How to get sublimation ink out of a shirt: top 4 super tips

How to get sublimation ink out of a shirt: a complete guide

The sublimation printing method is a common technique for imprinting bright graphics on shirts and other textiles. However, if you made a mistake during the sublimation process or simply no longer want the design on your shirt, you may be asking if you can remove sublimation ink.

methods for removing sublimation ink from shirt

While sublimation ink is engineered to adhere to polyester fibers, making removal difficult, there are many methods for removing sublimation inks or reducing the appearance of sublimation on your garment.

In this complete guide, we will look at some of the most successful methods for removing sublimation ink from a shirt, as well as the crucial factors to consider to avoid hurting the fabric.

Everyone has made a printing mistake, but because the margin for error in this type of printing is so small, people frequently do not know how to repair their mistakes.

Don’t worry if you don’t know how to remove sublimation ink from a shirt; even if the margin is little, there is a method for removing sublimation ink from a garment. I’ve detailed the technique so that you may repair the problem and remove the unattractive ink spot.

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Methods for removing sublimation ink from a shirt

There are various methods for removing sublimation ink from a shirt.

Rubbing alcohol

It can be used as a solvent to break down the sublimation ink and remove it from the fabric. Soak the ink stain in it and gently wipe it over the affected area. To ensure that the denatured alcohol does not do any damage, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first.

Bleach

If your shirt is white, you can use it to lighten the sublimation ink area. Make a bleach-and-water solution according to the directions on the bleach container, then soak the garment in it for a few minutes before washing it.

Dye removal

To fade the sublimated region, use a dye remover solution such as Rit Color removal. Wash the clothing as usual after following the instructions on the dye removal packet.

Cover-up

If the sublimation is limited to a small area, try concealing it with fabric paint or a patch. If you want to save the garment and make it wearable again, this is a viable choice.

When it comes to cleaning stains off shirts, dishwashing detergents are usually helpful. It works best when the soiled area of the clothing is immersed in warm water before adding the liquid. After ten to fifteen minutes, using a scrubber or brush helps the stain fade, eventually leaving the cloth and staining the lukewarm water.

In this particular treatment, the temperature of the water is critical. The nicest part is that there is dishwashing liquid in every home. It is also mild on the skin. Allowing the garment to dry in the sun or open air without using any heating equipment, such as an iron or pressure heat, also helps to remove the stain.

It’s crucial to remember that these procedures may not completely remove the sublimation ink, and there’s a chance the shirt will be damaged. Before cleaning the full garment, always test any cleaning method on a tiny, inconspicuous part of the shirt first. Furthermore, if the sublimation ink has been under heat-press, it may be more difficult to remove it.

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Can acetone remove sublimation ink stains from a shirt?

Acetone is a strong solvent that can be used to remove certain types of ink, but it should not be used to remove sublimation ink from a t-shirt.

Acetone can damage the fabric of sublimation printing and cause it to melt or disintegrate, which is why sublimation ink is engineered to connect with polyester fibers.

It may also cause the sublimation ink to spread and make the removal of sublimation inks more difficult.

As a result, using acetone to remove sublimation ink completely from a t-shirt is not advised. It is preferable to use a treatment intended expressly for removing color or ink from fabric, such as rubbing alcohol, bleach, or dye remover. To avoid harming the sublimation printing, always try any washing solution on a small, inconspicuous section of the shirt first.

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Can baking soda remove sublimation ink from a shirt?

You can remove sublimation ink using baking soda. Baking soda is an alkaline material that is frequently used as a mild abrasive for removing sublimation ink and cleaning and deodorizing, however, it is not a solvent capable of dissolving and removing ink or dye from fabric.

To remove sublimation ink from a shirt, use a treatment intended for removing dye or ink from cloth, such as rubbing alcohol, bleach, or dye remover.

Keep in mind that these methods of removing sublimation ink may not entirely remove the sublimation ink and may cause the shirt to be damaged.

To avoid harming the fabric of sublimation printing, always try any washing solution on a small, inconspicuous section of the shirt first.

Image credit: canva.com

Types of sublimation printing methods

There are multiple sublimation printing technologies available for transferring designs onto diverse materials.

Digital printing

It entails printing the design on the transfer paper towel or paper towels using sublimation inks on a digital printer, then transferring the pattern to the substrate with a heat press.

Screen sublimation print method

This approach is to create sublimation prints and transfer the pattern onto the substrate using a screen printing procedure.

A mesh screen is used to make a stencil of the pattern, and ink is pressed through the screen onto the substrate with a squeegee.

A heat press is then used to sublimate the ink into the fabric.

Direct-to-fabric sublimation print method

This approach involves printing the design directly into the fabric with an ink-capable printer. The process is then activated by heat pressing the fabric.

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Large-format printing

This technique is used to print large-scale graphics on substrates like banners, flags, and fabrics. It employs a roll of transfer paper towels or paper towels and a large-format printer capable of printing up to several meters in width.

3D printing

This technique is used to print on three-dimensional objects such as phone cases, mugs, and plates.

The pattern is printed on specialist transfer paper and then heat-pressed to adapt to the shape of the object.

The printing method chosen will be determined by the user’s individual needs and requirements, as well as the type of substrate being printed, as well as the budget, and available resources. Each method has advantages and disadvantages, and the way used will be determined by the project’s needs.

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FAQ

How do you remove sublimation from a shirt?

Sublimation is the printing process of transferring certain dyes onto a textile, such as a shirt, using a heat press procedure. It is usually impossible to remove the dye transfer from the shirt after the sublimation printing method has begun.

