How to remove dye sublimation from a shirt - 7 quick fixes (2023)

How to remove sublimation ink from shirt?

Sublimation ink is a special type of ink used in a printing process called sublimation printing.

Sublimation ink is widely used for high quality prints, inkjet printers and digital printing such as those used in graphic design or photography.

Ink is transferred to the substrate or material to be printed using heat and pressure.

This turns the ink into a gas and then hits the substrate.

One of the advantages of sublimation printing is that it produces very vibrant and long-lasting prints.

However, this also means that if you get sublimation dye on your clothes, it can be very difficult to remove.

In most cases, you'll need to use special cleaners and solvents to break up the ink and remove it from the fabric.

How to remove sublimation ink from shirt?

If you have sublimation ink on your garment, first try to remove it as soon as possible.

The longer the ink remains on the fabric, the more difficult it will be to remove.

You should also avoid washing your clothes until you can remove the dye.

This is because washing can set the stain in place and make it even more difficult to remove.

There are a few different methods you can use to remove sublimation ink from a T-shirt.

We'll go over each method in detail so you can choose the one that works best for your situation.

french brandy




denatured alcohol

heat press

Organic products


Use isopropyl alcohol to remove sublimation ink

How to remove dye sublimation from a shirt - 7 quick fixes (1)

One way to remove sublimation dye from a shirt is to rub alcohol directly on it.

Alcohol is a strong solvent that can break down ink so that it can be removed from fabric.

It is better to use 91% isopropyl alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol.

How to use this method:

  1. You need to soak a cotton ball in an alcohol solution and apply it to the stain.
  2. Let the material soak up the liquid for 25 to 30 minutes on the ink-covered area only.
  3. Take a paper towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. Rub the stain with a cloth until it disappears completely.
  4. Take the shirt and wash it in cold water. The ink is expected to disappear. If not, repeat the process several times.

You need to be careful with this method, as alcohol can damage some types of fabric.

If you are unsure if the fabric is compatible with alcohol, test it on a small area first.

(Video) How To Remove Sublimation Ink! Don't Throw Your Mugs AWAY!


Remove sublimation dye with hairspray

Another way to remove sublimation dye from a shirt is to use hairspray.

Hairspray contains alcohol that will help break down the dye so it can be removed.

  1. You need to spray the stained area with hairspray, and then dry it with a clean cloth.
  2. You may need to repeat this process a few times before the stain disappears completely.


Remove sublimation ink with bleach

How to remove dye sublimation from a shirt - 7 quick fixes (2)

Bleach is a strong detergent that can break down ink so it can be removed from fabric.

However, it should be noted that it is not suitable for dyed clothes, as it can remove the color.

is perfect forwhite shirts.

If you regularly use bleach on your whites, this is all you need.

  1. Soak a cotton ball in bleach and apply it to the stain and leave it there for 30 minutes.
  2. After the bleach has dissolved the ink, you can dry it with a clean cloth.
  3. After bleaching, rinse the fabric with plain water.
  4. Remove the rest of the paint with your fingers or a sponge.

Keep in mind that bleach can damage some fabrics, so be careful with this method.

Read the care label or washing instructions on the shirt or garment before using this method to remove sublimation dye.

Be sure to rinse the bleach off your clothes as soon as possible. Bleach can damage fabric if left on too long.

(Video) 10 Common Sublimation Printing Problems and How to Solve Them

With a little time and effort, you can remove even the toughest stains with this method!


Remove sublimation ink print with acetone

How to remove dye sublimation from a shirt - 7 quick fixes (3)

Acetone is a strong solvent that can be used to remove ink stains.

Alcohol containing acetone is the most effective stain remover.

It works great on tough stains, but you have to be careful.

Place aluminum foil on the table or floor where you want to remove the sublimation ink.

The room must be ventilated.

Get a bowl, 100% pure acetone, rubber gloves and a clean cloth.

To determine if acetone is effective in removing ink stains from your shirt, perform a short test:

Soak a small cotton ball in acetone and rub it on the inside of the fabric.

Avoid this method if your shirt changes color.

Otherwise, you can follow these simple steps.

  1. Pour a small amount of acetone into a bowl or tub.
  2. After soaking the cloth in the liquid, wipe the dampened cloth over the sublimation print.
  3. Only apply acetone to the area covered with sublimation ink. Give the laundry acetone for 10 minutes.
  4. Place two clean paper towels on the same cloth and wipe off the acetone. The area with sublimation ink on the shirt needs to be rubbed lightly.
  5. Once the sublimation print has been removed, wash the garment in cold water.

