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How To Remove Screen Printing From a Shirt

Doing perfect prints is not easy; it takes lots of practice, and even when you’re experienced at it, it’s inevitable that there will be times when you have unwanted smears on your printing.

Though the ink is normally permanent, there are a few tricks you can use to remove print from a shirt.

In this short guide, we shall examine the steps you need to take to take to remove a screen print from your shirt or sweatshirt and at the end, we shall go through a few tips to make your work easier.

Steps to Remove a Screen Printing From a Shirt

Step 1

When you realize that there’s something wrong with the printing, rinse the shirt in cold water immediately.

This step will remove any fresh ink on the shirt. Ensure that the water is cold and not warm or hot, as hot water helps set the ink firmly onto the shirt’s fabric.

It’s the same with removing stains from shirts.

Step 2

After rinsing the shirt in cold water and ensuring that all the fresh ink is gone, rinse it in warm water.

Step 3

Once you’ve removed all the ink that can be removed through rinsing, let the shirt dry completely.

At this point, you’ll notice that there might still be some ink printed on your shirt.

Step 4

Place a paper bag on the shirt, with the shiny side-lying on top of the part that still has ink.

Step 5

Using an iron box without steam, heat the part of the paper bag lying over the part of the shirt that has ink.

The iron’s heat will force the ink into the paper bag.

Step 6

Repeat steps four and five until no more ink can be removed using this method.

Step 7

Take some sugar and use it to gently scrub the part of the garment that still has ink.

Make sure that you’re only scrubbing gently, as scrubbing violently can damage the shirt’s fabric.

By the time you finish these steps, the entire screen printing should be totally gone.

Now, let’s look at a few tips and warnings associated with removing screen printings.

Other Tips for Removing a Screen Print From a T-Shirt


  • Heat-setting printed images on the shirt by ironing makes them permanent. However, washing the shirt repeatedly can fade the images.
  • You can use acetone to remove screen printing ink even after heat-setting the shirt.
  • You can use a high-pressure washer gun’s spotting fluid to remove screen printings from your shirt.

Warnings About Removing Screen Printing From a Shirt

  • In case you decide to use chemicals like spotting fluid to reclaim your shirt, ensure that you are in a properly-ventilated area and if your shop doesn’t have good ventilation, do it outdoors. This will protect you from the dangerous components in such chemicals. Acetone is somewhat safe.
  • Be sure to wear gloves always when using spotting fluid to remove the printing. The chemical can be absorbed by your skin and can damage your skin easily.
  • Don’t iron or heat the screen-printed ink directly. This will only set it firmly into the fabric.


As you might have discovered, how to remove screen printing from a shirt is not that hard after all.

Be sure to observe the warnings part carefully to ensure that you’re doing it safely both for you and the shirt.

Don’t hesitate to drop by anytime and leave a comment on other tricks you might have discovered on how to remove screen-printed ink effectively.

James M. Rai has been screen printing T-shirts and other textiles professionally and as a hobby for more than 15 years. During that time, he owned and operated a small screen printing shop in northern California for more than 7 years. More recently, James has gotten involved with Cricut and other cutting machines.


  1. Hi, is it possible to remove the rubber printing on tshirt after cured by acetone as well?

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