Has your sublimation printer let you down by smudging or leaving behind marks on your finished products? Wondering how to remove sublimation ink to fix printing mistakes? If so, don’t worry – there are ways to remove sublimation ink and repair printing errors. You can perform these methods at home or in a professional space.
Designers often do sublimation on their clothes and décor items. In order to make sure their work looks the best it possibly can, designers must take care when preparing for the press. One common issue that may occur is mistaking with the sublimation ink. If that has occurred with you, let’s see the best way to remove dye sublimation ink.
How to Remove Sublimation Ink? Best Method
Sublimation dyes are permanent, very strong and anti-vapor, hence, removing them can be a difficult process. We do not recommend trying to remove sublimation ink yourself, it is best to contact a professional imaging company for assistance.
However, if you need to remove sublimation ink from a substrate at home, try the following methods;
Remove Sublimation Ink from Mugs and Tumblers: Ceramic and Metal
You can remove sublimation ink from ceramic mugs and metal tumblers using the following method;
- Put some white vinegar in a bowl, big enough to submerge the printed area of a substrate
- Submerge the printed are of the mug or tumbler for about 90 minutes
- After that, scrub the dye using a scouring pad, do not rub too hard as it will leave some scratches on the ceramic surface
- If you find any dye left over, submerge it again in the vinegar and rub for a few minutes until the ink is completely removed.
Note: you’ll see some marks of removed sublimation or the mug may get some scratches. So, only remove sublimation if it is highly needed!
Video Tutorial on Removing Sublimation Ink from Mug
Remove Sublimation Ink From Shirt: Polyester and Cotton Fabric
Removing sublimation ink from a cotton or polyester shirt is very difficult and we highly recommend consulting the printing companies – if they can help. Sublimation dyes do not entail any water, so it is nearly impossible to vapor them or wash clean them.
In my own experience, I have ruined my favorite t-shirt while removing a wrong print – wasn’t successful! I have tried multiple methods to remove the whole print including stain removers, dye removers and methylated spirit – none worked for me!
However, you can try these things if you really want to remove a small blotch of sublimation ink from a polyester shirt;
- Place paper towels on top and bottom of the shirt (fabric) where you want to remove the ink, they will absorb dyes when liquidated
- Pour some denatured alcohol on the cotton pads to make them wet
- Place the wet pads on top of the dye to absorb ink – do not rub yet! Repeat this step to absorb sublimation ink as much as possible
- Once you have extracted most of the sublimation ink, now gently rub the area using wet cotton pads (make them wet with denatured alcohol)
- If there is still some dye left, sprinkle some salt on it and soak it in the milk for about 4 to 5 hours
- After that, wash the shirt in soapy water, thoroughly rinse it for proper cleaning
- By now, if not all, most of the sublimation ink will be removed!
Note: this process is to remove sublimation ink from white shirts, not recommended for the colored shirts, it may affect the color of the fabric.
Removing sublimation ink from wood is almost impossible, we do not recommend trying any method!
Will Acetone Remove Sublimation Ink?
Acetone is a very strong solvent and will remove sublimation ink. However, it can also damage the surface that the ink is printed on. For this reason, we do not recommend using acetone to remove sublimation ink. If you need to remove the ink, please contact a professional imaging company for assistance, or try one of the other methods explained above. DO NOT use acetone, it can damage the surface of the substrate.
Finally, we recommend that if you need to remove sublimation ink, it’s best to use a professional. You can easily do it yourself at home, but you run the risk of damaging your shirt or mug if you don’t use the right products and follow instructions correctly.
Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)
Is there a way to remove sublimation ink?
There are a few methods that can be used to remove sublimation ink, but we do not recommend trying them yourself. If you need to remove the ink, please contact a professional imaging company for assistance.
How do you get sublimation ink out of polyester?
Sublimation ink can be removed from polyester using acetone. However, acetone can also damage the surface that the ink is printed on. For this reason, we do not recommend using acetone to remove sublimation ink. If you need to remove the ink, follow the method explained above or contact a professional imaging company for assistance.
How do you fix sublimation mistakes?
If you have made a mistake while sublimating, there are a few things that you can do to fix it. You can try using a stain remover, dye remover, or methylated spirit to remove the ink. You can also try one of the methods explained in this article.
Can I remove sublimation ink with vinegar?
You can remove sublimation ink with vinegar, but it may not be completely effective.
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