If necessary, repeat the process.


Denatured alcohol and polymer solution to remove sublimation ink

How to remove dye sublimation from a shirt - 7 quick fixes (4)

You will need a few things to remove sublimation ink stains this way.

Prepare distilled water, denatured alcohol solution, aluminum foil and polymer crystals.


  • Bucket
  • Eisen
  • bowl
  • Krug
  • paper towels


  1. Put the denatured alcohol in the bucket or bucket and dip your shirt or other clothing in the bucket.
  2. Be sure to thoroughly wet the stained part of the shirt with the liquid and leave it there for about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove shirt or clothing from bucket and soak up excess liquid with paper towels.
  4. Then wash it in warm or cold water in the washing machine.
  5. Iron your shirt or garment while it is still slightly damp. Fill the reservoir with filtered water and turn it on. Make sure the iron is set to the correct temperature according to the instructions on the fabric label.
  6. Dry your garment completely with the iron and cover with aluminum foil. But just cover the sublimation ink area and iron over the aluminum foil for another 5 to 7 minutes.
  7. After ironing, remove the aluminum foil and store the shirt.
  8. Combine polymer crystals and denatured alcohol to create a polymer crystal mixture.
  9. Place 3 tablespoons of polymer crystals in the jar or bowl. Wait for the crystals to dissolve in a glass of denatured alcohol.
  10. Use distilled water to dampen some clean paper towels and soak them in the polymer solution.
  11. Gently dry the stained area with this paper towel.
  12. Use a spoon to pour the mixture onto the printed garment and rub the dye sublimation stains with this spoon.
  13. Keep doing this until your shirt is spotless.


Heat press to remove sublimation ink print

(Video) How to Fix a Messed Up Sublimation Tumbler
How to remove dye sublimation from a shirt - 7 quick fixes (5)

Removing the sublimation print with a heat press is a bit more time consuming and challenging.

The process is efficient and no chemicals are used.


  • Eisen
  • Spoon
  • coarse bread normal
  • thinner cloth


  1. Place a sublimation dyed shirt or garment on the mat where you are ironing.
  2. Place a regular thick dry cloth inside the shirt directly under the stained area.
  3. Place this cloth inside the garment. Flatten your clothing and make sure it is not wrinkled.
  4. Cover the garment with a damp, thin cloth and place it on the outside of the garment.
  5. After connecting the iron to a power source, turn it on and start ironing. Start by setting the iron to moderate heat and gradually increasing the temperature. You need to iron the fabric for about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Now turn off the iron and rub the sublimation ink.
  7. Use a spoon or other cleaning object to scrub the ink. Work in the center of the paint, starting from the edges.
  8. Be sure to remove all ink stains by peeling off the sublimation ink with your fingers.


Use organic products to remove sublimation ink

How to remove dye sublimation from a shirt - 7 quick fixes (6)

Removing sublimation ink stains with organic products is easy, economical and fast.

We do not use any harmful cleaning agents or chemical solutions in this process.

This is the only way to remove sublimation prints without damaging the fabric or using a heat press.

All you need are household chemicals, which you probably already have.


  • bowl
  • white wine vinegar
  • Backsoda
  • detergent
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • Warm water
  • lemon
  • paper towels


  1. Start by squeezing half a lemon into a bowl. Mix white vinegar, 2 tablespoons of baking soda and lemon juice.
  2. Add 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 cup dish soap and mix.
  3. Place the shirt or other clothing with sublimation ink on the flat surface.
  4. Leave the homemade cleaner on the stained area for 40 minutes.
  5. Rinse the shirt or soak up excess liquid with a clean paper towel.
  6. Use your fingers or a sponge to remove dye sublimation printer ink from clothing.
  7. If necessary, repeat the process. Wash the clothes as normal after the stain is gone.


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What is sublimation and how does it work?

How to remove dye sublimation from a shirt - 7 quick fixes (7)

Sublimation is a printing processwhich uses heat to transfer dye to a substrate.

It is often used to decorate clothing, make signs and create other printed materials.

You might think it's waterproof fabric paint.

Usually this type of ink is usedprint on t-shirts, but it also has other uses.

Sublimation is different from other printing processes because the image is actually dyed onto the fabric instead of being printed on it.

This makes the image more durable and long-lasting.

Reasons to remove dye sublimation from shirts

There are many reasons why you need to remove sublimation dye from fabrics.

