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How to Get Air Bubbles out of Vinyl Stickers: 5 Easy methods you can try

How to Get Air Bubbles out of Vinyl Stickers

You’ve spent countless hours arranging and applying the stickers to decorate something but at the end you found some pesky air bubbles marrying the perfection of your project? How to fix this? How to get air bubbles out of vinyl stickers? 

Whether those annoying bubbles are already formed or you’re looking to prevent them altogether, our guide will help. With these 5 easy methods, you’ll know how to get bubbles out of vinyl stickers, preventing them from ruining your stickers’ sleek and clean look. 

Now, let’s get started with CustomAny!

Why Do Air Bubbles Form Under Your Stickers? 

What are the reasons those annoying air bubbles appear under your vinyl stickers? Understanding these factors will be the key for you to achieve smooth and bubble-free applied stickers.

1. The surface matters

Even a few grains of dirt or any other particle on the surface you apply stickers to can disrupt the adhesive bond. Besides, surfaces with irregularities, like those with curves or are uneven, pose challenges as stickers struggle to conform. These problems are the reasons leading to air bubbles forming under vinyl stickers during application.

Clean the surface thoroughly before apply vinyl stickers
Clean the surface thoroughly before apply vinyl stickers

Related blog: “4 tips for applying vinyl to curved surface

2. Sticker Quality Counts

Poor-quality stickers may come with no adhesive on certain areas, which resists bonding and resulting in air bubbles lying under the vinyl. In another case, thick vinyl stickers have a higher risk of trapping air bubbles during application than thin stickers.

Related blog: “Thick vs thin vinyl stickers

3. How you apply them

  • Fast application: If you apply stickers too quickly, it increases the likelihood of curling vinyl, resulting in trapped air between the sticker and the surface. 
  • Without adequate pressure, you may not create a secure bond for your stickers, allowing air to go under the vinyl layer. 
  • If you remove stickers and reposition them during application, the chance of creating air bubbles under stickers is higher.

How to Apply Vinyl Stickers with no Air Bubbles 

Now that we’ve discovered the main factors that cause vinyl stickers with air bubbles, let’s find out how to prevent this from happening.

1. Choose the suitable stickers and surface 

Selecting high-quality vinyl stickers with strong and even adhesive. You should also opt for thin vinyl to avoid air bubbles. 

Besides, make sure that the intended surface is suitable for applying stickers. Sturdy, and smooth surfaces will work best as they minimize the chances of interfering particles or winkle stickers.

2. Prepare Your Surface

Thoroughly clean the surface, removing any dirt. Then you should let it dry before applying your sticker. A well-prepared surface will act as an optimal base to apply stickers onto without creating any air bubble.

3. Apply with Patience

When applying stickers in large sizes, you should do it gradually to prevent air bubbles. Begin from one side of your sticker, carefully press and rub it down as you go until the entire sticker adheres to the surface. Applying stickers in this way, you can smooth the air out gradually, reducing the risk of air bubbles forming under stickers. 

By choosing the right stickers as well as surface, cleaning surface adequately, and applying with patience, you totally can achieve a bubble-free vinyl sticker application as you wish.

How to Get Air Bubbles out of Vinyl Stickers? 5 Easy methods you can try 

If there are already some annoying air bubbles trapped under your sticker art, you will desperately want to know “how to get air bubbles out of vinyl stickers?”, “Will air bubbles in decals go away?’, etc. Lucky for you, there are several easy ways to fix this problem. We’ve rounded up the top 5 methods for you.

1. Soapy Water Solution

How to get bubbles out of stickers? Firstly, let’s prevent air bubbles right from the application process. Use a few drops of dish soap to do it. Mix soap with water and apply it to the surface before sticking the vinyl. This solution acts as a temporary lubricant, enabling you to reposition the sticker and push out air bubbles more easily. 

The soapy water is especially beneficial when you have to work with large or intricate vinyl stickers. It is also the solution CustomAny recommend for particularly surfaces with curves or uneven textures.

Add a few drops of dish soap water before applying vinyl stickers to prevent air bubbles
Add a few drops of dish soap water before applying vinyl stickers to prevent air bubbles

2. Squeegee Technique

Squeegees should be the first tool that should come to mind if you want to get air bubbles out of your vinyl stickers due to their accessibility and remarkable effectiveness. Use it to press the vinyl sticker, starting from the center towards the edges with back-and-forth motion. This method allows you to push air bubbles so they can release from the edges. Squeegee is especially effective if you have a large vinyl sticker.

If you don’t have a squeegee, look for a credit card, or a similar flat-edged tool. However, don’t like squeegee, these tools lack the soft rubber layer, so proceed patiently to avoid scratching your sticker surface with their sharper edges.

Use a squeegee or card to press the vinyl sticker
Use a squeegee or card to press the vinyl sticker

3. Heat and Pressure

How to remove air bubbles? The combination of heat and pressure application can help you when wondering how to get air bubbles out of vinyl stickers. To start this process, warm your vinyl sticker with a heat gun or a hairdryer. The heat makes the vinyl more pliable, allowing you to use pressure to gently push out any air bubbles. It’s crucial to set the hairdryer or heat gun at low level first to avoid overheating the vinyl sticker during this process.

You can combine heat technique with squeegee for more effectiveness. Using heat is an ideal choice if you are dealing with stubborn bubbles that may not be pushed out by using the squeegee method alone. 

Warm up your vinyl sticker with a hairdryer to remove air bubbles
Warm up your vinyl sticker with a hairdryer to remove air bubbles

4. Needle Method

How to remove bubbles from vinyl? With just one needle and the precision, you’ll know how to get air bubbles out of vinyl stickers, even the most stubborn ones. To do it, use a needle or a pin to gently poke small holes in each air bubble on your sticker. Then use your finger to smooth out the sticker sùace. These punctured holes allow releasing the trapped air, and your sticker will stay flat in perfection.

While this method is remarkably effective, they may put your sticker under risk of losing its visual appeal. Remember to poke small holes only to disrupt the trapped air and prevent unintended damage to the vinyl surface.

Use needle to get air bubbles out of vinyl stickers
Use needle to get air bubbles out of vinyl stickers

5. Remove and Reapply

When air bubbles refuse to release from your stickers, the final method is to remove and then reapply them. Gently peel back the corner of the sticker and slowly reapply it. As you go along, use a squeegee to push out the air bubbles.

While this method offers your stickers a do-over, remember that there is a chance it goes wrong. It may lead to even more trapped air bubbles, wrinkles or tear stickers. You should only do it when all the methods above proven to be ineffective with your stickers. If you fail with this method once again, consider purchasing a new sticker.


Will bubbles in vinyl go away? Yes. With the 5 methods that together we’ve explored, you now have the answer for “how to get air bubbles out of vinyl stickers”. Remember, patience and experimentation are the key no matter the method you choose. 

If you want to explore more tips and hacks for designing, printing or applying stickers, go to our blog page. If you want to print custom stickers for your projects, we also offer stickers in various shapes, sizes and special effects here.


About Karen Lee

Meet our Creative Master – Karen Lee! Karen is the DIY wizard and the creative mind behind all of our inspiration posts: from fantastic gift ideas to exceptional decoration tips that make your events pop. Stick around for more exciting content, as we belive she is your partner in all things fun and fabulous.