How To Remove Screen Printing From Clothes

by Chris & Marry

So you find yourself needing to remove screen printing from some clothes? Whether you want to remove an entire design, or some places where ink ran that it shouldn’t, there are several methods you can use to remove a printed design from fabric.

You may have seen hack videos where people use creative methods, from irons with paper bags to sugar. However, we’ll be sticking to three methods that we believe to be simple and effective.

How To Remove Screen Printing From Clothes
How To Remove Screen Printing From Clothes

Use Spotting Fluid

Armed with a spot removal gun filled to the brim with spotting fluid, you are going to get rid of that screenprint in no time at all.

The spot removal gun is an effective way of removing a print, as you can aim exactly at the places you want to remove. Some cheaper guns may be less accurate, so if you want to ensure success, go for a gun from a reputed brand that costs a little bit extra.

Spotting fluid is extremely good at removing prints. In fact, this chemical solvent can damage the ordinary fabric if it is sprayed directly onto it. Therefore, you must ensure you hit ink and not fabric.

A combination of high pressure, and solvent, dissolve any ink which will soak through the back of the clothes. Therefore, you should have the item of clothing placed on a non-corrosive surface, or you risk damaging property you don’t want to.

OF all the methods we look at, this is the easiest to manage. However, the cost of using it (you need to buy equipment and spotting fluid) means it is better suited to small mistakes rather than removing whole designs.

Note: Don’t forget to wash clothes after spraying! You don’t want solvents getting on your skin.


It’s common knowledge that nail polish remover will remove just about anything. That is because it contains acetone.

Acetone will dissolve old designs, and if you live with people who wear nail polish, it is probably the most likely method you will try after reading this article.

You’ll also be able to rid a clothing item of newly printed ink if you wash the item in cold water before attempting to use the acetone.

If there is no nail polish remover in your home, you can just buy some acetone. It is quite easy to find in stores or online. However, remember that it is a very powerful solvent, so you will need to take whatever safety precautions are suggested by acetone manufacturers.

Note: Do not use acetone on fabric that is made from more than 50% polyester. It is best suited for fabrics like cotton and denim.

To use acetone, take a cotton ball and soak it with the acetone/acetone-based substance. Check the acetone won’t damage the fabric by giving an area that will end up hidden from the naked eye a quick dab. If the acetone causes no damage, you can continue.

Rub your acetone-soaked cotton across the printed design. After a few moments, you should be able to peel that design away from the fabric.

Plastisol Remover

Screen printers who use Plastisol ink need to use Plastisol Remover. It will be most effective as it has been created to remove that specific type of ink.

Be forewarned; Plastisol Remover is a heavy chemical. Safety precautions are required. Gloves and good ventilation are a necessity.

You will need to soak a cloth in the Plastisol remover and then place it on any design you wish to remove. Thirty minutes should be enough.

You will notice that areas of the design begin to flake. A brush that doesn’t damage the fabric can help remove these.

A second cloth can then be used to remove any Plastisol Remover that is still on the fabric.

Note: Run the clothing through the washing machine with detergent once you are done.


That’s the three best ways to remove screen printing from clothes. All of them are chemical-based, so ensure you take precautions where required.

Try using acetone if it is in the house; it will just be convenient. However, if you can pop to the shops, the spotting fluid or Pastisol remover are very quick, effective options.

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About Chris & Marry

Chris and Mary fell in love with printmaking in college, and they've been exploring the art form ever since. They are experts in the field, and have written extensively about printer troubleshooting and printmaking. These days, they love to write about their experiences with printmaking and share tips with other artists. They are always learning new things about the art form, and they can't wait to see what the future holds for them as printmakers.

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