How to Remove Sublimation ink From Shirt | 6 Proven Ways

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How to Remove Sublimation ink From Shirt

Over the past few years, sublimation printing has become more popular daily. Everyone has a basic idea about sublimation and heat press, so they want to try them. Whenever we buy a new shirt, we print any logo or design on it of our choice. While doing sublimation on a shirt, sometimes we make mistakes. In this scenario, we do not know how to remove sublimation ink from a shirt.

It may take a lot of your precious time if you learn how to remove sublimation ink from a shirt. As time is money— indirectly, we will save your money. We have written this guide on removing sublimation ink from shirts to help you do this task more quickly. 

How to Remove Sublimation Ink from a Shirt

Everybody makes mistakes— not only beginners but professionals too. The margin for error is so small in printing shirts, so most of us don’t know how to correct this mistake. 

Moreover, if you also have any issues understanding how to remove sublimation ink, then there is no need to worry, as we will share a few simple steps with you so that you can easily do this task. 

Firstly we will share a couple of methods with you and then share the steps to achieve this goal. So, without further ado, let’s get into it. 

By Using Alcohol (Method # 1)

This method will clear your concept about removing sublimation ink from polyester fabric like shirts, etc. The first method for removing sublimation ink from any fabric shirt involves a few basic steps. To keep this process going, you need a small quantity of rubbing alcohol and a clean towel. Follow these steps to do this with perfection.

Firstly apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the area where your sublimation ink accidentally spreads.

Now press the moist area with a clean towel or cloth to remove the ink.

Repeat the process until you realize that no sublimation ink stain is left on the shirt.

To remove larger spots (Method # 2)

The second method to remove sublimation ink from your shirt takes a lot more time than method number one. That’s why we recommend using this strategy only for larger errors. 

It would be best if you had the following things to implement this method.

  • Aluminum foil 
  • Polymer crystals
  • Water
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Paper towels
  • Iron

As we have all the basic requirements, it’s the right time to share all the steps in implementing this strategy. 

1- Spread foil on working area

First, spread a couple or more layers of aluminum foil on the floor or any surface you use for this purpose. The reason why we put foil on the working area is to keep our working environment clean. 

The next thing you may use is a small fan to avoid long delays, as the fan will dry your fabric and save you time. 

2- Fill the container with alcohol

Once we did all the basics right and set the base. It is the right time to fill out a container with denatured alcohol and dip your fabric in it. Ensure that the erroneous part of your fabric is dipped in the bowl. 

Now let the cloth soak in the solution for 16 to 20 minutes. This way, the sublimation ink is partly broken down and can easily be removed without affecting any part of the cloth.

3- Remove the liquid

After the cloth has been in the solution for more than 16 minutes; remove it from the container which contains denatured alcohol. Use a couple of paper towels and gently pat the fabric between them. 

Repeat this process until the paper towels have soaked all the liquid and no liquid is left behind on the fabric.

4- Iron the cloth

Now, it’s time to iron the cloth now with a hot iron after applying a few more layers of paper towels above and below. It is suggested here to avoid using the iron on its highest setting level, as this may damage the fabric. 

On the other hand, avoid pressing too firmly with the hot iron. Continue the movement of paper towels beneath the iron for safety purposes.

5- Get rid from the ink

Once you are done with step number four and your fabric is dried completely, put it in aluminum foil and iron it for a couple of minutes. Take out another container and add some polymer crystals with a small amount of denatured alcohol and mix them thoroughly. 

Use a damp paper towel and press it lightly. Before patting it onto the fabric, soak it in the polymer solution. This process will ensure that not only will the sublimation ink stain be removed, but the fabric also remains intact. Allowing you to work on it again — somewhere in the future.

A few other ways are as follows.

Apply Cold Water (Method # 3)

You can remove sublimation ink from any shirt using cold water. Put your shirt in a bucket and add some cold water to your clothes, letting you remove sublimation ink. Coldwater eventually makes the ink freeze faster, so it’s the right time for you to remove it soon. 

Once you notice the ink has penetrated the fabric, you can easily press it down with a spatula. This way, sublimation printer ink is removed part by part. 

Removing Ink Using Heat (Method # 4)

Many beginners most commonly use heat treatment to remove sublimation ink from fabric. For this purpose, you need a dryer as well. Heat the cloth for a few minutes until the ink is completely melted.

Remove ink Using Soda Water (Method # 5)

How do I remove sublimation ink from shirts using soda water? To begin with, by removing sublimation ink from any clothing process, you can easily prepare a chemical solution at home. Add soda and water in a 6:1 ratio in a bucket and mix them. 

On the contrary, if you use any solution for soaking your shirt, soak it for about half an hour after mixing the soda and water. If the shirt is still damp after 15 minutes, stir the solution and remove it. The link may not be removed this way either, as it is not easy either.

Remove Stains Using Bleach (Method # 6)

For complete sublimation ink removal from your desired fabric, you can try a bleaching agent, one of the best available options. You can buy these bleaching agents from nearby stores if you don’t have one. 

Firstly apply bleach to the shirt and leave it for more than an hour. Let sublimation ink completely dissolve. Once the ink is dissolved completely, rinse the shirt with normal water and then wash the shirt with normal soap.


Is it possible to remove sublimation ink from a shirt?

Maybe, or maybe not, because sublimation ink can be removed from a shirt after numerous washes, but if it proceeds on polyester or polymers, it can’t be removed. However, it could be difficult to remove but not impossible. Try out all the methods mentioned above to get rid of it.

Is it hard to remove sublimation printing from a shirt?

Usually, yes, because sublimation printing is always permanent or long-lasting. A special method is used to create a sublimated design on a shirt, such as heat press or pressure to permanently imprint a design on fabric. So, it’s hard to remove as they are nearly permanent.

Can I remove sublimation ink from a shirt at home?

Yes, it’s completely doable, and as we have shared, the few methods are organic. You can try any of them. We recommend trying each one to check which one works best for you.

Wrapping Up

We have shared all the best practices on how to remove sublimation ink from a shirt. Now in the future, if you ever come across this issue, you can easily solve it. 

Using too many chemicals or solvents will dull your shirt. Avoid using them in excessive quantities. Remember removing sublimation ink from shirts is a task that demands patience for the ultimate output. Spending a few extra minutes will end up in the shape of awesome results. Try these steps and let us know about your experience. 

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