How to Remove Screen Printing from Shirts? | 5+ Effective Ways

Screen printing is an ancient method of transferring the desired design to jackets, shirts, denim, polyester and other fabrics. But what if your design gets distorted or cracked? How will you remove that design and start printing again on clothing?

Experts in screen printing apply various techniques to eliminate inaccurate and broken designs.

The most popular one is to soak the cotton bud in nail polish remover and gently rub the cracked print.

This way, the ink will dissolve into nail polish remover and leave the fabric’s surface.

Some fabrics need special care to avoid damage to clothes, like removing the screen print from polyester.

This article will discuss easy and proven methods to remove incorrect screen prints.

Here are seven easy ways to remove screen printing from your clothing.

Remove Screen Printing from Shirts with Chemicals

Step: 1 – Choose Yourself Right Solvent

in the following lines; different solvents have been recommended after much testing. The right one will dissolve the screen print ink without damaging the fabric. 

Acetone or Nail Polish Remover

Acetone is a chemical that can dissolve screen printing ink efficiently. So, this method is far more helpful than any other method.

Keep in mind that your fabric is cotton or denim. Polyester fabric will get damaged if acetone is applied.

Acetone is always available in chemist shops; you can purchase it there. Read and implement all the safety precautions to avoid damaging your skin.

You can also use nail polish remover as it contains a sufficient amount of acetone.

Plastisol Remover

Plastisol is a strong chemical that dissolves print ink very effectively. Arrange the soft brush and cotton rag to rub the print.

Wash the clothes in the washing machine and dry them under shade. Make sure they don’t smell plastisol ink.

Before using it wear gloves and keep the room windows open.

Since these solvents are standard, they can be taken from chemical stores. Nail polish remover will be available in your lovely home.

You don’t have to buy a whole carton of solvent bottles; one filled bottle is enough to remove a complete screen print.

Step: 2 – Test the Solvent Before Using

When you catch up with a cracked logo or print, could you not rush to remove it?

First, test out the solvent on the inner side of the clothing. In this way, you will get the idea to choose or not.

Most industry experts discourage the usage of solvents in silk, wool, and rayon, as the intense nature of these solvents will ruin cloth fabrics.

Step: 3 – Turn the Clothing Inside Out and Pour the Solvent

After selecting the proper solvent, you must turn the shirt inside out. The backside of the screen print will be in front of you.

Now, pour a small amount of solvent on the cotton. Gently rub the incorrectly printed area, so the solvent gets absorbed into the fabric.

You can stretch the clothing to have better soaking to ease the removal of print ink.

Step: 4 – Turn the clothes outside in and Peel Off the Printing

When solvent soaking is complete, you can turn the shirts outside and rub the printed area.

For this purpose, you can use a brush or scraper to wipe off the ink.

Always wear gloves before working with the solvents.  

After wiping the screen, print the clothes in a regular washing machine to eliminate the stringent smell of solvents.

Can you remove Screen printing Using %100 ACETONE?

How to Remove Screen Print from Shirt with an Iron?

This technique uses heat to melt down the screen print ink and peel it off.

First of all, arrange a paper bag and an iron.

A paper bag with a shiner surface can be purchased from stores. Place this shining surface on the screen print and move the heated iron back and forth. Peeling off the paper will take the print with it.

Step 1: Place the Printed Material Over A Flat Surface

For proper ironing, you need to arrange an ironing stand or table. You can also use the floor to get the work done.

But, place a thick cloth before ironing on the bare floor.

Step 2: Place a towel under the print

Now, place a dry towel inside the clothes beneath the printed area. This towel will prevent the other side of the clothes from getting ink stains. You can wear an old shirt instead of a towel as well.

It will also protect the garment from the heat of iron.

Step 3: Place the Iron over a Damp Cloth

Now, arrange a piece of cloth and soak it in water. Remove the extra water by trenching it.

Place this piece of cloth on the print to protect the bottom surface of the iron from ink.

It’s time to place the heat-up iron and place it over the damp cloth. Apply a bit of pressure so that heat may reach the printed area.

After 5-7 minutes of heating, the screen print ink will start melting and absorbing damp cloth.

You can purchase and use a paper bag instead of a damp cloth.

Step 4: Pick the iron and remove the damp cloth

When the ink melts, it makes a fuzzy sound like water. Can you pick up the iron and place it aside? Remove the paper bag or damp cloth; most of the print ink is stuck.

Keep in mind, never leave the iron on the damp cloth; it will burn it, and heat may damage the shirts and clothes.

If you see any spot of screen print still there, you can remove it using fingernails or a scraper.

How to Remove Printing on Clothing With Iron At Home

Washing Fabric just after Screen Printing

While this is not a quick fix, all designs fade over time, especially after enough washings.

Generally speaking, the average design will remain pristine through about fifty washes, especially if you turn the garment inside out before washing it. Of course, if your goal is to get rid of the design, keep it right side out!

The danger of this method is that it may fade the shirt’s color and the inked design.

Read more: How to Cure Screen Printed Shirts at Home?

Cold water Rinse While Printing

If you feel distortion in the screen print design at the start of printing, you can remove it using cold water.

It is a better option for minor design errors. After rinsing with cold water, dry out the cloth under shade.

Keep in mind one thing you can not use warm water. Warm water will induce heat into the fabric, the design will become challenging, and ink will get stuck due to curing.

After rinsing with cold water, you can use warm water then.

Remove Screen Print using Sugar Scrub

This method is proper when the design print is fresh. Rubbing sugar on the print will abrade the design prints.

For this purpose, you must take a tablespoon of sugar and gently rub the design error spot.

Of course, you will want to rewash the item to get all the sticky sugar out when you are done!

