Everyone has their own way
If you're like me, you've read several tips about removing water-soluble topping. Everyone swears by their remedy to removing the tiny pieces of the gummy stuff that sticks around in those small spaces. Some methods work better than others. Some people like to roll moistened excess topping into a sticky ball and roll it across the embroidery surface to pick up the small bits remaining. Some use steam. Before learning this trick, my go-to method was mixing one part of fabric softener with twelve parts water in a spray bottle. This mixture dissolves WST much more quickly than plain water alone, and it leaves a nice fresh scent.
When water won't work
Sure, it's convenient that the topping can be removed with something as simple as wetting with water, but there are plenty of reasons that we sometimes can't get the item wet. Perhaps it's a water-sensitive material or maybe you're just running late to the baby shower. These times when you need to keep the item nice and dry are the reason I love this new-found (to me) method.
but just last year - after decades in machine embroidery - I learned about the silver bullet for topping removal. I wish I could remember who showed me this technique because I would love to tell you here. I think it may have been Ellen Osten, education director for Sulky. In any case, we all continue to learn from each other because no one ever knows everything there is to know about the art of embroidery.
It's so simple...
The technique is amazingly simple, and makes perfect sense once you know it. Just moisten a paper towel, place it over the area where the topping needs to be removed, and press over the paper towel with a medium heat setting on a household iron. When the towel is lifted, the topping sticks to the moist towel, partly because it clings to the textured surface of the towel.
Repeat if needed
If all of the topping isn't removed on the first try, just place the towel again and repeat. If you love this technique as much as I do, you will be repeating it almost every time you use a topper!