How to Remove Sublimation Ink from Shirt?

How to Remove Sublimation Ink from Shirt

You likely have a shirt that was painted with sublimation ink and now you’re seeking methods to get rid of it. Now you don’t need to think more of it. Because we’ll show you how to remove sublimation ink from shirt with multiple efficient methods and return your garments to their former splendor!

Any inkjet printer owner or office worker who relies on their printer daily knows how important it is to have sublimation ink. Because printing on paper with an inkjet printer requires the use of sublimation ink. Since it is used to generate permanent prints on paper, this ink is extremely powerful, and stains are difficult to remove.

Fabric printing uses a kind of printing ink called sublimation ink. As soon as the ink is vaporized, it is transported to the fabric, where it forms an irreversible link with the fabric’s fibers. If you make a mistake or change your mind about the design, you may have difficulty removing sublimation ink from the garment. Different methods have been used for removing the sublimation ink, make sure to apply the techniques.

Erase the Trace: How to Remove Sublimation Ink from Shirt?

To get rid of sublimation ink from a shirt, you’ll have to follow or try all the methods with the amount of the suggested ingredients. Because ignoring the guidelines can cause damage to your material. Tips on how to get sublimation ink out clothes or shirts.

If you make a mistake while printing using sublimation ink, it might be a pain to fix. Whatever the mistake you had done while sublimating your T-shirt and now wanna remove the ink, Multiple methods have been elaborated below to get the job done within the minutes.

Removing Sublimation Ink via Cold Water

Removing Sublimation Ink via Cold Water

I personally tested it by soaking garments in cold water and baking soda works great. If you have sublimated off-white clothes, you wouldn’t get a better method than baking soda to remove sublimation ink because it’s abrasive. Use hydrogen peroxide and baking soda on light-colored garments. Use cleaning materials on a tiny area before using them to remove sublimation ink from your clothing.

Soak the clothing in cold water and baking soda for 15 minutes after determining it won’t be damaged. Gentle rubbing may help remove ink stains. Rinse the baking soda and check for stains. Repeat this method until no ink remains on the cloth.

Read More: Can I Use a Brother Printer for Sublimation? Best Papers for Sublimation, Keeping sublimation from fading

Steam Cleaner is Another Handy Method to Remove Smudge Ink

Steam Cleaner to Remove Smudge Ink

Utilizing a steam cleaner will assist in separating the ink so that it can be removed more easily. Ensure that the steam cleaner does not harm the fabric by testing it on a tiny section of the shirt before using it on the whole garment.

Related: 15 Different Types of Shirt Printing, Heat Transfer Printers, types of sublimations

Soda Treatment for Sublimation Ink Removal

Soda Treatment for Sublimation Ink Removal

The first and most successful method to remove sublimation ink is Exfoliation as you are aware, does not erase the ink from a T-shirt. So, would it be difficult to re-impose your all-time treasured t-shirt, let’s have the solution. If your white T-shirt has faded, make a soda bath with 6 parts of soda, 50g of salt, and 1 part of hot water. In a mixing basin, combine all the ingredients and soak the pulp for 50 minutes.

Using Bleach to Remove

Using Bleach to Remove

A bleaching chemical is the most effective approach to removing sublimation ink from your shirt. Many bleaching products will work, although chlorine-based bleach will provide the best results.

First of all, the spattered costume will have the washing process in the washing at maximum temperature. Ensure that the garments are dried before continuing. Once the outfit gets completely dried, get 1 part of water and bleach. You have to have the spray bottle to get these ingredients into it. And then you’ll apply this mixture to the required t-shirt. The bleach will immediately begin to brighten any afflicted areas.

You may assess how much ink remains on the garment after 10 minutes with the solution applied. If any ink remains, continue the procedure until the ink doesn’t get removed. If you keep this combination on your clothes for an extended period, it is more likely to cause harm. When you realize the process has been done, let the clothes dry utterly before you rinse them in cold water. Sluicing the clothes in chilly water will remove the remaining bleach residues.

Read More: 10 tips for successful sublimation printing. Dye sublimation on cotton, sublimation business ideas

Using Detergent to Remove Sublimation Ink

Using Detergent to Remove Sublimation Ink

Make use of a washing detergent that has been developed specifically to remove printing inks from the material. There are several methods to apply various cleansers. Nevertheless, you must ensure that you use the detergent following the directions given on the product’s container.

Using Alcohol to Remove Sublimation Ink

Using Alcohol to Remove Sublimation Ink

To remove an ink stain, apply a small amount of alcohol rub on the affected area, and let it stay for a few minutes before washing. To remove the ink, swab the affected area with a clean cloth. The ink from polyester materials may be removed with borax, too. Mix a tiny quantity of water into a paste and quickly apply it to the stain.

