The most common approach to get rid of screen printing of clothing is to soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover and apply it. Other simple solutions include melting the print with an iron and a paper bag or using a sugar scrub to scrape it away. Some textiles need particular attention when removing the design without damaging the fabric.
8 Effective Ways:
- Nail Polish Remover
- Iron and Paper Bag
- Coldwater Rinse and Sugar Scrub
- Pressure Water Sprayer
- Plastisol Remover
- Fade with Washing
- Coldwater Rinse While Printing
If the fabric is more than 50% polyester, skip this method and scroll down to the section on synthetic fabrics.
If your fabric is mostly cotton or another tough fabric like denim, you can try any of these methods.
If your design is new, try washing it in cold water before you put it on. Coldwater tightens the ink, and that can help. If that doesn’t work, soak the garment in a mixture of cold water and mild laundry detergent. Soak it for at least an hour, and then scrub with a hard bristle brush to loosen any remaining ink. Rinse in cold water until all the soap is gone.
Soak paper towels in acetone if you’re working on one part of a multi-colored design or article of clothing. Dab at the spot with the soaked towel until it’s clean. Repeat if necessary, but be sure to wear gloves when using acetone or nail polish remover.
Soak Cotton Ball In Nail Polish Remover
Put cotton balls at the center of every print on your garment, soak them with nail polish remover, and let them sit for 10 minutes. Scrub with a toothbrush until all the print comes off. If a certain area needs a bit more cleaning, apply acetone with an old toothbrush instead.
Iron and Paper Bag
Set your iron to the cotton setting and place a paper bag between the article of clothing and the ironing board. Iron over the design until it begins to melt, then let it cool and pull off any remaining pieces with wooden toothpicks. Cover another part of the garment in acetone or nail polish remover if necessary.
Coldwater Rinse and Sugar Scrub
Fill your washing machine with cold water, add detergent if necessary, and set to its longest cycle — this will tighten any ink that has already set into the material, making it difficult to get off later. If you want even more ink to come out while you wash, add vinegar instead of fabric softener. Spray or dab some sugar scrub onto each area where there’s printing and use an old toothbrush to gather suds that cover the design. Scrub in a circular motion and rinse off when you’re finished.
Pressure Water Sprayer
Spray your garment with pressure water from a garden hose to remove the print. If you don’t want to get wet, use a spray bottle filled with water instead.
You can also buy commercial remover for plastisol ink, available at many art supply stores. Alternatively, you can mix 10% ammonia and 90% water in a spray bottle or bucket (depending on the size of your project) to prepare your own remover.
Fade with Washing
When you wash your garment, rub the design with a fabric softener to fade it. If that doesn’t work, run a dryer sheet over the printed area and then handwash and air-dry the garment.
Coldwater Rinse While Printing
If you’re printing designs onto the same article of clothing over and over, prepare a bucket or sink with cold water. Print your design like normal, then immediately rinse it in the cold water afterward to tighten the ink before it has a chance to set into the material.
Guides – Remove Screen Printing from Different Fabrics
This guide will show you a few tips that you can use to fix or remove a screen print from a shirt, sweatshirt, or any other fabric.
- How to Remove Logos from Clothing?
- How to Remove Screen Printing from Sweatshirts?
- How to Remove Screen Printing from Shirts?
- How to Remove a Screen Print from Polyester?
- How to Remove a Screen Print from Plastic?
- How to Remove Screen Print from Glass?
You may want to touch up or get rid of unwanted smears you inadvertently made on the garment, so there are a few things you can do to fix or get rid of the image even though screen printed inks are supposed to be permanent.
How to Remove Logos from Clothing?
Your customer decided he didn’t like the logos you printed on the totes, shirts or other garments. So what do you do? You wonder how to remove logos from clothing, so you can try again. Luckily, these images are quite small so you may be able to save the garment and remove the logo.
Things You Need:
- Cold Water
- Warm water
- Kraft paper
- Clothing iron
realize there is something wrong with the logo. Rinse the fabric in cold water immediately. This could remove all of the logo ink on the fabric. Just make sure it is cold water and not hot, as hot water makes the ink set faster.
Once you have rinsed the fabric thoroughly, you can steep the fabric in warm water and let the fabric dry thoroughly. Once dry, you may notice that there is slight ink staining. Once completely dry you can place kraft paper (like paper bag paper) over the shirt and using an iron without steam heat the paper over the logo area. The heat will draw out the ink from the shirt and into the paper.
Using an iron without steam, heat the part of the paper bag lying over the part of the shirt that has ink. Keep using the iron over the paper to remove leftover ink. Use new paper when the paper becomes saturated.
If there is still a little ink left on the shirt, dampen the fabric with a little water then place some sugar on the stain and scrub it gently. Rinse again and let dry. By now, you should have removed the entire logo.
How to Remove Screen Printing from Sweatshirts?
Like removing a logo, you can also remove screen printing from a sweatshirt in the same way. Use cold water to rub out as much of the ink as possible, then rinse with warm water and let dry. Once dry, place kraft paper over the image and iron it out. Scrub with damp sugar to get the remaining stain out.
But what if that still doesn’t work and it leaves you still wondering how to remove screen printing from sweatshirts. You just don’t have that much $ to reinvest in new sweatshirts. Now there is ink in the heavy sweatshirt fibers, and you don’t know what to do. Don’t worry! There are options available to you.