There are times when a design doesn't come out the way you wanted, a sublimation print has faded after a wash, or you've accidentally printed a different design and just want to change it.

In these cases you want to remove the paint, so first you need to know what type of paint you are using.

That's because sublimation ink comes in a variety of colors.

It is impossible to remove ink of all colors with one method.

For example, if you have dark blue prints on your clothes, bleach will not work for them.

Before removing dye from clothing, you need to know what type of dye was used and how to safely and effectively remove it.

(Video) Sublimation Help!: How to Fix Stubborn Clogged Print Heads (for Epson Printers)

Important considerations for removing sublimation ink stains

make sureCheck the care label before applying anything.🇧🇷 Check the tag to see if anything could damage the fabric. In this case, choose a different method.

Steam the fabric before removing sublimation ink🇧🇷 This helps to prevent the paint from cracking.

Make sure you have everything you need before you start dye sublimation removal.

Use a flat, clean surface forRemoving sublimation ink.

It is recommended for youTurn on a fan while removing sublimation ink of a sublimated shirt.It dries the fabric faster and helps with air circulation.

Whichever method you choose, be sure toblot the stain instead of rubbing it🇧🇷 Scrubbing can cause the ink to spread and make the stain larger. Once you've blotted out the stain as much as possible, you should wash the garment according to the care instructions.

common questions

How do you fix a sublimation error on a shirt?

If you've made a printing error sublimating a shirt, there are a few ways to correct it. One option is to use acetone to remove the dye from the fabric. Another option is to use bleach to break down the ink and remove it.

Does sublimation ink come off?

Sublimation ink is designed to be permanent. However, it is possible for the color to fade over time due to exposure to sunlight or washing. To prevent your shirts from fading, you should wash them in cold water and avoid using harsh detergents. Also, avoid drying your shirts in direct sunlight or using a clothes dryer. Hanging your shirts is the best way to keep them from fading. With a little care, you can keep your sublimation shirts looking like new for years.

Can sublimation be washed on cotton shirts?

Yes, sublimation will come off cotton shirts if not treated properly. To embed the design into the fabric so that it doesn't fade, you'll need to use a heat press. Set your heat press to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and press for 60 seconds. This will help embed the design into the fabric so it doesn't fade. You can also try using a tumble dryer on high for 30 minutes to set the design.

How to get 100 polyester sublimation inks?

You must first apply the cleaning solution to the print. Clean your ink with a solution that works for you. Let the shirt absorb the liquid. Then wash and dry your clothes almost completely. Then iron. The heat will help break down the ink on the material. Manually remove any remaining ink from the polyester. Once you have a stain-free shirt, just wash it one more time.


The advantage of sublimated shirts is that they do not fade and are not heavy like screen printing.

The sublimation process is also prone to errors.

That's because digital printers use heat transfer screens.

you know nowhow to remove dye sublimation from a shirtfast, easy and effective.

These methods will help you to remove sublimation print from shirts or other garments.

Make sure you follow the steps carefully and don't skip any steps for the best results.

(Video) Sublimation Issues & How to Fix them QUICKLY!


Will sublimation wash out? ›

In the process, the heat opens the pores of the fabric and applies pressure to cool down the ink and return to the solid form. It results in a permanent, full color image which does not fade, peel, or washes away. Sublimation printing is growing rapidly and is a preferred method for small batch orders.

Will sublimation wash out of cotton? ›

In the true sublimation-production process, the dye bonds at a molecular level with polymers. In the case of apparel, this means the chemistry happens below the surface rather than on the surface. This is why true sublimation bonding results in dye will not crack, peel or fade when laundered.

Do you remove sublimation hot or cold? ›

Once you have completed sublimating your image, it is essential to follow the transfer removal instructions. If the directions say Hot Peel, that means you need to remove the transfer quickly so that it can cool. Be prepared for a hot peel by having your heat resistant gloves on so that you do not burn yourself.

Can I reverse sublimation? ›

The reverse process of sublimation is deposition or desublimation, in which a substance passes directly from a gas to a solid phase. Sublimation has also been used as a generic term to describe a solid-to-gas transition (sublimation) followed by a gas-to-solid transition (deposition).

Is sublimation permanent on shirts? ›

The sublimation printing process uses heat to essentially bring ink and fabric together as one. First a design is printed onto special paper. The inks are used turn into gas when brought under heat, then combine with the fabric and permanently print onto the fabric.

