How to Remove Screen Printing from Shirt

by Karen Jones

Screen printing is a process that creates designs on the shirt with ink and an emulsion. It can be permanent, but it's possible to remove screen printing from clothing if you use specific methods. This blog post will teach you how to remove screen printing from your shirt with some simple tips that anyone can do at home.

Screen printing is a popular and affordable way to customize fabric for shirts, hoodies, bags. But what about those pesky designs? Whether you're running your own screenprint business on Etsy or want that ugly store-bought shirt looking new again - removing the design isn't as hard as it seems!

Want to go back to the good old days of wearing your favorite tee without a screen-printed logo on it? This blog post will show you how!
If you have recently purchased a new t-shirt but don't want the corporate logo or other design on it, this is for you.

You don't need any special equipment, and there's no expensive solution that needs to be applied. All it takes are essential household items like iron, white vinegar, dish soap, etc.

Here's what you'll need:

Things to Consider Before Removing A Print from Shirts

Things to Consider Before Removing A Print from Shirts
Things to Consider Before Removing A Print from Shirts
  • Ensure you know the type of print that you are removing from the shirt before you begin removing it using a certain method. Printing involves various techniques and chemicals. T-shirts with rubber prints, plastic soles, pigments, discharges, high density, etc., are very hard to remove manually as they can cause damage to the shirt.
  • A t-shirt's base color must be the most important consideration. You may notice that the base color turns lighter than the back and sleeves of the t-shirt if you apply extra heat or leach. An example would be if the shirt were white, it might turn a reddish color.
  • So depending on the area or size of your print, you can use any technique.
  • The usual advice is to avoid removing the print from an expensive t-shirt. If you still want to get rid of it, you can apply some heat press for few minutes while putting butter paper on top of the print. If you try it, you will be able to eliminate the print.

How to Remove Screen Printing From Shirt Without Damaging it

Ways Of Removing Screen Print
Ways Of Removing Screen Print

Screen printing is a great way to show off your creativity, but not so much if you don't want it on your clothes. Do you have screen printing on your clothes that are now faded and no longer fashionable? If so, then there is a guide for you. Use these tricks to remove the print from any clothes or fabrics.

1. Heating with Iron

Heat an iron to medium Level. Wrap waxed paper completely around the lettering/design. Set the iron to the highest setting.

For a few seconds, iron the wax paper on the shirt's surface - but do not leave it on for too long as it may burn the clothes.

Grasp the wax paper and peel away the print. It should now remove the print from the shirt.

2. Remove Screen Print Using Clothes Dryer

If ironing doesn't work or you're afraid of burning your shirt, put it in a clothes dryer for about 20 minutes. The adhesive becomes softer when it is heated.

This will make peeling the letters easier. As soon as you take off the shirt

Peel the letters off with your fingers or tweezers.

This process may need to be repeated a few times, depending on the size of the decal, how many letters there are, and your speed.

3. Get Screen Printing off a Shirt Using Nail Polish

Yes! You hear it true!

Nail polish removers are a great way to remove screen printing from clothes. They work because the acetone in it dissolves the ink on your clothing, so you can scrape off with your fingers or wash away with water and soap.

This is not a long-term solution for removing screenprint since nail polish remover does have an odor that will linger after use, while other methods do not have this problem. However, people often use this method as a first step before trying more complicated ways of removing screen printing from clothes - keep reading if you want some more information about these!

The instructions for using nail polish remover are simple: apply liberally to the area where there's been screen printing (preferably outside area) and wait for the acetone to dissolve all the ink. After this, scrape off with your fingers or wash away with water and soap - no need for anything expensive!

4. Remove Using Baking Soda

You can also make a paste of baking soda mixed in some warm water and scrub at the area that's been screen printed if you want something a little stronger than nail polish remover but less harsh than paint thinner. This is easy to do: mix about half a cup of baking soda into one quart of lukewarm water until it looks like milk (about 60 seconds). Then apply liberally onto stained areas where there has been printing before using an old toothbrush or sponge to remove any remaining residue from clothing.

You might not even have to rinse this mixture to remove the stain with water or wiping down with a towel (though this might not be necessary). Laundry Detergent works similarly but usually needs to sit for a while before soaking up the ink - so it's best if you do this first thing in the morning when you get dressed! You'll want about two tablespoons per a load of wash. It's important to note, though, that both these methods will need to be repeated several times until there is a stain.

For more of a deep clean, you can use dish soap or laundry detergent to remove the ink stains from your hands and clothes as well. Dish Soap is easy: just put some dish soap on your wet fingers, then rub it all over any areas that have been printed before rinsing off.

5. Plastic Bag with an Iron Method

This one is a little less common to find, but it's worth mentioning because of its effectiveness. Put the item you want to remove the screen print from inside a plastic bag, and then place an iron on top of that bag. Turn your iron onto high heat for about five minutes or until steam starts coming out.

