One of my most popular blog posts ever was about How to Clean Your Heat Press. For some reason, this is a highly “Googled” topic. For those of you who have always wanted to clean your platen, but weren’t quite sure how to go about it, here is what I usually tell people:
If your press has a non-stick coating, usually you can clean it by letting the platen heat up and then rubbing vigorously with a rag. You have to rub pretty hard, but it should come off (wear heat proof hand protection when attempting this). If your heat press doesn’t have a non-stick platen, you might have to use some light sandpaper or maybe a cleaner called GoJo, which has a light pumice sand in it, used in industrial situations or by car mechanics for removing nasty stuff from hands, or any other heavy de-greaser with hot soapy water (of course when the machine is unplugged). However, if you use something with grit, such as Comet cleanser or Ajax on a Teflon-coated platen, you can scratch the heater. If you don’t want to go to all this cleaning trouble, maybe you can try using a reusable cover sheet to protect your garments during application. Stahls’ offers a quick slip lower platen protector to shield the bottom platen from stains. It also makes it easier to get garments on and off the lower platen. And, if you want to make sure your upper platen NEVER actually has the opportunity to get dirty, the heat press upper platen cover is the answer.