How to Remove Sublimation Ink from Shirt, Ultimate Guide with 9 Working Methods

Sublimation printing has gained some momentum in recent years. This technique is often used to print on a wide range of materials because everyone is familiar with using a sublimation printer and heat press. The majority of people are unaware of how to remove sublimation ink from shirt.

Everyone has made a printing blunder, but since there is little room for error with this type of printing, many times people are unable to repair their mistakes. Don’t panic if you don’t know how to remove sublimation ink from a shirt; even if the margin is narrow, there is a way for doing it. I’ve included a thorough explanation of the process so you may fix the mistake and remove the ugly ink spot.

Is it possible to Remove Sublimation Ink from Shirt?

It was impossible to erase sublimation that had been imprinted into polyester or polymers. Bleach won’t be able to eliminate the sublimation. Cotton may have sublimation ink erased from it after several washings. On hard substrates like poly-coated coffee cups, sublimation can be minimized with high heat, but it can only be totally eradicated by sanding the coating down to the true ceramic.

Everybody who has used the sublimation printing technique has run into a situation where they printed the wrong area accidentally or the ink bled on the cloth and they are now stuck with it. When employing the sublimation printing technique, even seasoned printers might make blunders.

Methods to Remove Sublimation Ink from Shirt

Wearing garments with images on it is popular  among the people. Such clothing is seen as being particularly appealing and welcoming. These clothes are useful, but they have one significant flaw: the prints can be washed out since the print inks used to make them are not permanent.

There are several ways to get ink out of clothes. The following tips might help you clean sublimation ink from a sublimated clothing:

1.  Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Cold Water

Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Cold Water

Cold water is one way to get sublimation ink out of a shirt. Your clothing may be cleaned of sublimation ink by immersing it in a pail of ice water. Remove it as soon as you can since the ink freezes more quickly in cold water.

Once the ink has soaked deeply into the cloth, you push it down with a spatula. Therefore, sublimation printer ink can only be partially removed.

Use this if you accidentally print anything with your sublimation printer during sublimation printing. Make use of this frequently!

2.  Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Heat

Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Heat

The use of heat treatment is an additional method of removing sublimation ink. A dryer will be required for this technique. Repeat this process several times until all of the ink has been removed after heating the cloth for a few minutes.

3.  Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Soda Water

Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Soda Water

How can sublimation ink on a garment be removed with soda water? For the purpose of removing sublimation ink from clothing, you may also create a chemical solution at home. Mix 6 parts soda and 1 part water in a bucket.

After combining the ingredients, soak your garments in the solution for approximately 30 minutes. After 15 to 20 minutes, if the shirt is still moist, stir the solution one more before removing it.

4.  Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Bleach

Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Bleach

Apply a bleaching chemical if you want the sublimation ink totally removed. You can get one from a store if you don’t already have one. After bleaching the clothing, let it sit for about an hour. Before used, sublimation ink must be thoroughly dissolved. After that, you may wash the item in standard soap and water and rinse it.

5. Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Pressure Washer

Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Pressure Washer

Ink may be easily removed off clothing, walls, and wooden surfaces with a power washer. You may achieve this by combining the water in the pressure washer tank with ordinary water. The clothes may then be washed using it to completely remove the ink.

For best results, combine a pressure washer with one of the aforementioned techniques. They are quite effective. All types of dirt and sublimation ink may be completely removed with this equipment.

5.  Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Aluminum foil

Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Aluminum foil

Set up your workplace with a flat sheet of aluminium foil. Make sure the space is well aired. Fans, if they are available, can aid in drying. There is a need for methyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, and paper towels.

6.  Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Denatured Spirits

Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Denatured Spirits

Spend 15 minutes soaking your clothing in denatured alcohol. The color is removed without endangering the fabric. In addition to degreasing, the solution also gets rid of any leftover ink residue from sublimation.

Press the item between two fresh paper towels after it has been soaked for 15 minutes. You can soak the garment for an extra 15 minutes after washing it with denatured alcohol.

7.  Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Paper Towels

Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Paper Towels

Keep the paper towels beneath the iron to prevent burning. Avoid applying too much pressure when ironing. Allow the fabric to cool completely before contacting it. This is important because when something is heated, it tends to cling together. Gloves might make them too hot to handle if you contact them unintentionally.

8.  Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Ironing

Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Ironing

Iron the garment for a further five minutes with aluminium foil on top once it has dried. The following stage will be simpler to complete since the cloth will be thicker. This step must be completed if you want to successfully restore your clothing.

9.  Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Denatured Alcohol

Remove Sublimation Ink by Using Denatured Alcohol

You may now use your mixture of polymer crystals and denatured alcohol. Two tablespoons of crystals should be put in a little cup or container. The liquid appears cloudy when stirred when only a small amount of alcohol is added to completely dissolve them.

Make sure a clean paper towel is moist but not dripping wet by adding distilled water to it and ringing it out. Over the paper towel, pour the polymer solution.

Some Important Tips Which Consider While Removing Sublimation Ink from Shirt: 

Check the care label on the inside of the T-shirt before applying any products. To find out if any product can harm the fabric, read the label. If so, pick a new approach.

Before you begin removing the sublimation ink from the cloth, steam it. This may lessen the risk of ink breakage.

Prior to beginning the process of removing the sublimation ink, gather all essential materials. After that, clean the flat area you’ll be working on.

While removing the sublimation ink from the polyester, turn on a nearby fan. The cloth should dry more quickly, and it also promotes air circulation in the room.


Until you make a mistake and get a sublimation ink stain, sublimation printing is one of the best and most fascinating printing processes. Despite how challenging it may appear, there are a few techniques to remove sublimation ink. If you’re curious about how to fix a sublimation mistake on a shirt, I’ve covered the procedure in the post above. I hope you find it beneficial.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sublimation permanent?

When heated, the inks are converted to gases, which mix with the cloth to imprint the fabric permanently. Since the ink is entrenched in the fabric or substrate rather than merely sitting on top like a typical print, the effects are long-lasting and less prone to fading.

Can I sublimate over sublimation?

Yes, however there is no certainty since some of the original print design won’t be removed during the second press. Make careful to cover it with Teflon or Kraft paper in this situation.

Can sublimation ink be used for regular printing?

The Short Answer is No

Sublimation ink should not be used for standard printing. Sublimation isn’t even supported by the majority of printers. Nevertheless, some printers can be converted to sublimation printers or are capable of doing so.

How do you keep sublimation paper from sticking?

Lowering the pressure on the product can aid in lessening the problem of paper sticking in addition to reducing press and/or oven heat and heating time. Often, lowering the pressure in combination with lowering the heat and time produces the best results.

Will sublimation wash out of cotton?

 If you attempt to seal the sublimation transfers onto untreated cloth, the sublimation will wash out of cotton. This occurs because the all-natural fibers and the synthetic sublimation dye are incapable of forming a chemical link.