Removing Sublimation Ink with Pressure Washer

Pressure washers may erase ink from clothing. Car enthusiast possesses pressure washers. Let’s examine each step;

  • Combine dish soap and hot water to make suds in a bucket.
  • Use a soapy towel to remove sublimation ink. Before applying, let garments air dry for 10 minutes.
  • High-pressure washers can erase sublimation ink stains. Turn around the ink stain for 10 seconds. Rotate it around the ink stain for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat the steps until your item’s surface are sublimation-free.

Safety First: Crucial Precautions to Take When Removing Sublimation Ink Stains

Sublimation printing, an innovative method of transferring designs onto fabrics, uses sublimation ink which can sometimes leave a mark – an unwelcome sublimation ink stain. This can happen during the process of pressing a design onto the fabric using a heat press. If you’re not careful, a slip of the hand can cause a smear or spill of sublimation printer ink onto an unintended part of the fabric.

Before diving headfirst into the process of removing sublimation inks, it’s crucial to consider certain safety measures to ensure that you, your garments, and your surroundings are protected.

Use Protective Gear: Both rubbing alcohol and acetone, commonly used to remove sublimation ink, are potent solvents. They can cause skin irritation and should not come in direct contact with your skin or eyes. Therefore, it is essential to wear protective gloves, preferably nitrile, and protective eyewear when handling these solvents.

Work in a Well-Ventilated Area: The fumes from rubbing alcohol and acetone can be harmful if inhaled in large quantities. It’s important to ensure your workspace is well-ventilated, preferably with an open window or an exhaust fan to disperse the fumes.

Prevent Accidental Spills: Always have a stack of paper towels at hand. They are useful for immediately soaking up any accidental spills of the solvents. The quicker you can clean a spill, the less likely it will cause any damage or pose a danger.

Fire Safety: Keep in mind that both rubbing alcohol and acetone are highly flammable. Ensure you’re far away from open flames or heat sources, including the heat press you may have used for the sublimation prints.

Test on a Small Area First: Before you attempt to remove the sublimation ink stain from your shirt, test the rubbing alcohol or acetone on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric. This will confirm whether the solvent will damage your fabric. Use a paper towel for this test to avoid unnecessary spreading of the solvent.

Safe Disposal: Once you’re done removing sublimation inks, do not simply throw the used paper towels into the trash. They might still have solvent on them which can be a fire hazard. Make sure they are completely dry before disposal.

Navigating the Tricky Terrain: Tips and Warnings for Handling Sublimation Ink Stains

Prevention is Better Than Cure: Tips to Avoid Sublimation Ink Stains

The old adage holds true, especially when dealing with sublimation ink stains. Here are some helpful tips:

Proper Placement: When you create sublimation prints, careful placement of the paper with the design onto your sublimated shirt can prevent inadvertent ink stains.

Use Aluminum Foil: While undergoing the sublimation process, place aluminum foil around the areas that you do not want the ink to spread to. This prevents the remaining ink from contaminating unwanted parts of the fabric.

Correct Heat Press Settings: Make sure the heat press is set to the correct temperature. Overheating can cause the ink to bleed beyond the intended design area.

Things to Avoid When Trying to Remove Sublimation Ink

Harsh Scrubbing: Avoid scrubbing too hard when trying to remove sublimation ink stains. Excessive force could damage the fabric fibers.

Inappropriate Solvents: Not all solvents are suitable for all fabric types. Always test a small, hidden area of the fabric before applying the solvent on the stained area.

Heat: Refrain from applying heat to the stained area. It can cause the sublimation ink to further set into the fabric, making it even more challenging to remove.

Warnings About Potential Damage to Fabrics

Polymer Solutions: While sublimation print relies on polymer crystals to bind the ink to the fabric during the digital printing process, using a polymer solution to remove the ink could potentially damage the fabric, especially if it’s not polyester-based.

Bleaching: Some may suggest using bleach to remove stubborn sublimation ink stains. However, this can cause serious harm to your fabric, altering its color and weakening its fibers.

Fabric Integrity: Some fabrics may not withstand the process of removing sublimation ink stain. Always check the fabric care label and seek professional advice if in doubt.


Now you’ve gone through all the methods of how to remove sublimation ink from a shirt. And these methods are the most common and used techniques to remove sublimation inks. Because you get high-quality results with less effort.

If you want to remove the sublimation ink, just get into these methods and apply the recommended amounts of ingredients and watch the wonders of removing the sublimation ink within the minutes by applying the mentioned methods. Interested in mugs sublimation, you must read this

Read More: How to use sublimation papers?

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