How to Remove Sublimation Ink from Shirt? 10 Easy Ways

How to Remove Sublimation Ink from Shirt

Over the last few years, sublimation printing has become fairly popular. But how to remove sublimation ink from shirt? To assist you in getting rid of it, we’ll outline some efficient techniques.

Sublimation ink is one of the most difficult sorts of stains to get rid of. Sublimation ink can, however, be removed.

The simplest method is to rub rubbing alcohol into the stained fabric until the stain disappears.

This in-depth manual will walk you through the various techniques for removing the ink and restoring your clothes to their former splendor.

What is Sublimation Ink?

Sublimation ink is a type of ink that is used to create sublimation prints.

This ink is not applied directly to the fabric; rather, it is added to the printer before being used to print a picture. The image is then applied to a piece of fabric using a heat press.

The pressure and heat from the heat press cause the dye, which is present in sublimation ink in a powdered form on the paper, to transfer to the fabric.

Use the best sublimation inks possible and store your items for as long as you like.

Related Post: Can You Use Sublimation Ink For Regular Printing?

Is It Possible to Remove Sublimation Ink?

How to Remove Sublimation Ink from Shirt

If sublimation was pressed onto polyester or polymers, it could not be removed. The sublimation will not be removed with bleach. After several washes, cotton can be cleaned of sublimation ink.

Sublimation can be lessened with high heat on hard substrates like poly-coated coffee mugs, but it can only be completely eliminated by sanding the coating down to the real ceramic.

Anyone who has used the sublimation printing technique has come across a situation where they accidentally printed the wrong area or the ink spilt on the fabric and they are now stuck with it.

When using the sublimation printing technique, even seasoned printers can err.

How to Remove Sublimation Print from Shirt?

Wearing clothes with images on them is popular. Such clothing is regarded as being very enticing and inviting. These clothes are useful, but they have one significant flaw: the prints can be washed out because the print inks used to make them are not permanent.

There are various methods for removing ink from garments. The following are some suggestions for removing sublimation ink from a sublimated shirt:

Use Cold Water

When I used this technique to print the shirt directly from the large format t-shirt sublimation printer, it bled. This process cannot be applied if you have fully heat-transferred the image onto the t-shirt.

Put the incorrect sublimated shirt in the bucket when adding cold water. In order to freeze the droplets of sublimation ink, add some cold water to the bucket. Cold water will help the sublimation ink to freeze quickly.

It will be easier for you to remove the sublimation ink with a spatula if the ink freezes quickly. Once the ink has completely frozen, use a spatula to remove any remaining ink from the fabric. You’ll be able to remove the parts of the sublimation ink but won’t be able to remove the ink marks.

Using Heat

Heat treatment is another technique for removing sublimation ink. You’ll need to use a dryer for this procedure. After heating the cloth for a few minutes, do this again and again until all of the ink is gone.

Use Soda Water

Sublimation ink will leave marks on the t-shirt even though this method isn’t perfect, so you can still try it at home. A bucket will also be needed for this procedure. You’ll need to add 90% of soda and 10% of water. Alternatively, you could use a proportion of 6 parts soda to 1 part water. To ensure that the soda is properly blended, thoroughly combine the solution.

Stir the mixture thoroughly and immerse the shirt in it for 30 minutes. The cloth should be damp after 30 minutes. Afterward, soak for 20 minutes more if necessary. Ink will only fade out by 80% in this way, not entirely disappearing.

Use Bleach

Applying a bleaching agent is necessary to completely remove sublimation ink. If you don’t have one already, you can purchase one. After bleaching the shirt, let it sit for about an hour. Before use, sublimation ink needs to be fully dissolved. The garment can then be washed with regular soap and water and rinsed.

Use a Pressure Washer

Pressure Washer

Ink on clothes, walls, and wooden surfaces can be easily removed with a pressure washer. You can do this by combining the water in the pressure washer tank with some ordinary water. The clothing can then be washed with it to completely remove the ink.