However, there are a few things you may do to reduce the visibility of sublimation printer ink on the shirt:

If your shirt is white, you can use bleach to lighten the sublimation area. Make a bleach-and-water solution according to the directions on the bleach container, then soak the garment in it for a few minutes before washing it.

Dye removal

To fade the sublimated region, use a dye remover solution such as Rit Color removal. Wash the clothing as usual after following the instructions on the dye removal packet.

Cover-up

If the sublimation ink is only in a tiny area, try using fabric paint or a patch to conceal it. If you want to save the garment and make it wearable again, this is a viable choice.

It’s crucial to note that these procedures may not completely remove the sublimation ink, and there’s a chance the shirt will be damaged. Before cleaning the full garment, always try any cleaning method on a tiny, inconspicuous part of the shirt.

Is there a way to remove sublimation ink?

Sublimation ink is meant to adhere to polyester fibers, making it difficult to remove once applied to a shirt or other textile. However, there are a few methods for removing sublimation ink from shirt that you can try:

Dampen a cloth with alcohol and massage it over the sublimated area. This may aid in breaking down the ink and removing it from the fabric. To ensure that the denatured alcohol does not do any damage, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first.

If your shirt is white, you can use bleach to lighten the sublimation ink stains. Make a bleach-and-water solution according to the directions on the bleach container, then soak the garment in it for a few minutes before washing it.

Dye removal: for removing sublimation ink stain, use a dye remover such as Rit Color removal solution. Wash the clothing as usual after following the instructions on the dye removal packet.

It’s crucial to remember that these procedures may not completely remove sublimation ink from shirt, and there’s a chance the shirt will be damaged. Before cleaning the full garment, always test any cleaning method on a tiny, inconspicuous part of the shirt first. Furthermore, if the sublimation ink has been heat-set, it may be impossible to remove sublimation ink from shirt.

Does rubbing alcohol remove sublimation ink?

Although rubbing alcohol can help to remove sublimation ink from a shirt or other material, it may not be effective. Denatured alcohol is a solvent that may dissolve the ink and remove it from textiles.

To remove sublimation ink, moisten a cloth with the alcohol and massage it over the sublimated area of sublimation ink. Scrub softly and avoid scrubbing too forcefully, since this can cause fabric damage. This method may need to be repeated numerous times to completely remove sublimation ink.

It’s crucial to note that denatured alcohol can potentially induce detriment to certain materials, so test it first on a small, inconspicuous part of the fabric. Furthermore, if the ink has been heat-set, it may be complex to remove, and denatured alcohol may be ineffective.

How to remove sublimation ink off shirts with cold water

Cold water can also be used to remove sublimation ink from clothing. Should the heat press treatment fail, this procedure can be employed.

To accomplish this:

1. Fill a small bucket halfway with water, throw your shirt in it, and place it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.
2. After freezing, take the shirt out and try to remove ink with your hands or a spatula.
3. Launder the fabric in cold water with detergent.
 

Is it possible to remove sublimation ink from polyester using bleach?

Yes, washing a t-shirt is the most efficient method of erasing ink. If you soak the entire t-shirt in washing chemicals, the t-shirt color and ink will be destroyed, so I’m only recommending that if you transferred the pattern wrongly, or you have a stain on the garment.

Apply butcher sublimation paper and heat-press-resistant tape to the sides of the sublimated shirt in a rectangular pattern on the t-shirt. Butcher paper should be covered with heat transfer tape. And then use the bleach solution to remove sublimation inks.

Dry the bleached area with a hairdryer, then wash it, and you’re done. Print the rectangle design on the t-shirt’s affected area.

We’ve already gone over the entire procedure. Second, if the damaged fabric is a white polyester, you do not need to spray the affected area of the t-shirt.

There is a method for erasing the ink that uses polymer crystals, polymer solution, and paper towels, however, it is not very effective and may cause fabric damage. The steps are as follows:

Combine the polymer crystals and polymer solution with boiling water according to the package directions. The water will absorb the crystals, causing them to transform into a gel-like substance.

Using a clean cloth or paper towel, apply the gel to the sublimation ink wash out or remove sublimation inks on the fabric and cover it with aluminum foil. Make sure the gel covers the entire stain.
Cover the gel with paper towels or aluminum foil, then exert pressure with a heavy object on top of the paper towels.

Allow the paper towels, aluminum foil, and heavy objects to sit for many hours, if not overnight. Remove the paper towel and use a plastic scraper or spatula to scrape away any leftover gel. Wash the fabric in cold water to remove any gel residue.

Conclusion

A sublimation ink stain can be tough to remove from a shirt since it is meant to connect with polyester fibers and can be difficult to remove once it has been placed onto the fabric. While alcohol, bleach, and dye remover can all be used to remove sublimation ink, it’s vital to try any cleaning method on a small, inconspicuous part of the shirt first to avoid damaging the fabric.

It should also be noted that these treatments may not completely remove the stain, particularly if it has been heat-set. Covering up the sublimated region with fabric paint or a patch may be the best choice in some circumstances for saving the shirt and making it wearable again.

Sublimation printing is one of the most fascinating and advanced printing methods, unless you make a mistake and wind up with a sublimation ink stain. Don’t panic; as tough as it may appear, there are some ways to eliminate sublimation ink.

If you’re wondering how to fix a sublimation issue on a shirt, the procedure is described above. I hope you find this complete guide beneficial.

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