How to Remove Screen Printing

Buying new fabric is exciting until you realize it has images, wording, or logos you don’t want. This might make you want to return or throw away the t-shirts, bags, or hoodies. These designs were engraved in these items through screen printing. There are many ways to screen printing on t-shirts and other fabrics.

Other than buyers, businesses dealing with screen printing may want to remove printed designs on bags, hoodies, or bags. There are various screen-printing removal methods. So, in this article, you will learn how to remove screen printing.

What is Screen Printing

Screen printing is a method of engraving designs such as words, photos, or logos on fabric materials like t-shirts, shirts, bags, or hoodies. An impenetrable ink is used during this process to ensure that the ink doesn’t go through the cloth.
For this technique to be successful, you must have film positives, a mesh screen, a squeegee, a flash cure unit, and a belt dryer. Currently, sizeable screen-printing businesses are using automatic screen-printing machines.

Additionally, screen printing is also known as serigraphy or silk screen printing. Also, this technique is used in etching patterns on other materials like wood, glass, plastic, paper, and metal.

Methods of Removing Screen Printing from Fabrics

There are several effective methods of removing screen printing from fabrics. However, how you choose will depend on the time it takes for the screen print to get off. So, in this section, you will learn how to remove screen printing from clothes.


how to remove screen printing

Removing Screen Printing from Fabrics Using Solvents

Using solvents is the first method of removing screen prints on fabrics. There are various solvents that you can use during this removal process. They include:

  • Acetone or nail polish remover
  • Spotting fluid
  • Plastisol remover

Let’s go through the steps when using all these solvents for screen printing removal.

  • Acetone or Nail Polish Remover

Acetone or nail polish remover is ideal for t-shirts with cracked screen print designs. These solvents ensure that the pattern is removed thoroughly. So, here are the steps of using acetone or nail polish remover.

Note: Nail polish remover contains acetone. You can use pure acetone or a nail polish remover.

Step 1: Pour the acetone or nail polish into a bowl.

Step 2: Place a cotton ball in the bowl with the solvent to soak for 3-5 minutes. Ensure that the cotton ball is well-soaked. Also, you can use a pad.

Step 3: Place the fabric you want to remove the screen print on a flat surface.

Step 4: Now take the cotton ball and start rubbing on the screen print in circular motions until the design gets off.

You should wear protective garments that include safety eyeglasses and gloves when using pure acetone. This is because acetone is a strong chemical with adverse effects. When it accidentally enters your eyes or comes into contact with your skin.

  • Spotting Fluid

A spotting fluid is another solvent you can use to remove screen prints. This solvent is ideal for cotton t-shirts as it is effective. This method ensures that you have a spot cleaning/removal gun. Some spot removal guns use air compressors, while others have similar functionality as a water pistol.

Here are the steps when using a spot removal liquid.

Step 1: Place a towel and put the cloth on a flat surface, and ensure the side with the print is on top

Step 2: Fill the spot removal gun with the fluid

Step 3: Aim and start firing the fluid on the region with the print

Step 4: When done, wash the fabric to get rid of the remaining marks and the chemical

NB: Don’t wear the cloth immediately after the process. Ensure you clean it using a detergent.

Although effective, you must be keen when aiming the spotting fluid on the screen print. This is because when you aim in another spot, it will damage your t-shirt.

  • Plastisol Remover

The plastisol remover is the best when removing screen print ink from clothes. Due to its high concentration, we advise that you work in an open area and wear protective clothes (gloves and safety glasses).

Step 1: Soak a cloth in the plastisol remover

Step 2: Place the cloth over the screen print design and leave it for 20-30 minutes

Step 3: Remove the design from the fabric using a soft brush

Step 4: Wash your t-shirt to remove an additional plastisol remover

Other than the plastisol remover, you can use rubbing alcohol.


Removing Screen Printing from Fabrics Using the Iron and Peel Method

The iron and peel screen printing method is simple and best for cotton cloth. You require a paper bag, an ironing board, and an iron box. You can remove screen prints from your fabric when you have these requirements.

Step 1: Put the cloth on the iron board and ensure that the screen print design faces up

Step 2: Turn on the iron and set low heat. Also, set no steam.

Step 3: Place the shiny side of the paper bag and place the shiny side on the screen print

Step 4: Run the iron several times over the paper bag, specifically on the region with the screen print

While running the iron over the design, it will stick on the paper bag and peel away. However, the prints might not fully get off. So, by using a scraper, remove the remaining ink from the fabric.


Removing Screen Printing from Fabrics Using Sugar

Sugar is suitable for removing new screen prints. It can sometimes remove old screen print designs but is ineffective. The best thing about this method is that it doesn’t require many things and is affordable. All you need is a tablespoon of sugar.

These are steps to use to remove screen prints using sugar.

Step 1: Place your cloth on a flat surface

Step 2: Take a tablespoon of sugar and pour it on the screen print design

Step 3: Start rubbing using your hands

Ensure you gently rub the sugar in a circular motion to avoid damaging your fabric. Remove the sugar with the ink using a soft brush when you finish. Wash the cloth using a detergent.

In case some ink remains, use any of the above methods.


Removing Screen Printing from Fabrics Using Cold-Water Rinse

Similarly to using sugar, the cold-water rinse is best for fresh screen-printing designs. Many screen-printing businesses use this method to salvage fabrics when they embed the wrong design.

When you notice an error with the screen print, put the fabric in a washing machine. Alternatively, you can cold-water rinse using your hands. Never use warm water, as it will make the ink remain on the cloth.

How to Remove Screen Prints from Polyester

Polyester is a synthetic material; removing screen prints differs from cotton clothes. Therefore, you cannot use the above screen print removal methods for polyester. For example, when using the solvents, they will damage your polyester cloth.

The best method of removing a screen print on polyester is using a detergent and a stiff brush. Apply the detergent on the synthetic fabric and scrub using a stiff brush. Scrub repeatedly to get rid of the design.

how to remove screen printing

Factors to Consider Before Removing Screen Printing

Before starting the screen-printing removal process, you must consider various factors. This will prevent you from damaging your fabric. So, the following are essential things you must consider.


Type of Screen Print

There are two types of screen prints fresh and old. Therefore, when choosing a removal method, you must consider which screen print is on your fabric. If it is a new screen print, use sugar or cold-water rinse. These are effective and won’t damage your cloth; for old patterns, use solvent or iron & peel removal methods.

Therefore, be cautious of the screen print type before starting the removal process. This helps you avoid losses if you are a business.



Which material has the screen print that requires removal? This is key before embarking on the screen-printing removal process. This is because some materials might react with the chemical leading to damage. Also, other materials might be hard hence a challenge in removing the design.

So, if you remove a pattern from a cotton cloth, use the solvent method. This is it is an old print. For new marks, rinse with cold water. Additionally, materials like polyester or nylon are incompatible with solvents. Because the chemical will burn the clothes.


Removal Method

Which removal method are you opting for? Although all are effective, some might not work well on a specific material. Additionally, it might be expensive and require purchasing extra items for use. For example, to use a spotting fluid, you must buy a spot removal gun which is costly.


There are various ways how to remove screen printing. The methods mentioned above are effective, but you must consider the type of material. Ensure you follow the steps for an effective screen printing removal process. For your screen printing, you require a high-quality machine, and Auto Print offers you the best in the market.

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