For the best outcomes, combine a pressure washer with any of the previously mentioned techniques. They are very effective. This equipment will totally remove sublimation ink as well as all forms of grime.

Household Chemicals to Remove Sublimation Ink

To prevent damaging your garment, go slowly and take your time while cleaning. The same process will be effective on hoodies and tank tops that have had sublimation printing.

Even ancient images printed on fabric can be recovered using this technique when using a large-sized sublimation printer at home or at work. These tips will help you get sublimation ink off of a shirt.

Aluminum Foil

Create a workspace with a flat piece of aluminum foil. Make sure the space is adequately ventilated. Fans can aid in drying if they are available. The three things you need are methyl alcohol, paper towels, and denatured alcohol.

Denatured Spirits

Your clothing should spend 15 minutes being soaked in denatured alcohol. Without endangering the fabric, it dissolves the dye. In addition to degreasing, the solution also gets rid of any lingering ink residue from sublimation.

Press the item between two fresh paper towels after it has been soaking for 15 minutes. You can soak the shirt for a further 15 minutes after cleaning it with denatured alcohol.

Paper Towels

Keep the paper towels underneath the iron to prevent burning. Use moderate pressure when ironing. Let the fabric cool completely before touching it. This is important because things tend to stick together when it’s hot. They may become unbearably hot if you accidentally touch them while clad in gloves.


The shirt should be ironed for a further five minutes with aluminum foil on top after it has dried. It will be simpler to complete the next stage of work because the fabric will be stiffer. This step must be completed if you want to successfully recover your garment.

Denatured Alcohol and Polymer Crystal Mix

You can now use your denatured alcohol and polymer crystal mixture. Two tablespoons of crystals should be put in a tiny cup or container. The liquid appears hazy when stirred when only a small amount of alcohol is added to fully dissolve them.

Make sure a clean paper towel is damp but not dripping wet by spritzing it with distilled water and ringing it out. the paper towel with the polymer solution.

Read More: How To Remove Screen Printing?

Are There Any Risks Associated With Removing the Ink?

There are a few things to keep in mind when trying to get the ink off of a t-shirt. First, it’s crucial to confirm that the ink is erasable. Second, there are risks associated with removing the ink, so it’s important to take precautions. Here are eight steps to help you remove the ink from your t-shirt:

  1. Determine whether the ink is erasable. Not all ink is removable, so it’s important to check before you start.
  2. Put on gloves to protect your hands from any chemicals you may be working with.
  3. Apply a chemical remover to the ink stain. Pick the chemical remover that works best for you from the variety of options that are available.
  4. Let the remover sit for a few minutes. The ink will be easier to remove as a result of this helping to break it down.
  5. Apply a cloth or sponge to remove the remover. Each time you use a cloth or sponge, make sure to rinse it in warm water.
  6. If necessary, use more remover. Apply additional stain remover, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse it off if the stain is still visible.
  7. Rinse the shirt well with cold water. Any chemicals on the shirt will be removed with the aid of this.
  8. Dry the shirt by hanging it. Avoid putting it in the dryer because doing so might cause the ink to set and become more difficult to remove.

Conclusion: How to Remove Sublimation Print from Shirt

Sublimation printing is one of the best and most exciting printing technologies, until you make a mistake and end up with a sublimation ink stain.

Despite how challenging it might seem, there are a few ways to remove sublimation ink.

If you’re wondering how to fix a sublimation mistake on a shirt, I covered the procedure in the post above. I hope it is useful to you.

Read More: Why is My Sublimation Print Faded After Washing?


Does Sublimation Print Wash Out?

Heat causes the fabric’s pores to open, applying pressure that causes the ink to cool and solidify. It results in a permanent, full color image which does not fade, peel, or washes away.

Is Sublimation Permanent?

Yes, the prints are permanent because the sublimation ink diffuses into the fabric and eventually becomes a part of it. However, because it turns into heat rather than forming a layer on top of the fabric, sublimated ink must be printed and transferred correctly and is less prone to fading.

Can You Reuse Sublimation Designs?

You can’t reuse your thermal transfer paper, whichever type you use.