Removing Water-Soluble Toppers the EASY Way

Removing Water Soluble Toppers the EASY Way by

If you've ever used water soluble toppers, you know that they don't tear completely away from the stitching, especially in detailed, open areas. Little specs are often left behind. This is a trick that I wanted to share with you. A customer actually told me about it and it's pretty nifty!

Water-soluble toppers are essential to having perfect embroidery stitches on fabrics with a nap, like fleece or towels. Toppers keep stitches from sinking out of sight but can be a nuisance to remove. This is a super easy way to get rid of water-soluble topper when embroidery is done.

Take your water-soluble stabilizer and tear it away as you normally would, from the top. There are still going to be little bits of stabilizer left within the small areas of embroidery design.

Disclaimer: I know I have told you that for the final pressing, I iron my embroidery face down. This technique is just to remove the topper, so it's not really to press my design.  

Removing Water Soluble Toppers the EASY Way by

Photos by Debbie Henry

With your design and topper facing up, place a paper towel over the embroidery. Fill an ordinary spray bottle with water. Any spray bottle will work. Spritz the paper towel. You want the paper towel to be damp but not soppy wet.

Use a medium heat (no steam) and press the paper towel until the paper towel is sort of dry but not terribly dry. I know this is not rocket science and there's no clear set of rules, but I would say, oh, anywhere from 10 to 20 seconds.  

 Removing Water Soluble Toppers the EASY Way by

This is an extreme closeup. The tiny specks of topper are barely visible to the naked eye.

Gently pull back the paper towel and presto change-o just like magic, the water-soluble topper will stick to the paper towel and be removed from all those tiny places without tedious hand picking. If there happens to be a few pieces of topper still showing, spritz the paper towel and press it again. Works like a charm!

It used to be that you'd go in there and really dig and pick topper from the little design areas or throw it in the washing machine. This technique saves you from having to wash, dry, and press your project after the embroidery is finished, especially if it is a gift.

May your day be blessed with perfect stitches and GlitterFlex!!

Removing Water Soluble Toppers the EASY Way by

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  • Bonnie Welsh - August 11, 2019

    Sylvia—Great question! The heat away stabilizers are a different “animal” then the wash away stabilizers and, therefore, this method of removal will not work with them. Heat away toppers/stabilizers are great for fabrics that cannot be washed or shouldn’t get wet.

  • sylvia barclay-monet-gadd - August 10, 2019

    Bonnie can i use inspira clear N melt (husqvarna product ) as the topper ? you dont generally use water with it .heat activated stabiliser that dissolves with heat applied with the iron.low to med heat setting? i have told friends about this blog who have this problem. thank you for sharing. now i am retired hope to have time to catch up with all your tips . sylvia

  • Bonnie Welsh - August 10, 2019

    Debra—You’re most welcome! =)

  • Debra Hammer - August 09, 2019

    That is awesome. Thank you for sharing and the photos are a great help.

  • Deborah - August 09, 2019

    Thanks so much for this awesome tip!

  • Bonnie Welsh - August 07, 2019

    Reita—As long as you’re using the plastic looking type of water soluble stabilizer it will work. =)

  • Reita Fisher - August 07, 2019

    Would this work on the water soluble stabilizer to ie napkins

  • Sandi - August 06, 2019

    Good to know, i am working on a burlap reading book for the grandson. And can’t wash it.

  • Bonnie Welsh - August 05, 2019

    Gaila—I still wash towels prior to embroidery as I’m normally concerned about a little shrinkage. But it sure saves time not having to wash after! =)

  • ann clark - August 05, 2019

    Im going to try that next time i always wash my things

  • Brenda Jerles - August 05, 2019

    Amazing tip! I can’t wait to try this one!!!!!

  • Gaila - August 05, 2019

    I wished this came last wk.
    I monogrammed on towels and Your right, I did launder all of them.

  • Bonnie Welsh - August 05, 2019

    I think all of you will love this method as much as I have. Just remember to use a damp paper towel and not soggy wet paper towel. It’s like magic!

  • Bonnie Welsh - August 05, 2019

    Connie—I think you’ll find it’ll save you a TON of time. =)

  • Donna Ruggieri - August 05, 2019

    Sounds like something I need to try. Thanks a lot ! ! !

  • Cinda - August 05, 2019

    Awesome solution…will definitely use this method in the future.

  • Yolanda Olivarez - August 05, 2019

    I will definitely try this method.

  • Jan - August 05, 2019

    Interesting method I plan to try this right away.

  • Roseanne Westenzweig - August 05, 2019

    Love this idea!

  • Connie Smith - August 05, 2019

    Thanks, i am so impressed, i do alot of towels,so can really savetime, thanks again.

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