Once there is enough steam, turn off your iron (don't forget this step!), unzip the zipper part of your bag, and take out whatever you are trying to clean!
Keep in mind: If this doesn't work after three attempts, please give us a call to help resolve any further issues with you -.

6. Use Plastisol Remover

Plastisol is the most difficult to remove without professional help, which is why a company created a product called ScreenTek that helps you get rid of it!

ScreenTek contains an enzyme-based formula that breaks down plastisol ink so you can easily remove it from surfaces like t-shirts and other fabrics.

Here are some steps for getting started: Gather your materials (i.e., ScreenTek concentrate, water, white vinegar) in one spot before beginning this process. Because this is an enzymatic reaction, it can take up to 24 hours for the ink to dissolve completely. Fill a spray bottle with water and add in ScreenTek concentrate according to the directions on the package. You then combine this mixture with white vinegar into another spray bottle. Apply these mixtures first as you work your way around the screen printing that needs to be removed from your t-shirt or another fabric surface

7. Coldwater & Warm Water Rinse Method

  • Remove all the ink from your fabric by dipping it in cold water for about ten seconds. This should create enough suction to remove any ink remaining on the surface.
    Water and Detergent Method for removal of screen boiling or heat transfer adhesive decoration:
  • Mix a cup of hot water with two tablespoons of detergent, then soak your t-shirt (or other fabric) in this mixture until you see bubbling action and no more bubbles appear
    Warm Water Rinse Method -This is best used when removing garment decals such as iron-ones that have been applied before washing their garments. You can also use it successfully to remove some types of dyes without causing damage to clothing fibers.

Valuable Tips

The following tips and warnings will help you remove screen-printings safely and effectively.

  • If you iron (Heat setting), the images printed on the shirt will stick; however, regular washing will help fade the image.
  • You can even remove the ink from screen printing with acetone after heat setting.
  • You can also remove the screen-printing from your shirt using a high-pressure gun and spotting fluid.
  • Removing screen printing is easiest when it is still fresh, as an older print can prove difficult to work with.

Be Careful

  • You should ensure that you are in an open or properly ventilated area when using chemicals, such as spotting fluid. Working outdoors is safer because you are not exposed to the chemicals created by such substances.
  • To eliminate printing, make sure you wear gloves. Certain chemicals can cause damage to your skin.
  • Hot irons will firmly set the print into the fabric, so do not use them right on the print.

Use These Tricks to Remove the Disastrous Image From Your T-Shirt:

Remove Screen Printing From T-shirt
Remove Screen Printing From T-shirt
  1. Rinse the t-shirt quickly in cold water. Avoid using warm or hot water, which only helps set the ink more profound into the fabric.
  2. Afterward, rinse with warm water.
  3. Allow the shirt to dry completely. You will still see a little ink but don't worry; you are not through yet.
  4. Put a paper bag over the shirt, ensuring that the shiny side is placed on top of the area that still has ink.
  5. With a clothes iron that is set to dry (don't use the steam setting!), heat the section of the paper bag placed over the ink. The heat from the iron will transfer the ink to the paper bag.
  6. Do the fourth and fifth steps again until you can no longer remove ink with these steps.
  7. Use some sugar and scrub the section of the garment on which ink is still present. It is essential to rub the area gently to avoid damaging the shirt.

Alternative Way to Remove Screen Print From Shirt

Put a bath towel on a firm and flat surface and place the t-shirt on top with the printed side face. Cover the printed area with a sheet of waxed paper and get an iron set to high cotton to iron the waxed paper (melt the print and loosen it). Continue to iron until the ink is sufficiently melted and transferred to the wax paper. Use a plastic knife to remove the remaining ink from the t-shirt.

Another tactic is to put a bath towel on the flat surface and place the t-shirt on it, making sure that it is on the wrong side and the underside of the printed area faces up. With a cotton swab, dip isopropyl alcohol and apply it to the underside area of the t-shirt. Thoroughly soak the area with the alcohol and wait for around 20 seconds. Return the t-shirt to the right side and use a plastic knife to loosen the printed ink. Continue to peel away the ink with the plastic until there is no sign of the ink. If ink remains, apply more isopropyl and continue.

Here are a few tips regarding the removal of ink from screen printed t-shirts (or fabrics in general):

  • Using an iron to heat set the printed design into the t-shirt will make the print permanent. Washing the shirt immediately will fade images.
  • If you have already heat set the image, you can still remove it using acetone.
  • Alternatively, remove screen-printed images with spotting fluid using a high-pressure gun.
  • When using chemicals such as spotting fluid, make sure that your work area is sufficiently ventilated. Otherwise, go outside to avoid the harmful effects of chemicals.
  • Wear gloves each time you attempt to remove permanent ink with spotting fluid. Chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and cause damage and other health complications.
  • Avoid ironing or applying heat directly to the area that has been screen printed. This will only embed the ink deeper into the fibers.

