Can You Use An Iron As A Heat Press

The performance of a heat press is no doubt quite amazing. However, the hefty price tag dangling to it often discourages people from investing in it. The common household iron comes in handy in such circumstances.

You can use an iron as a replacement for a heat press machine. But since the appliance is different, the procedure and the guidelines need to be slightly different too.

To help you achieve the best results every time instead of disappointment, I have jotted down a couple of things below. They should be kept in mind while using an iron for heat transfers.

Can You Use An Iron As A Heat Press

An iron can be used as a heat press, but only when the following criteria are being met.

Maintaining The Same Pressure

Along with high heat, the heat press machine exerts high pressure. This is to melt the adhesive completely into the garment. Therefore, pressure is a critical detail that should never be overlooked. When you are using a household iron, the appliance itself will not exert pressure. You will need to add pressure to the press by holding it down with all your weight. Therefore, when you are using an iron, make sure to add as much weight to it as possible to exert maximum pressure.

Furthermore, another important detail that you need to keep in mind is to maintain the same pressure. If the pressure keeps increasing and decreasing throughout the press, the results will not be what you would have hoped for. Try your best to keep the pressure the same through the entire timespan of the press.

Setting Accurate Temperature

The temperature of iron also needs to be set carefully. If your iron offers only a Celsius temperature unit, then you need to convert the heat level into Celsius from Fahrenheit before setting it on the iron. Moreover, it is common for a household iron to heat up more swiftly from the middle as compared to other areas.

If your iron also delivers the high heat of the pre-set temperature from the center, then you need to make sure to press with that part only. This means that when you place the iron on the transfer, press with the middle area. Place the iron on the transfer in such a way that the center covers the entire design of vinyl design.

Holding For The Right Time

A household iron does not come with a timer as opposed to a heat press machine. So, you need to find other means for maintaining the time as it is highly important. There are two options for this, the first is to count the seconds yourself. It may not be very accurate but it gets the job done. However, this option is not suitable for projects where time is of the essence. For such projects, you need to use the second option. Open the timer on your phone, and turn it on the moment you place the iron on the vinyl. Keep a close eye on the timer, to make sure not to overpress.

Using A Cover

The heat level of a household iron is not the same throughout its design. So, it should be used carefully. You need to use some cover to keep your project safe. You can use a sheet of parchment paper, or Teflon as a cover. But, this part is critical, if you want to keep your project intact.

Working On The Right Surface

When it comes to using iron as a heat press, you can not work on any surface of the house. You need to work on surfaces that are capable of storing heat so that your project gets heated up from the bottom as well. The best surface for such circumstances is wood. You can take any wooden slab, and place your garment with the transfer on it. Wood will store the heat inside that is being added from the top. Therefore, your garment will get heat from the bottom as well.


If you want to achieve the results of a heat press without spending such a large sum of money, take your iron out of the closet and start pressing with it. To get the best possible result every time you press with an iron, you need to make sure to follow the precautions shared in this article.

Leave a Comment