burning plastic, try one or more of the following suggestions.

1. Check the Manufacturer's Recommendations

Chances are that the manufacturer of your heat press has a recommended procedure for cleaning it. There might also be a section within the directions that details how to clean residue or other unwanted items off the platen. The actual methods likely vary somewhat across manufacturers, but these instructions are a good place to start.

2. EZ Off Heat Press Platen Cleaner

Available in a 5.25-ounce tube, this cleaner removes residue of all types from the heat press platen. Safe and effective for fabric, skin and metal, EZ Heat Press Platen Cleaner is easy to use. Simply heat the press until it reaches about 200 degrees. Apply a small amount of cleaner onto a clean cotton rag. Use small circular motions to rub and remove the residue. Switch to the another area of your rag when that one becomes soiled.

3. Chemicals

Vicki from Conde Systems recommends trying one or more chemicals in an effort to remove ink from the platen. Wipes infused with bleach -- or even bleach itself -- can be used to clean the area in question. Acetone and rubbing alcohol are also effective cleaners. Regardless of which cleaner you use, the recommended method is the same. First, saturate a lint-free linen wipe one of the aforementioned cleaners before tackling the area where the ink or other unwanted substance is located. Use small and firm strokes to remove the substance. Move to a different part of the wipe when one area gets dirty. Vicki also noted that Goo Gone works well for sticky messes.

4. Cook It Off

Vicky from Conde Systems also had another suggestion if the cleaners noted above did not do the trick. You can "cook" the substance off your heat press platen. This involves using the extreme heat from the press to remove the stain, film, ink or other unwanted matter.

One drawback of this method is that it can take a great deal of time to be effective. If this is the route you decide to take, be sure to use protective paper when you do use your press until the stain is removed completely. Otherwise, the unwanted material could be accidentally transferred onto other products and ruin them.

No one method of cleaning your heat press platen is going to work for every instance. It's important to know that removing the substance could take multiple applications of a cleaner. If one of the above suggestions doesn't work, it could be worth it to try another method in order to have a fully-functioning heat press.

When you have your platen clean and ready to go, be sure to try one of our temperature labels to adjust your heat press temperature. The 5-Temp THERMOLABEL 340-380°F and 8-Temp THERMOLABEL Classic 330-400°F are both popular choices for measuring heat press platen temp.

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