Ok so if there is still ink set in the sweatshirt after completing the removal process you can use a bit of acetone and a swab, or if the ink is extensive you can place a bit of acetone on a lint-free cloth and rub the sweatshirt to remove the stain. Keep in mind that acetone or nail polish remover might cause a little discoloration in a sweatshirt so you need to try it over a hidden area first. Place a piece of cardboard inside the sweatshirt to avoid getting ink on other areas of the fabric then add a drop of nail polish remover to a small area of the design and work it in with your fingers. Use a soft brush or cloth to rub out the design.
If the fabric color doesn’t bleed with your initial test, apply the nail polish remover to the entire print and let it sit for about 15 to 30 minutes. Then use a soft cloth or brush to rub the design out. Work quickly to ensure that the acetone still works and doesn’t dry out. When you finish launder the sweatshirt according to the washing instructions on the sweatshirt. Avoid using the dryer to dry the sweatshirt as the heat sets the color. Air-dry it instead. So you can repeat the process if all of the ink did not come out.
Still not good enough? At this point, you’ll need to use a bit of spot fluid remover like SR-97 and then use a water pressure gun to wash the ink out of the sweatshirt. You can get this cleaning fluid from a screen printing material supplier. Use the cleaning fluid in a special spot cleaning gun to remove the ink quickly from the sweatshirt. Although this method will cost a bit more, it is probably the best way to remove screen printing inks quickly. It has several advantages which include:
No yellowing or wringing of the sweatshirt
immediate removal of ink and adhesive
How to Remove Screen Printing from Shirts?
Cotton blend shirts are a little more delicate than a sweatshirt so you first want to try the ironing and kraft paper method we listed above. If possible rinse the garment in cool water immediately, then dry and place brown kraft paper, the kind you use for paper sacks, over the shirt, Iron over the print to lift the color into the paper. Do this two or three times and then use about a spoonful of sugar over the damp spots and rub together for a couple of minutes. Then wash with soft liquid detergent and hang dry.
If this doesn’t do the trick, and you still can’t figure out how to remove screen printing from shirts, use a bit of acetone to see if you can lift the remaining image from the shirt. If either of these options doesn’t work then you will need to purchase SR97 and apply it with a spray nozzle. Follow the directions and you should be able to remove all the ink in a matter of a few seconds. Wash the shirt as recommended on the tag, but line dry instead of machine dry it, in case you need to repeat the process.
How to Remove A Screen Print from Polyester?
Removing ink from polyester or nylon is slightly easier because the fabric is not as porous as cotton or cotton blends.
Of course, it also depends on the percentage of polyester in the fabric, but generally, you can dampen the printed image with warm water and dish soap mix and scrub it out with a brush. The image may start to peel or even crack. That’s a good thing as when it cracks and peels it is easier to scrub off. Remove as much as possible and then wash with laundry detergent and hang to dry.
If you still see parts of the image after it dries then repeat the process or use the ironing and kraft paper model, but be sure to use a low temperature on the iron.
How to Remove a Screen Print from Plastic?
Removing screen printing ink from plastic is fairly easy. Just douse a cotton ball in nail polish remover ans slowly rub it off, working in a circular motion. It is going to take about 30 seconds to start removing the ink but keep working and it will come off.
How to remove screen print from glass
If you have a glass product that has been screen printed with an ink that is not bonded to the surface then chances are it will require some type of chemical process or solvent to remove this print from the surface.
Ask yourself the following questions, Did you burn off all of your inks so they were no longer tacky before firing? (Some plastisol inks will continue to bleed onto the glass after baking.) If not then your image was not properly adhered and if there is a possibility of getting it wet again it could wash out downstream. Properly baked plastisol ink on glass requires a 24-48 hour cure time (depending on temperature) before washing or using chemicals as well as when storing them so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions. Is your glass tempered? If it is then you could be dealing with a process that involves heat, water, and chemicals which I don’t recommend unless you are an experienced professional.
To remove the screen print from the surface of the glass make sure you have some rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl alcohol) handy and a clean rag or paper towel. Rubbing alcohol is basically made up of 70% alcohol, 15% water, and 15% additives and has an evaporation rate of 4 times faster than water alone. This means for every 1 ounce of 100% rubbing alcohol there are about .25 ounces of water. The additives in this solution helps dissolve organic matter like grime, waxes, and oils from the glass.
If you don’t have acetone on hand and you need to remove screen printing ink from fabric, you can also use paint thinner. However, if you do decide to try this method you want to protect your hands with gloves, which will keep your skin safe from the solvent which can sting. You need to pour the paint thinner into a glass dish and take a white rag and put it in the thinner for a few minutes to let it absorb the thinner. Then pat the fabric and start to rub out the image. You’ll know it works when you start to see the image crack and lift off.
Another option is to use Goo Gone. This item is similar to acetone but not as harmful to your hands. Place the Goo Gone in a dish and use a clean cloth to slowly rub it in the fabric in a circular motion. Slowly the image or ink will begin to lift off. Use a little sugar and water to rub out the rest of the stain and hand wash with liquid detergent. Hang dry overnight. If the stain is still there, repeat the process again.
Removing a screen print is not difficult but it takes using a different technique for different materials, and in some cases, you need to repeat the process two or three times to get all of the ink off. When using a special removal product be sure to stay safe and read all of the precautionary suggestions. Work in a well-ventilated area and use gloves and mask when necessary.
Note: if the screen-printed image has been on the fabric for a couple of days, or the garment has been washed and dried, it may be difficult to remove the screen printing.
In this case, you may not have any other choice except to start with a new garment. Unfortunately, there may be times when you make mistakes and there is nothing you can do about it. That’s why it is always best to do a trial run of one or two garments and get the customer’s final authorization before running a large quantity of screen printing.