Tumbler Press Time and Temp | Details You Should Know

Tumbler Press Time and Temp | Details You Should Know




Time to read 5 min

 Tumbler sublimation offers a great way to customize your mugs, tumblers, and water bottles. With a heat press machine, you can sublimate your tumblers with custom images, drawings, texts, etc. But what is the best tumbler press time and temp? There is no one-size-fits-all tumbler press time and temp because this can vary across varying materials and applications. So, in this guide, we will share with you the basics of tumbler heat press time and temp and the ideal tumbler heat press settings for different materials.

Tumbler Press Time and Temp


Part 1: Understand the Basics of Tumbler Press Time and Temp

First of all, you need to understand what is a sublimation tumbler press. Choosing items tagged as sublimation tumblers is crucial because they have a special coating designed only for sublimation. These products allow you to customize them with adhesive craft vinyl without causing any real damage. In short, you cannot use a regular tumbler for the sublimation process.

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It's also vital to note that sublimation is applied on light or white surfaces, meaning you should purchase light-colored tumblers or mugs for the best outcomes. You'll also need to invest in a tumbler heat press machine, an inkjet printer with sublimation ink, and a printed sublimation sheet. You'll also need a ruler/tape measure, scissors/cutter, and heat-resistant gloves.

Regarding the tumbler heat press settings, the sublimation process is known to be efficient with temperatures of around 380-400 degrees Fahrenheit. As for the time, this can be anywhere between 5-15 minutes. But, of course, tumbler press time and temp will vary depending on the sublimation method you want to use. 


Part 2: What is the Ideal Tumbler Press Time and Temp?

1. Glass Mugs

tumbler press time and temp glass mugs

Glass cans and mugs are often easy to sublimate with a heat press. After purchasing a glass coated explicitly for sublimation printing, pour a light-colored liquid inside it and watch your personalized designs come to life. However, it's important to note that the colors may not be as vibrant as on other surfaces due to the transparency of your glass. With that in mind, choosing sublimation designs with bold, dark, and vibrant colors is best. Also, be careful not to apply too much pressure on the glass because this could shatter it. And yes, wear protective gloves for protection when handling the hot glass.

Tumbler Heat Press Settings:

  1. Temperature: 360 - 400° F
  2. Time: 180-240 seconds
  3. Pressure: 40 psi medium


    2. Ceramic Mugs

    tumbler press time and temp ceramic mugs

      Ceramic mugs can be soft or hard-coated, depending on your needs and application. Hard-coated ceramic sublimation mugs are designed for sublimation printing because the coat ensures the dye applies appropriately to the surface. This makes them ideal for microwaves and dishwashers without the risk of peeling off. A hard-coated ceramic mug will give you durable, vibrant, and high-quality sublimation mugs. But be careful when sublimating a ceramic heat press because the mug is often very hot. Leave the mug to cool off completely before handling it. Twenty minutes is the recommended time!

      Tumbler Heat Press Settings:

      1. Temperature: 380 - 400° F
      2. Time: 150-210 seconds
      3. Pressure: 40 psi medium


        3. Plastic Mugs

        tumbler press time and temp plastic mugs

          Plastic cups are obviously some of the most challenging surfaces to sublimate. That's because plastics are susceptible to melting when exposed to extremely high temperatures. This means you should keep the heat press temperature moderate and heat press for short periods. Also, always use high-quality plastics from retailers like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, and wear heat gloves to handle the cup after heat pressing to avoid burns. And another thing, remove any film before you heat press the plastic cup.

          Tumbler Heat Press Settings:

          1. Temperature: 400° F
          2. Time: 60 seconds
          3. Pressure: 40 psi medium


            4. Stainless Steel

            tumbler press time and temp stainless steel mugs

              Sublimating a stainless steel tumbler may involve much trial and error, which can be time-consuming. That said, sublimating a stainless steel tumbler is a little different. First, you'll have to preheat the heat press to 400° F and be sure to use infusible ink and sublimation paper explicitly for stainless steel tumblers. Also, allow the tumbler to cool off before handling it. Note that the design may not be as durable as ceramic and glass heat press designs, so use mild soap and soft cloth to clean the surface.

              Tumbler Heat Press Settings:

              • Temperature: 360-385° F
              • Time: 60-90 seconds
              • Pressure: 40 psi medium

              Part 3: FAQ

              1. How to determine the best tumbler heat press settings?

              The quality of your sublimation design will depend on factors such as tumbler press time and temp. For this reason, it's essential to read the instructions on the sublimation material to use the recommended temperature, pressure, and time. Also, always make a test print, although this could be time-consuming. It's definitely worth it!

              2. What are some tips for achieving the best tumbler press results?

              To ensure the best results when transferring your heat press designs to a tumbler or cup, follow these tips:

              1. Read the manufacturer's instructions: Before performing any heat press process, read and understand the manufacturer's guide sheet. This ensures you don't get anything wrong regarding the tumbler heat press settings like temperature, heat, and pressure.

              2. Use quality material: Getting suitable material is vital to achieve the desired results. For example, a hard-coated ceramic produces more durable and vibrant heat press designs than a soft-coated ceramic. Also, obtain the best materials by reading reviews on Amazon, Walmart, eBay, etc.

              3. Use the correct pressure: Applying the low-pressure settings means your design may not fully apply to the surface and fall off. Therefore, always use medium-high pressure settings to ensure the ink adheres completely to the heat press design.

              4. Use heat tape to keep the image from ghosting: When applying your designs, you will want the material to stay in place during the heat press process. Therefore, use a heat transfer tape to place your print correctly and prevent ghosting. Usually, a clear heat transfer tap is heat resistant and can be used on any application.

              5. Do a test print: Don't overlook the importance of performing a test print during the sublimation process. Always print a small design using different tumbler heat press settings. This will help you examine the results and determine the best tumbler heat press settings. 


              4. Summary

              As you can see, sublimating your tumbler has its fair share of considerations. Getting the wrong tumbler heat press settings could destroy the whole process. Therefore, reading the user manual and performing a test print is critical, especially if it's your first time sublimating a tumbler. It's a fun experience once you know what to do.