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How to Remove Screen Printing From a Shirt – 5 Methods

How to Remove Screen Printing From a Shirt

Putting designs on clothes with screen printing is a cool way to do it. But you might want to take a design off a shirt sometimes. You might want to use the shirt in a different way, or you might have made a mistake when printing. It’s important to know how to safely and well take off the print. This guide will show you how to do it in different ways, from doing it yourself to hiring professionals. It will help get your shirt back to the way it was.

Understanding The Shirt & Design

Understanding The Shirt & Design

Before you start removing the screen print, it’s really important to take a good look at the shirt and the design:

First You Need to Examine The Fabric

The type of fabric the shirt is made of and its color are both important. Different fabrics and colors can react differently to the methods used for removing screen prints. Some fabrics might be more delicate, and certain removal methods could affect them more than others.

Then Think About The Design

Take a moment to think about the design itself. When you look at these things carefully, you’ll know which way is best to remove the print. This smart approach will give you the right knowledge to pick the best method. This way, you can make sure your shirt stays nice while getting rid of the print.

1. Size

Determine how large the design is in relation to the shirt. A larger print might require a different approach compared to a smaller one.

2. Colors

Note down the colors used in the design. Some colors might be more challenging to remove completely than others, especially if they’re deeply saturated or if there are multiple layers of ink.

3. Intricacy

Assess the level of detail in the design. Designs with intricate patterns or fine lines might require special attention to prevent damage to the fabric during removal.

#4 DIY Methods For Screen Print Removal

DIY Methods for Screen Print Removal

Screen printing ink can be stubborn, but with the right DIY methods, you can effectively remove it from your shirt. Here are some common techniques:

Method #1: Remove Through Rubbing Alcohol

Materials Needed:

  1. Rubbing alcohol
  2. Cotton ball or cloth
  3. Dull knife or fingernail


  • Use rubbing alcohol to wet a cotton ball or piece of cloth.
  • Rub the soaked cloth gently over the printed area. The alcohol will help the ink break apart.
  • Use a dull knife or your fingernail to gently scrape off the softened ink.

Note: This method does work, but be careful not to rub too hard or you could damage the fabric.

Method #2: Remove Screen Printing Through Acetone

Materials Needed:

  1. Acetone
  2. Cloth


  • Apply a small amount of acetone to a cloth.
  • Gently rub the cloth on the printed area. The acetone will begin to dissolve the ink.
  • Work in small sections and observe the fabric’s reaction to the acetone.

Note: Acetone can be harsh on fabrics and may cause discoloration. Test a small, hidden area first.

Method #3: Remove Through Nail Polish Remover

Materials Needed:

  1. Nail polish remover
  2. Cloth


  • Just like with acetone, put a bit of nail polish remover on a cloth.
  • Softly rub the cloth on the printed part. The chemicals in the remover will work to break down the ink.

Note: Nail polish remover can be strong and might change the color or strength of the fabric. Use only a small amount at a time.

Method #4: Remove Screen Printing Through Sandpaper

Materials Needed:

  1. Very fine sandpaper (1500-2000 grit)
  2. Water
  3. Cloth


  • Dip the super fine sandpaper in water to make it slightly wet.
  • Gently rub the damp sandpaper on the printed part using small circular motions.

Note: Sandpaper works best for tough prints, but there’s a chance it could harm the fabric. Try it on a hidden spot first to be sure.

Get Expert Help to Remove Screen Printing

Getting Expert Help: Help from a Professional

If your do-it-yourself methods aren’t giving you the results you want, or if you’re worried about damaging the fabric, it might be a good idea to call a professional.

Professional Dry Cleaners

It can be a good idea to talk to a dry cleaner who has been in business for a while. These experts know how to deal with a wide range of stains, even stubborn ones like screen printing ink. They know how to use the right techniques and have the tools to do so. So your clothes are less likely to get damaged.

Some companies are experts at getting rid of screen prints in a precise way, using special tools and methods. These experts know how to deal with even the most difficult prints. It’s worth doing some research to find local services that offer this kind of specialized help. They can look at the situation and use their skills to get your shirt back to how it was before.

#6 Caution to Keeping Your Screen Prints in Good Shape

Preventive Steps: Keeping Your Screen Prints in Good Shape

You can enjoy your screen-printed shirts for longer periods, reducing the need for frequent removal and ensuring that the prints stay vibrant and intact. By implementing these preventive precautions. They will last longer and you won’t have to remove the prints as often. Here are some precautions to think about.

Wash Carefully

Before you put your screen-printed shirt in the washing machine to clean it, turn it inside out. This keeps the screen print from getting too worn down by rubbing against other clothes. Use a gentle cycle and cold water to protect the print as much as possible.

Air Dry

High heat can be bad for screen prints because it can ruin the ink. Instead of setting your dryer to high heat, let your shirts dry in the air. You can lay them out flat on a clean surface or hang them on a rack to dry. This method of gentle drying helps the print keep its color and shape.

Avoid Ironing Directly

If your shirt needs to be ironed, don’t iron right on the print. The heat from the iron can melt or change the shape of the ink. Instead, you should flip the shirt inside out and iron the fabric from the back.

Store Properly

How you store your screen-printed shirts can have a big effect on how long they last. Store your shirts flat or on padded hangers to keep the ink from cracking or coming off. Don’t cram them into small spaces, because that can damage the print.

Limit Sun Exposure

If the print is in direct sunlight for a long time, the colors may fade. Choose a place that doesn’t get direct sunlight to store your shirts if you want them to keep their colors.

Rotate Your Collection

If you have more than one shirt with a screen print on it, switch out the ones you wear most often. This spreads the wear and tear evenly across your collection, which makes each print last longer.

Wrapping it Up: Finding the Right Mix of Methods

Taking off-screen printing from a shirt needs a mix of care, skills, and the proper tools. Whether you go for a DIY trick or ask experts for help, the aim is to bring your clothes back to how they were or give them a fresh look. Don’t forget to check the fabric, design, and how comfortable you are with the method you choose. You can confidently tackle the task of removing screen prints from your shirts.

If you need any retail or wholesale screen printing services, please reach out.