How To Clean Your Heat Press Machine

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How To Clean Your Heat Press MachineIf you’re in the business of producing garments with graphic images printed on them, the tools you use to create your products are the foundation of your operations. Whether you use a vinyl cutting machine or a heat press, taking care of the tools of your trade is crucial to the success of your business. If a heat press machine is your tool of choice, to ensure proper functioning, routine maintenance is essential.

Regular cleaning is the easiest way to keep your heat press in working order. Ink, oil, residue, and plain old dust can clog up the various components of the machine and impede its functioning. Plus, when your heat press is dirty, you’ll transfer more than just images to your fabrics; you’ll also transfer dirt and debris.

By using the following tips, you’ll be able to properly clean your heat press, maintain its performance, and prolong its lifespan.

Cleaning Your Heat Press

Examine your heat press on a regular basis. If you see residue from any graphics you’ve pressed with it burnt onto the upper platen, it’s definitely in need of a cleaning. You should also clean the machine when it hasn’t been used over a prolonged period of time.


Properly cleaning your heat press requires the right tools. Gather the following supplies before you get started to ensure a thorough job:

  • A clean, soft cloth
  • Heat-resistant protection for your hands (gloves, pot holders, etc)
  • An abrasive or nonabrasive cleanser (depending on the type of heat press you have)
  • Water
  • Bucket

Cleaning a Teflon Coated Heat Press

For heat presses that feature a Teflon-coated upper platen, use the following instructions for cleaning:

  • Unplug the machine
  • Ensure its completely cool
  • In a bucket, mix together non-abrasive cleaner (dish soap, for example) and water
  • Soak a cloth in the mixture
  • Wring out excess water
  • Wipe down the platens

If the this method doesn’t completely remove residue, try the following approach:

  • Heat the machine up
  • Wearing heat-resistant protection on your hands
  • Dip a cloth into a mixture of non-abrasive cleanser and water
  • Wring out excess water
  • Wipe down the platens
  • Turn off and unplug the heat press
  • Allow the machine to cool
  • Dip a cloth in cool water
  • Wipe down the platens to remove any remaining cleanser

Cleaning a Non-Stick Heat Press

If the upper platen on your heat press isn’t coated with Teflon, use the following steps to clean the machine:

  • Unplug the heat press
  • Allow it to cool completely
  • Apply an abrasive cleanser (Comet, Ajax, etc) directly onto the upper platens
  • Mix non-abrasive cleaner and water
  • Dip a cloth in the soapy water mixture
  • Rub the abrasive cleanser into the platens
  • Plug the heat press in
  • Allow it to heat up
  • Wearing heat-resistant hand protection, use a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining residue
  • Unplug the machine
  • Allow it to cool completely
  • Dip a clean cloth in plain, cool water
  • Wring out excess moisture
  • Wipe down the platens to remove any remaining soap residue and debris

Other Cleaning Tips

For both Teflon-coated and non-Teflon-coated heat presses, once the platens have been cleaned, wipe down the other components of the machine. Using a clean, damp cloth (no cleanser), wipe down the entire device to remove any dust, dirt, fingerprints, and any other debris.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to properly clean your heat press and it ensure it functions properly so that you can produce high-quality products for years to come.

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