Hydro Dipping: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Hydro Dipping: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

What Is Hydro Dipping?

Hydro Dipping, also known as water transfer printing, hydrographic printing, hydrographic immersion, etc., is a decoration technology that transfers designed and printed patterns to the surfaces of different objects, which can fully display the personalized appearance and enhance the product’s value.

If you are new to the water transfer printing industry and want to learn about water immersion, this article is for you, please follow us to get started.

What Are the Benefits of Hydro Dipping?

There are many benefits of hydrographic dipping, such as:

1. Perfect Coverage

Hydrographic dipping can achieve perfect coverage even on complex items with irregular surfaces.

2. Cost-Effective

Hydro dipping transfers are a relatively economical decoration method, especially for large-scale production. Combined with water transfer printing equipment, it can enable continuous, efficient, and fast production, making it highly suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises.

3. Time and Labor Savings

Hydrographic printing is easy to operate, allowing even beginners to master the technique quickly. and the water transfer printing process only takes a few minutes to complete.

4. Customizable

It can be DIY, allowing you to showcase a unique appearance for your items based on the patterns you desire.

5. Wide Applicability

Hydrographic printing can be applied to a variety of materials and industries, such as plastics, metals, ceramics, wood, stone, resin and other materials, auto parts, household products, electronic products, and other industries.

What Equipment and Supplies Do I Need For Hydro Dipping?

1. Water Transfer Printing Film

The water transfer printing film is produced using high-quality PVA film and ink, and printed through 8-color gravure printing technology. We can provide various types and patterns, such as carbon fiber, wood grain, marble, camouflage, cartoon, flame, and thousands of patterns.

2. Water Transfer Printing Equipment

Water transfer printing equipment is one of the key tools for hydrographic dipping, and we offer fully automatic water transfer printing equipment, film-flowing machines, drying ovens, rinse tanks, and other efficient and reliable devices.

3. Hydro Dipping Kits

Including an activator, plastic speed shape, spray gun, and a respirator. An activator is an essential tool in water dipping, while the plastic speed shape allows testing the results of water immersion in advance.

How To Hydro Dip for Beginners? (Step By Step)

The operation of hydrographic dipping is simple. Below are the basic steps of hydro dipping. Let’s follow the article and learn step by step:

1. Clean the Surface

Firstly, before applying the primer, it is essential to clean the item thoroughly, ensuring there are no oil stains, dust, dirt, or other contaminants that may affect the immersion process. Additionally, for surfaces that are not smooth, it is recommended to use sandpaper to smooth the item, enhancing better adhesion.

2. Spraying Primer

This step is critical because it will affect the effect of water dipping. Choose the appropriate primer color and spray the primer evenly and multiple times until the surface of the object is completely covered.

3. Dry Primer

This step requires the primer to be dry enough. You can use our drying equipment – drying oven/drying tunnel, and then perform the dipping step after drying.

4. Dipping

First, put the cut water transfer printing film into the dipping tank and soak it in water at 20-35 degrees for about 2 minutes, and spray the appropriate activator; then, immerse the items to be painted into the water through the floating film layer at a 45-degree angle. , the water pressure will make the film smooth and completely cover the item without bubbles, then shake it a few times to remove the item from the water.

5. Cleaning

Place the soaked items in a rinse tank to remove residue.

6. Drying

After cleaning to remove excess residues, it is necessary to place the item into our drying oven or drying tunnel for approximately 20-30 minutes.

7. Applying Topcoat

Once the item is completely dry, place it into our spray painting booth and apply paint to achieve a smooth surface.

Hydro Dipping Process

Safety Precautions

Safety measures are crucial during the hydro dipping process:

It is recommended to operate in a well-ventilated environment.

Wear a protective mask to prevent exposure to gases and chemicals on the skin and eyes.

Stay away from open flames, heat sources, etc.

Regularly inspect relevant equipment to ensure its proper functioning.

Water Transfer Printing Film Storage

When packaging, we use PVC plastic sealing to prevent moisture. During storage, it’s important to note that the temperature of the storage space should not be too high, ideally ranging from 20-25 degrees Celsius. Excessive temperatures can impact the film. Additionally, avoid bending or curling the film to prevent creases, as folds can affect the usability of the film.

What Products/Industries Use Hydro Dipping? 

The application of water dipping is very extensive.

According to the material, it can be applied to plastics, fiberglass, wood, ceramics, metals, rubber, and more.

According to the industry, it can be applied in the automotive sector (various car parts such as wheel hubs, dashboards, steering wheels), the home decor industry (tissue boxes, chairs, tables, lampshades), the fashion industry (shoes, combs, cosmetic packaging), and more.

From this, it can be seen that the versatility of hydro dipping makes it the best choice for decorating a variety of items.

What Cannot Use Hydro Dipping?

Apart from most materials that can be immersed in water, there is a small portion of materials that cannot be immersed, especially hydrophilic materials, such as:

Textiles: water dipping requires smooth surfaces, but textiles have porous surfaces and tend to absorb water, resulting in less-than-ideal immersion effects;

Paper: Not waterproof and unsuitable for hydro dipping.

Hydro Dipping for Small Businesses

For small and medium-sized enterprises, hydro dipping is a cost-effective solution for decorating items. It is more efficient and faster in production, allowing for personalized customization. With our fully automated water transfer printing equipment, one person can operate the process, saving manpower.

How To Custom Hydro Dip?

1. First, confirm whether the items to be transferred are suitable for aqua dipping.

2. Send us the designed pattern through a blank transfer film after printing, or you can also provide us with the AI original image.

3. We will hand over the design to the factory for plate-making. After completion, a sample will be provided for you to confirm the colors. If they are not suitable, adjustments will be made.

4. Once the colors are confirmed without errors, mass production will commence.

Project Ideas To Get Started

We have learned about water transfer printing, now let’s use your ideas to turn your items into unique works of art through aqua dipping.

1. Automotive Spare Parts

For example, car hubs, steering wheels, dashboards, etc. By using hydrographic dipping, these spare parts can be adorned with specially designed “clothing,” such as carbon fiber patterns, making your car stand out.

Hydro Dipping: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

2. Electronic Devices

For instance, phone cases, laptop shells, etc. Through water dipping, whether you opt for vibrant or simple patterns, can showcase your personalized touch on electronic devices.

Hydro Dipping: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

3. Home Decor Items

For example, tables, chairs, lampshades, vases, cups, etc. Through water dipping, inject a touch of artistic atmosphere into these household items, turning them into art pieces.

Hydro Dipping: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

4. Toys

For example, children’s toy cars, scooters, etc. Through aqua dipping, adding cartoon patterns can showcase a playful and child-friendly aesthetic, making them more suitable for kids.

Hydro Dipping: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners


Through this article, we have learned about the definition, advantages, operational process, required materials, applications, and more related to aqua dipping. This makes it easy for beginners to get started. Hydro dipping is a fascinating decorative technique that offers economic efficiency, ease of operation, customization, and wide applicability. It gives items a unique appearance and provides personalized, one-of-a-kind design solutions.

Whether you encounter any issues before or during the hydrographic printing process, feel free to contact us at any time for assistance.

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