How To Remove Water Slide Decals : 6 Easy Steps

A water slide decal is a sheet with a pattern or diagram imposed on it, which can be passed to another surface by sliding it with water.

Printing water slide decals is easy and so is applying them.

Due to the ease of use, water slide decals are used on many surfaces. While some use these to modify miniature model cars, some use these to label boxes and design mugs.

Whether you have mislabeled a box or want to remodify your model car, we got your back. After comprehensive research, we have identified the best ways regarding how to remove water slide decals.

And in this article, we will provide you with detailed guides so that you can remove your decal and clear the surface without affecting the paint.

What Are Water Slide Decals?

A decal is a layer with a design or symbol projected on it to transfer onto another surface. With the help of steam or water, this is usually done. Water slide decals are decals that are applied to surfaces using water.

How to Remove Water Slide Decals

How to Remove Water Slide Decals

Several different ways can be adopted to remove water slide decals. And a lot of them are quite effective, like using acetone or vinegar.

As acetone is a powerful chemical substance, the removal process might also remove the paint. While the vinegar application process does not affect the paint, it is not always reliable, particularly for decals with strong coatings.

how to remove model decals

After an exhaustive process of trial and error, we have identified the fastest and most effective way of removing home printer water slide decals.

Best Way to Remove Water Slide Decals

A specific material, Micro Sol, is required for this process. It is available on Amazon. Micro Sol is essentially a setting solvent used to add decals to all kinds of substances, including the most complex and uneven surfaces.

It may be a good setting solution for decals, but it is an even better solution for removing them. First, it makes the decal reach a perfectly soft state, which causes it to glide on the surface of the material.

Best Way to Remove Water Slide Decals

The overall process is very easy. Following exact instructions will help you get the work done quickly and accurately.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to completely remove water slide decals most efficiently.

Step 1: Collect the Micro Sol Solution

First, make sure you have the Micro Sol solution. You can find it on Amazon.

There is a similar product named Micro Set. Although it says ‘decal remover’ on the bottle, it is not appropriate for the removal process. So, make sure you’re getting the right solution.

Step 2: Apply the Micro Sol Solution to the Decal

Then, you have to apply drops of the solution over the decal in order to get it all soaked up.

Step 3: Apply a Wet Paper Towel over the Decal

After that, take a paper towel and soak it in room temperature water. Then, place the wet paper on top of the decal.

Step 4: Wait for the Decal to Soften

Once you’re done applying both the water and the solution on the decal, give it some time to process.

Wait for 15 minutes. This time will allow the decal to lose strength and get soft. Soon, you will notice that the decal will start loosening up.

Step 5: Use a Micro Sol Soaked Cotton Pad to Remove the Decal

Now, it is time to push the decal off its place from the surface.

Start by taking a small cotton pad and soaking it in the Micro Sol solution. Then, take the wet cotton pad to slowly push the decal off the surface. You have to take your time in this step if you want to get the work done on the first attempt.

Step 6: Repeat the Steps If It Isn’t Completely Removed

Sometimes the decals are not easy to remove, especially the really old ones.

So, you shouldn’t worry if fragments of the decal are still stuck on the surface. Just repeat the steps from step two.

After a few tries, you will notice that the whole thing is gone and the surface is completely clear.

how to make water slide decals

As long as you follow the instructions correctly, you will succeed in completely getting rid of the old decal from any plastic surface.

Although this is the most reliable way, there is a catch. If you choose to adopt this method, you will not be able to save the decal. It gets damaged in the process.

However, if you want to hold on to the decal or reuse it on a different surface, there is another way.

Best Way to Remove Water Slide Decals without Damaging Them

This way is not much different from the previous one. The only difference here is the key solution.

Unlike the previous method, this one requires the use of distilled water. Now, what is distilled water? It is processed water that has been heated and turned into vapor, and then cooled back to a liquid form. This method eliminates impure particles from the water. It’s basically a kind of filtered water.

Although this may not be as quick as the first method, it is just as effective. So, here’s the step-by-step guide like before.

Step 1: Prepare or Purchase Some Distilled Water

You can prepare it at home or purchase it from any local supermarket or pharmacy.

Step 2: Apply the Distilled Water to the Decal

Once you have it, apply drops of the purified water over the decal and make it wet.

Step 3: Apply a Wet Paper Towel over the Decal

Next, grab a paper towel and rinse it in tap water. Then, put the soaked paper on the decal.

Step 4: Wait for the Decal to Soften

After applying both water and solution on the decal, wait for about 15 minutes. The mixture of the solutions will soften the decal and it will be ready to be removed.

Step 5: Use a Distilled Water Soaked Cotton Pad to Remove the Decal

You’re almost at the end. Take a small cotton pad and soak it in distilled water. Use the soaked cotton to slowly nudge the decal from its place on the surface.

Step 6: Repeat the Steps If It Isn’t Completely Removed

If any remnants of the decal remain on the surface, repeat the procedure from step two. With a few more attempts, you’re going to be finished.

Both of the ways mentioned above are perfectly capable of removing all kinds of laser printed water slide decals.

Also Read:

  1. Best Silhouette Machine for Stickers
  2. Best Screen Printer Reviews

Final Verdict

If you’re interested in removing water slide decals, this article should be enough for you. Now, removing these decals is just as easy as applying them.

You will notice that there are plenty of different methods of removing water slide decals. While some are good, they are not all effective.

We have found the perfect method for you; one that is fast & easy and will not damage the surface paint. But you will need a couple of additional substances for this, which are easily accessible.

Follow our direct instructions on how to remove water slide decals to clear your surface from any unwanted decals.


Alice covers platforms, policy and big tech at Printer Reviews. Prior to rejoining here, Alice was Senior Technology Editor of the TechDen. Alice first joined PrinterReviews in 2021. Before joining, he was the Tech Editor of the Daily Dot and a reporter and deputy editor at ReadWeb.

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