How to Remove Sublimation Ink From Shirt

Minor mistakes in design or crooked lines can happen in sublimation printing. Learning how to remove sublimation ink from a shirt is necessary for beginners. While you are new to sublimation printing, you might rarely have mistakes in design, but the chances are not down to zero.

Therefore, let us give you three methods to remove sublimation ink from a shirt. All three methods have various ways. Read our guide to find out which one is most simple for you. You can use these on other types of fabrics, as well as socks and covers.

How to Remove Sublimation Ink From Shirt

Be careful!

Before you start using any of the methods, here’s how you need to prep the shirt:

● Check the label to see if your shirt is okay with a washing machine or the products.

● Steam the shirt if you can, and make sure it’s clean.

● Have a flat placing surface for your shirt.

● Make sure the place where you are doing the procedure has appropriate ventilation.

How to remove sublimation ink from shirt by using Solvents

how to get sublimation ink out of a shirt by using Solvents

Solvents are an effective way to get rid of sublimation ink by using a few products. So we are starting our guide with them:


Use 70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol, and it will return your shirt to its original state. This type of alcohol can get rid of stubborn sublimation ink from shirts, blankets, socks, and other fabrics. Here’s what you need to do,

  1. Add drops of 70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol directly to the area of sublimation ink.
  2. Put a timer on for 30 minutes, and after that, use a paper towel to remove the sublimation ink completely.
  3. Wash it using cold water and leave it to dry.

Usually, after drying, the sublimation ink will be removed. But if not, repeat this several times until the sublimation ink is completely removed.


Acetone can change the shading of certain types of fabrics. So, drop a cotton pad in 100% acetone and wait for it to absorb. By rubbing this acetone-dipped cotton pad on the inside of the shirt, you can know if it’s safe to use or not.

Don’t use this method if your shirt changes color, as that will be a disaster. Wear rubber gloves and follow these steps after checking that your shirt color remains the same,

  1. Take an acetone-dipped cotton pad and dab it on the sublimation ink area only.
  2. Let it absorb the acetone for 10 minutes, and then get two paper towels.
  3. Rub paper towels on the sublimation ink so that acetone can be removed.
  4. Wash the shirt with cold water, and you’ll see no sign of sublimation ink.
  5. Repeat if you still see markings of sublimation ink.


For white-colored shirts, bleach serves as a great solvent for the removal of sublimation ink. Leave your shirt for 30 minutes after pouring bleach on the inked area. 

Get a paper towel to remove access bleach, and use your finger to rub off the sublimation ink. Wash your shirt, and it will look brand new and fully white. Do not use this method on colorful shirts.

Removing sublimation ink from shirt by using Household products

Removing sublimation ink from shirt by using Household products

The household method will require several materials that you need to assemble from your house, but it’s cost-effective. So, make sure you have all the material before starting the process of removing sublimation ink. Plus, read the care label of your shirt before using any of these, as it might tamper with the quality of the shirt.

Denatured Alcohol and crystals


● Clean water

● Aluminum foil

● Distilled water

● Denatured alcohol

● Polymer crystals

● Iron and paper towels

● Bowl and a bucket


  1. Pour the denatured alcohol inside the bucket and soak the shirt in it for 20 minutes.
  2. Once you get the feeling that the sublimation ink is peeling off, take the shirt out
  3. Squeeze the alcohol out by using paper towels and wash the shirt with a washing machine.
  4. Get the mildly dry shirt and make it slightly soaked with filtered water.
  5. Turn on the iron and set it to a low temperature. Iron the shirt until it’s dry.
  6. Place aluminum foil over it and iron again for 5 minutes. After that, place your shirt aside.
  7. Make a mixture of three tablespoons of polymer crystals in one bowl of denatured alcohol.
  8. Take a paper towel and dip it in clean water than in the mixture.
  9. Dab the paper towel on the sublimation ink fabric and use a spoon to peel off the ink fully.
  10. That’s it!  Your shirt will look spotless from sublimation ink. 

Cleaning products


● Bowl

● Hydrogen peroxide

● White vinegar

● Baking soda

● Lemon

● Dish soap


  1. Make a mixture of white vinegar, half lemon juice, and two tablespoons of baking soda.
  2. Mix half a cup of hydrogen peroxide and half a cup of dish soap. Add these to the mixture.
  3. Pour this mixture into the sublimation ink of the shirt and wait for 40 minutes.
  4. Use paper towels to get make sure the shirt is not soaking wet.
  5. Once it’s removed, use your fingers to peel the ink off.
  6. Wash the shirt, and you’ll see how the quality will be the same as it was!

Soda water

This is easy as you just have to pour soda into the water by a ratio of 6:1. Soak the shirt in it for about 30 minutes and take it out. Try peeling off the sublimation ink by using a scrub or finger.

Removing sublimation ink from a shirt by Ironing

Removing sublimation ink from a shirt by Ironing

Heat press

In this, you will need the following materials,

● Iron

● Spoon

● Thick fabric

● The wet thin fabric cloth

After getting all these, follow these steps,

  1. Put thick fabric right under the sublimation ink part of the shirt. Make sure that both, the shirt and fabric, are not wrinkled.
  2. Get the thin wet cloth and place it over the shirt on the sublimation ink area.
  3. Turn the iron on and set it to medium temperature. Iron it for at least ten minutes.
  4. You will see that sublimation ink will be peeling, so get a sponge and scrub the ink off thoroughly.
  5. There you go! Sublimation ink should be removed from the shirt.

Final words

In concluding our guide, we trust your shirts look free from sublimation ink. All of the above methods are tested, and if they don’t work,, do not try further as it might ruin the quality of the shirt. Just take it to professional dry cleaners, and it will be gone.

Lastly, the best way to remove sublimation ink from the shirt is by using Acetone. It’s effective and will not damage the quality of the shirt or any type of fabric.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

What is the simplest method for taking sublimation off of polyester?

All methods are simple; you can choose a heatless version or a solvent version. Read the above guide and see which one is most basic for you.

How can I get rid of sublimation ink without ruining my clothes?

We do not advise employing a heat-based technique if the label says no ironing. Additionally, a non-chemical product would be the safest choice. You can make a cleaning solution at home, for instance, using only natural items.
But as chemical solutions are more effective, test them before using them. Firstly, turn your T-shirt inside out. After that, squirt a little of the mixture into the inside part of the garment. You can then determine whether the product degrades the material.

How to remove sublimation ink if the design is smeared over the shirt?

Yes, just follow the above methods and make sure you stay consistent and repeat until the ink is completely removed.

Is it possible to take off the sublimation ink in this manner from the coffee mug?

Due to the polyester layer on the garment, the techniques detailed in this guide are distinct from those used to remove sublimation inks from the coffee mug. However, the solvent section might work to get rid of fresh sublimation inks from mugs.

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