How to Remove Screen Print from a Jersey

When you encounter any cracking or distortion in the screen print, apply any of the above-discussed methods.

But here are a few more tips to be considered. 

The acetone and nail polish remover typically eliminate old letters from jerseys.

Take a small amount of acetone and a piece of cotton. Immerse the cotton piece in acetone and rub it on the letter to be removed. Using a soft brush, the ink can be removed from the jersey due to rubbing.

This method works best on the heat-set vinyl letter, as well.

How to Remove Print from Denim

When you meet any crack or alteration in the screen print, apply any of the above-discussed methods.

On the other hand, you can wash the denim cloth in water, followed by warm water rinsing.

After this cycle, the screen print on the denim will become soft and can be taken off.

That said, if you are fed up with an old design on denim, you can impart a new pattern through embroidery or sewing.

You could also heat-setting a new vinyl design over the old print.

How to Remove Print from a Hoodie

The logo or any other screen print gets cracked with time. To eliminate such patterns, nail polish remover or acetone is the best option.

Before starting the removal, arrange a buffer like a towel or a thick piece of cardboard. Place this cardboard inside the Hoodie to protect the lower side from ink.

Now, take a cotton piece, soak it with acetone, and gently rub it over the screen print design.

When the print looks soft, you can remove it by rubbing it with a soft brush.

Then, wipe the ink and residue of the print with a soft cloth piece.

Finally, wash the Hoodie after screen print removal in the washing machine and dry it in the air.

Nowadays, hoodies are manufactured with synthetic fibers, and nail polish removal may cause damage. So, test polish remover on the smaller and hidden area of the Hoodie. 

How to Remove Screen Printing from Polyester

Now as days, synthetic material usage is increasing exponentially in the textile industry. It is even used to manufacture t-shirts, bags, and hoodies. The reason behind this is the low cost of such material.

Polyester is made of synthetic fabrics. It is mixed in a specific amount with cotton, Nylon, and spandex.

Synthetic material is made of plastic grains. So, removing screen printing from such materials requires special care.

Many experts advise not to use acetone or iron on polyester. As it doesn’t react with chemicals, iron can melt it.

How can we remove screen printing from polyester?

The best way is to soak the polyester clothes in warm water containing dish detergent. After the screen print becomes soft, it can be removed by rubbing it with a brush.   

How to remove screen print from Nylon?

Nylon is a synthetic fabric that requires special care during the removal of screen print. Out of the above-discussed methods, iron is a good option.

WD-40 is a chemical compound that eliminates ink from many surfaces, including plastic, metals, and clothing.

You have to arrange WD-40 or iron to remove the print. Spray it on the nylon surface where the design is printed. After a while, rub with a soft towel and wipe off the unwanted screen print.

Be careful while ironing the nylon fabric; heating on the design spot can burn the material for a long time.

How to Remove Logos from Clothing

The logos screen printed on the clothes can be removed by rubbing the cotton ball soaked in acetone.

After getting soft, the design will be peeled off by a fingernail or scraper.

The clothes, such as jackets or t-shirts, look spoiled after the removal of logos. The color of the fabric area after removing the symbol becomes brighter and doesn’t look perfect.

So, if you are not satisfied with removing the logo, you can screen print a new one.  

How to Clean Screen Printing Residue

When removing the screen print from clothing, you will find residue issues on the fabrics. You can remove any residue ink particles through sugar scrubbing or washing with cold water.

Put a small spoon of sugar over the ink residue and rub it gently.

After rubbing the sugar, wash the clothing in the regular washing machine.

Other Tips

If you cannot work with all the above-discussed methods, you can also consider these points.

You will know that small mistakes can be repaired more quickly than more significant ones. Large screen print distortion will require more acetone or nail polish remover and takes a lot of time.

So, it’s up to you how worthy is the shirt, Hoodie, or denim and time.

  • You can reserve all your efforts and resources to remove small screen print mistakes. 
  • Secondly, you can use the clothes with screen print mistakes in casual donations to someone who gives them to your kids.
  • Thirdly, if you love the garment and don’t want to discard you can impart a design with heat transfer. A vinyl will cover the whole distortion in the screen print.

Finally, if you own a big business, it will be difficult to remove mistakes every time. So, consider how long it will take to eliminate the fault in screen printing from the garment.


Removing the screen print ink from clothes is easy when you own a personal setup. All the proven methods, such as applying nail polish remover, acetone, sugar scrub, or washing with cold water, can help very well.

While using chemicals like acetone, wear gloves and follow the care precautions; otherwise, the material may get damaged.

Read More: Screen Printing

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you remove screen printing from 100% polyester?

Soak the screen print area where the fault is present in warm water containing dishwashing detergent. After about 5 minutes, the print ink gets softened. Now, rub the screen print design spot with a soft brush and wipe off the ink with a soft cotton rag.

Does acetone damage clothes?

In short, Yes.
If you are new to the screen printing business, have awareness about the chemical activity of acetone with clothes. If it mistakenly touches clothes, wash that area immediately.
You can use nail polish remover to remove faulty screen print design instead of acetone.  

Will bleach remove the screen print?

Screen prints are made of insoluble pigment dyes. So they withstand the bleach effects. Therefore, screen-printed clothes can be washed in water bleach solution using regular washing machines.

Will acetone take the color out of the fabric?

Yes. If the fabric contains fibers of any acetate.

Can you wash the screen and print the ink out?

Two types of screen print inks are used during the process, i.e., water-based ink and plastisol ink. Plastisol ink is difficult to remove, but water-based ink can be removed by spraying water with a pressure hose.

What removes screen ink?

The screen print ink can be removed easily using the following methods.
Nail Polish Remover
Cold-Water Rinse
Iron & Peel
Sugar Scrub

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