Can you wash sublimation in hot water? ›

As stated earlier, you always want to wash your apparel with cold water. Heat application must be avoided at all costs, hence why dry cleaning is typically not recommended. Using hot water can potentially cause the color to bleed and fade away from your shirts.

Will sublimation wash out of 50 polyester? ›

Yes, you can sublimate 50 percent polyester/50 percent cotton fabric. Keep in mind, however, that only 50 percent of the sublimation dyes will remain in the fabric after washing – leaving you with a faded look that most of us would consider unacceptable.

Will sublimation stay on 100% cotton? ›

Did you know you can sublimate on 100% cotton? You can! I used this basic white 100% cotton sweatshirt to create this super cute, vibrant sweatshirt using my SG1000 sublimation printer, and my 15 x 15 heat press. Look how vibrant it turned out!

Can you wash a sublimation shirt? ›

Laundering Instructions For Sublimated Officials Shirts

Wash colored and white garments separately. Use cold/warm water. Use a mild soap or detergent. Remove garments from washer promptly.

Do you let sublimation cool before peeling? ›

For textured, cool for 10 minutes before peeling. transfer paper on top. 60 seconds 400°F Medium Remove plastic coating.

What happens if you overheat sublimation? ›

Do not overheat the substrate! Applying a sublimated transfer to a hot surface will start the gassing process prematurely, which may lead to ghosting.

What temperature do you sublimate shirts at? ›

For 100% polyester garments, this is usually around 385°-400°F and 45-60 seconds at medium pressure. When the machine reaches temperature, pre-press your T-shirt to smooth out any wrinkles and eliminate any moisture.

Can sublimation be bleached? ›

You can do both! I do feel like the bleaching after sublimation results in a more “worn” look. In other words, if you bleach before you sublimation, the colors will be more vibrant. You can see a bit of that in the image below.

What is an example of reverse sublimation? ›

The reverse of deposition is sublimation and hence sometimes deposition is called desublimation. One example of deposition is the process by which, in sub-freezing air, water vapor changes directly to ice without first becoming a liquid. ... Another example is the soot that is deposited on the walls of chimneys.

Is sublimation ink permanent? ›

The sublimation printing process

The inks that are used turn into gas when brought under heat, then combine with the fabric and permanently print onto the fabric. The effects are permanent and less prone to fading, as the ink is embedded in the fabric or substrate rather than simply laying on top like a normal print.

How do you remove vinyl sublimation from a shirt? ›

The common and best way to remove the vinyl from your shirt is to use heat or steam. You can do this by using a hot iron, clothes dryer, or hairdryer. You may also consider using acetone, commercial vinyl removers, and Goo Gone to remove vinyl. These chemicals can be effective in removing HTV and vinyl residue.

How do you change the color of sublimation? ›

Under color correction, change to custom and then click “advanced”. From here, we're going to click “color controls”. Make sure color mode is “Adobe RGB” and gamma is on 2.2. At this point, what you choose is completely up to you.

Can you press over and sublimation twice? ›

Double sublimation is the process, as the name implies, of sublimating an additional image onto something that has already been sublimated.

What causes sublimation to wash out? ›

Sublimation prints easily fade in the direct exposure of sunlight due to ultraviolet radiation. It has nothing to do with the sublimation paper and ink. The primary reason is long-term exposure to print under direct sunlight. It fades the sublimation print faster.

How long does sublimation last on clothing? ›

Because of the way ink penetrates the polyester fibres when sublimated, colour retention of dye sublimation can easily last up to 10 years! And because the dye is transferred IN the fabric rather than ON it, the print will never crack.

Does sublimation last forever? ›

Sublimation inks in printers are able to last for a certain period of time. the most effective guideline is to make sure you use these cartridges within 6 months after installing them. many users can print beyond a use-by date without any issues.

Does dye sublimation fade? ›

Dye-sublimation printing yields beautiful and permanent colors that are embedded in the substrate or fabric, rather than printed on the surface. Images on fabric won't fade or crack even after multiple washings.

Is dye sublimation waterproof? ›

Q: Is dye sublimation ink waterproof? A: The finished design is very waterproof. The ink itself is water soluble before undergoing the sublimation process.

Is sublimation ink toxic when heated? ›

Is Sublimation Ink Toxic? MOST sublimation inks are non-toxic and/or eco-friendly. Because it is a heat transfer ink, the process is called “eco-friendly”.