Tips for Preventing Screen Printing From Sticking to Clothes in the Future

After you finish printing your shirt, the next thing on your mind is to get that shirt into a heat press or heat transfer machine. However, if you're in the middle of your print job when this thought enters your head, it can be difficult to prevent your freshly printed image from sticking to the garment! The good news is that there are some tricks you can use to prevent screen printing from sticking to clothes.

Let's take a look at the most effective ways of preventing your print from skinning over onto your shirt as it cools. In addition, we'll give you some tips on how to fix problems should they occur - because no matter what you do, sometimes you need to reprint a few shirts.

Precautions You Can Take Before the Print Is Even Applied

There are a few precautions you can take before the print is even applied to help prevent screen printing from sticking to clothes:

The Lint Roller Trick

If your shirts have been stored long enough for lint and dust to build up on them, they'll need a quick wipe with a lint roller before you apply your print. The fabric on which the image is printed needs to be fresh and clean for this to work. You can find inexpensive cylindrical lint rollers at most drug stores, or even dollar stores if money is tight. If you're buying your materials online, there are also mini lint rollers available.

Applying Parchment Paper

The best way to prevent screen printing from sticking to clothes is to use parchment paper between the garment and your emulsion-coated screens. Parchment paper is a sheet of paper with a thin layer of plastic on one side for heat resistance. It's typically very cheap, costing between $0.02 to $0.03 per sheet at most office supply stores.

Parchment paper can be purchased in bulk for even greater savings, but make sure you purchase the non-shiny side of the paper - shiny side up will not work! Not all brands are created equal, however - some types may stick too much to the screens, or be too thick to work properly. You'll need to experiment with a couple different brands before finding the ideal one for you.

Teflon Coatings

Teflon coatings are becoming increasingly common on clothing tags today, especially on some of the more expensive garments found in stores. Even if your shirts do not have Teflon coatings, however, a quick dry-cleaning in Teflon will also prevent screen printing from sticking to clothes.

Preventing Screen Printing from Sticking to Clothes

Spray Method

You can spray your screens with Krylon Krystal before printing if you want to be extra thorough. While the Krystal coating is slightly translucent, a single layer should prevent your screens from sticking to the garment. Spray a piece of scrap shirt first - if any wet spots remain on the paper after 24 hours, you need to use another brand or wait for it to dry before spraying again.

Warning: Do not spray too much Krystal at once as this could cause dripping and make a mess on your screens. Even with the shirt scrap test, be careful!

Fixative Method

After you print your shirt, spray a quick coat of hairspray over the top of the image. Hairspray is essentially another type of fixative, but some types are better than others. Do not use cheap brand hairsprays for this purpose.

FAQ on How to Take Print Off a Shirt

How to Remove Screen Printing from Polyester

-Soak in a solution of cold water and a mild detergent for five minutes

Items to avoid: bleach, vinegar, or acetone can cause significant damage to the fibers. Removing screen printing from polyester is usually unnecessary because it rarely leaves stains on this fabric.

How to Remove Screen Printing from Cotton Shirt

It is easy to remove screen printing from the cotton shirt; all you have to do is mix water and dish soap in a bowl. Then scrub the stained area with this liquid using a toothbrush or sponge. Rinse the material thoroughly, then soak it in cold water for at least thirty minutes.

How Do You Remove Logos from Clothing?

Most of the time, you can remove a brand logo on clothing with water. When removing a screen-printed logo from clothes, start by soaking your t-shirt (or other fabric) in cold water for about ten seconds. This should create enough suction to remove any ink remaining on the surface. If this doesn't work, try repeating the process with warm water for about 60 seconds.

If you can't remove the logo with cold and warm water, it's time to break out a little more potent stuff: rubbing alcohol. Fill up a small cup or bowl with rubbing alcohol and soak your t-shirt in the liquid for two minutes before rinsing away any ink that remains on the clothes. Then start scrubbing.

Does Rubbing Alcohol Stain Clothes?

Rubbing alcohol will not stain clothes or paper. But it may cause a temporary color change due to the chemical reaction with some dyes.


It would not be the end of the world if you made the horrible mistake of doing a lousy screen printing job on your t-shirt. Use these tips to safely and effectively remove ink and save your t-shirt for the next screen printing job.

If you are not satisfied with the color of your clothes after removing screen printing from clothing, try using a wet-dry vacuum cleaner to remove any excess ink on the fabric surface. This should restore most colors and make them look more vibrant than when they had inked them onto an article of clothing. You can also use

About Karen Jones

Karen Jones has always been a writer at heart. As a freelance writer and social media marketing consultant for the last decade, she's honed her skills in crafting catchy and interesting articles that reel in readers. She also enjoys traveling, which is where she gets most of her ideas for her writing. In fact, if you can't find Karen around her friends and family, it's likely because she's holed up in her home office working on refining her writing composition and printing press!

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