how to remove screen printing from a shirt

How To Remove Screen Printing From a Shirt in Minutes? Our Top Secret Hack Is Here!

Have you ever ordered a custom screen printed cotton shirt only to find the design isn’t quite what you expected? Silk screening, or screen printing, is a well-known method for printing ink designs onto clothes, such as shirts or t-shirts. 

But what if after getting your shirt, you realize the print is misaligned, contains a typo, or isn’t your style? Don’t worry – you can learn how to safely remove screen printing from a shirt using common household products without damaging the fabric. We’ll share our top secret hack making the process quick and easy!

Why Remove Screen Prints?

You may want to strip screen printing off a t-shirt if the design contains an embarrassing slogan, has an unflattering image, or just isn’t to your liking. The ink stained printed design might have a spelling error, crooked vinyl heat transfer, or colors that ended up too dull or bright compared to the mockup you approved from the t-shirt printing or t-shirt business. Sometimes heat pressing goes awry resulting in a crooked or incomplete print. Other times, online shirt orders arrive appearing different than expected.

Removing the screen printed design restores the polyester or cotton shirt to a blank printable canvas for pressing new prints or images with a heat press or sewing machine. Crafters also discharge prints with chemical solvents to prepare shirts for tie-dyeing. Repurposing the fabrics opens fun new DIY possibilities.

Hack for Removing Screen Prints in Minutes

Hack for Removing Screen Prints in Minutes
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While commercial screen print removal services are an option, we have an easy DIY hack that gets unwanted images off clothing using common household products:

Supplies Needed:

  • 91% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol
  • Old Toothbrush or Washcloth
  • Tweezers or Scraper (optional)
  • Laundry Detergent

Step 1: Lay the screen printed shirt print-side up on a covered surface like wax paper or paper bag. This protects other surfaces from ink stains or drips. Having ample workspace makes the process easier.

Step 2: Use a cotton ball saturated with alcohol to completely cover the printed area. Let soak 1-2 minutes so the solution can penetrate the layers of ink. This helps separate the print from shirt fibers.

Step 3: Scrub vigorously in a circular motion with a toothbrush or rag to lift the now dissolving ink. Use tweezers to help scrape off stubborn areas of screen printed design not erased by the rubbing alcohol.

Step 4: Check progress frequently. Reapply more alcohol as needed until no traces of the printing ink remain. Avoid over-scrubbing the fabric or using too much force.

Step 5: Rinse the clothing under warm running water. Afterwards, launder as usual with hot water and regular detergent which helps remove any last stubborn stains of screen print ink.

Step 6: Inspect carefully once shirt is fully cleaned and dried. Repeat the alcohol treatment, focusing on any faint ink remnants the washing machine missed until the fabric is back to blank canvas condition.

And that’s it! With this easy hack, you can remove mishap prints and prepare cotton or polyester shirts for fresh, customizable potential in minutes using affordable household supplies.

More Tips for DIY Screen Print Removal

  • Test removal methods on small hidden shirt areas first to check effects on fabric.
  • Use a soft cloth with acetone nail polish remover for gentle ink removal.
  • It is advisable not to use bleach or any other strong chemicals that can cause discoloration of shirts.
  • Carefully sand prints instead of scrubbing if preserving graphic tee value.
  • Seek professional discharge services for vintage concert tees or other cherished shirts.


Does rubbing alcohol remove screen printing? 

Yes, isopropyl alcohol breaks down the ink bonds allowing you to wipe away screen printed designs. Make sure to use 91% concentration or higher for effectiveness.

What household products remove screen print ink? 

Rubbing alcohol, acetone nail polish remover, and commercial heat press vinyl spotting fluid all dissolve screen printing inks for removal. Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach that may discolor shirts.

Can you remove screen printing with an iron? 

Yes, heat transfer paper can be ironed over old prints to cover them with a new design. The heat melds the fresh ink into shirt fibers, masking what’s underneath.

Does removing screen prints damage shirts? 

It can if done harshly. Scrubbing too hard or using overly abrasive tools risks weakening fabrics. Always test removal methods in discreet spots first and handle vintage or delicate materials gently.

When should I use professional screen print removal services? 

Seeking professional help prevents damaging treasured shirts if you lack the proper tools, skills or time for safe DIY removal. Shops use specialized discharge techniques to lift ink without harming fabrics.


Removing screen prints takes some work yet opens fun shirt customization potential. With careful effort, unwanted graphics can lift away allowing fabrics renewed printable possibilities.

Have you successfully removed screen printing from a shirt before? What removal method worked best for you? Let us know in the comments on this recent post!


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