Can you use fabric softener on sublimated shirts? ›

How to Prevent Sublimation Prints from Washing out? Wash only in cold water with other like colors. No ironing or fabric softener when washing your garments.

How do you get sublimation ink out of 100 polyester? ›

Rubbing alcohol is a great stain lifter for ink. Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol directly on the ink spot. Then, gently blot with a clean cloth until the ink comes out. Borax can also be used to remove ink from polyester.

Can you sublimate on 100 black polyester? ›

First and foremost, it's important to understand that the natural cotton fibers do not react to the sublimation dye when heat pressed. Polyester, on the other hand, is a synthetic fiber that works perfectly with the sublimation dye. Here at HPN, we tried to sublimate onto a 100% cotton t-shirt.

Can u sublimate on black shirts? ›

If you want to sublimate on dark color shirts, you can print the sublimation paper above a heat transfer vinyl. That means, press the heat transfer vinyl on the shirt first, followed by the sublimation paper. It's like placing a base layer first to give way to your colored and vivid design.

What temperature do you press sublimation on cotton? ›

Press at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 seconds. Your design will be hot, so carefully remove it from the press. Remove the top sheet of sublimation paper to reveal your design.

What materials can you not sublimate on? ›

Yes, you can sublimate only ceramic, metal, plastic, and more. Again, you will need to make sure it has a special coating in order to be permanent. That means you can't pick up tiles from Home Depot or mugs from Dollar Tree. These will NOT work.

Is sublimation better on cotton or polyester? ›

Like we've already mentioned, polyester materials and blends are the ideal, go-to substrate for transferring your designs with the highest quality. The dyes in the sublimation ink are able to bond with polyester molecules, allowing you to transfer your designs with the highest quality.

Does vinegar dissolve ink? ›

You can also remove an ink stain from your favourite shirt using white vinegar and cornstarch. Begin the cleaning process by first dampening the ink stain with white vinegar.

How do I remove sublimation from my printer? ›

Put bleach on the sublimation printing and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Absorb the bleach with a clean paper towel. Then rinse the bleach off the fabric. Remove the rest of the ink with your fingers or with a sponge.

Will Dawn dish soap take out ink? ›

But did you know that the power of Dawn® can also be used as a pretreatment for laundry stains, including oil, ink, grass, and practically anything else in between? You can trust Dawn® to clean your greasiest, dirtiest dishes—which is the same reason it works so well to pretreat dirty or grease-stained clothes.

Does Toothpaste Get Rid of ink? ›

It might not be quite as effective, but you can remove ink stains with toothpaste in a pinch — here's how to get it done: Cover the ink stain with toothpaste and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, run the area under cold water while you rub the toothpaste into the fabric.

Does rubbing alcohol dissolve ink? ›

Place a paper towel under the stain and flush it with rubbing alcohol. Use an eyedropper to apply alcohol directly onto the stain or, for a larger spot, pour the alcohol into a small dish, immerse the stained area and soak for 15 minutes. The ink should begin to dissolve almost immediately.

What happens when sublimation is too hot? ›

Do not overheat the substrate! Applying a sublimated transfer to a hot surface will start the gassing process prematurely, which may lead to ghosting. In addition, you should focus on your work environment. If there is a high level of humidity present, it may be contributing to the moisture issues.

Is sublimation permanent? ›

The sublimation printing process

The inks that are used turn into gas when brought under heat, then combine with the fabric and permanently print onto the fabric. The effects are permanent and less prone to fading, as the ink is embedded in the fabric or substrate rather than simply laying on top like a normal print.

How do you wash a shirt after sublimation? ›

Laundering Instructions For Sublimated Officials Shirts
  1. Wash uniform inside out to aid in damage prevention from other items in load.
  2. Wash colored and white garments separately.
  3. Use cold/warm water.
  4. Use a mild soap or detergent.
  5. Remove garments from washer promptly.

Can you wash a shirt right after sublimation? ›

When washing your dye sublimated shirts in the laundry machine, make sure that you're washing it with cold water. You may have to purchase a separate NON-phosphorous detergent if you don't already have one to clean them. And once the wash cycle is complete, you must removed them immediately.

Can you do normal printing on a sublimation printer? ›

If you have a printer that can work with sublimation ink, you can do it as long as you match the ink to the paper. If your printer isn't compatible, it won't work out.

How do you get sublimation off vinyl? ›

Let vinyl completely cool before removing the sublimation paper. You'll likely have paper residue left on the vinyl at this point. Use a spray bottle with water and a paper towel to wipe off the paper.


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