It is no secret that screen prints add to the splendor of a shirt, especially when it is spotless and neat. The print can be a logo, letters, an intricate design, or any other thing you want.
One problem with these prints is that they can become old and look unpleasant, or there might be a mistake during the printing. In cases like this, you would want to remove the screen print and salvage the shirt.
There are a lot of conceptions out there that screen prints cannot be removed. Well, this may be untrue. Although these types of prints can be permanent, there are a few ways and methods you can adopt to remove them entirely from your shirt.
Herein, we discuss them and also bring to you other tips that can help you to do the removal effortlessly. So sit back, and read on.
Techniques to Remove Screen Prints from a Shirt
There are different methods you can use to remove screen prints from a shirt. The methods use different materials and supplies from your home. Generally, they are safe and can be done by anyone.
Similarly, some chemicals can be used to remove the prints from a shirt. However, they can be harsh and will require the use of protective clothing like gloves and a face mask.
Below are some of these methods:
1. Nail Polish Remover Method
Nail polish remover has been shown to remove prints from shirts. This is because it contains a compound named acetone that acts on the screen prints. While using this method, it is advisable to first start by doing a patch test because some fabrics are sensitive to nail polish removers.
Here is how you can do it:
Step 1: Wash the shirt with cold water. This is very important for new prints because it will wash off new ink and also stop it from solidifying further. Using hot water can make the ink stick more on the shirt.
Step 2: Dry the shirt with a dryer in high heat. This will make some parts of the ink loosen up. Use your hands to peel it off.
Step 3: Apply a sufficient amount of nail polish remover on a cotton ball and dab gently but with a little force on the remaining ink. Rubbing can cause the cloth to mutilate. Peel off the ink using your fingernails to remove the print from the fabric.
Step 4: Rewash the shirt, this time following the manufacturer’s instructions. Dry it with a dryer on high heat and peel of any remaining print ink from the shirt.
Voila! You have yourself a print-free shirt. But if there is still some print left on the shirt after this, repeat the process from Step 3 until everything is gone. We do a deep dive into t-shirt printing procedure into in our article on how to print on transfer paper for a t-shirt.
2. Plastisol Remover Method
When using this method, make sure you wear gloves and face masks and also work in a well-ventilated area. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to use plastisol ink remover to remove screen print. For this method, rubbing alcohol can also be used.
Step 1: Apply the remover to the area of the print on the shirt and leave for 30 minutes. If the print is not much, you can apply the remover on a soft cloth, and then use the material to dab on it repeatedly.
Step 2: Using a soft brush, gently brush the print off using gentle strokes to loosen the print.
Step 3: Wipe off the plastisol remover with a soft cloth before washing it with cold water. Use a gentle detergent or follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 4: Air-dry the cloth or use a dryer. Most of the screen print would be off by then. You can then peel off the remaining using your fingernails.
Repeat the process if the print is not completely removed. However, remember that using this remover repeatedly can damage the cloth.
Read our related article on the Best Shirts for Sublimation Printing. See which materials work best, and which you should avoid!
3. Spot Removal Gun Method
There are different types of spot removal guns out there. These are of varying brands from different manufacturers. They are simple to use and do not require a complex operation. Here is the guide on using them.
Step 1: Load the gun with a spray out juice, i.e., the spot remover.
Step 2: Spray the liquid on the print. Be careful not to spray on the shirt as this can leave a stain on it.
Step 3: Use a soft rag and water to wipe it off. Also, ensure that you do not leave any chemical residue on the shirt. You can wash the shirt immediately to be sure that all the spot remover is out.
Step 4: Dry the shirt in a well-ventilated area.
4. Plastic Bag with an Iron Method
All the requirements for this method can be found at your home. It is also an easy and cost-effective way to remove screen-print from a shirt. For this method, do not use a steam iron. You will also need a waxed paper or a paper bag.
Here’s how you can do that:
Step 1: Wash and dry the shirt with cold water as done in the previous methods.
Step 2: Place a dry shirt on an ironing board or any flat surface. Then place a paper bag on the shirt where the print is. The glossy part of the bag should be directly on the shirt.
Step 3: Iron over the paper bag on medium heat. The heat from the iron will help transfer the print from the shirt to the paper bag. You can scrape off the remaining with your fingernails or a plastic knife. Repeat this process using a different bag until all the screen print is gone.
Measures to Consider When Removing Screen Print from a Shirt
While removing screen prints from a shirt, there are some safety measures you have to take. This will ensure that you are protected from hazards and your work goes smoothly. They include:
- Always make sure that you work in a well-ventilated palace, especially when using harsh chemicals like spot removers.
- When using store-bought items, make sure you follow the instruction by the manufacturers strictly.
- Be sure to use protective clothing like gloves and face masks when working with chemical-based products. This will prevent it from getting to your skin.
- When using electrical appliances, always ensure that your hands and dry. Also, remember to unplug all plugs from the sockets and turn off all the switches.
- Keep all items like acetone and spot removers away from kids and pets at all times.
General Tips on Removing Screen-print from a Shirt
These are some advice that can help you remove screen prints faster and easier. They should be used to augment on the methods and also improve the whole process.
- The first thing to always remember is never to wash the cloth with hot water. This is because it can cause the print to solidify on it. Unless it is clearly stated (which is rare) make sure you don’t use hot water.
- Always make sure that the shirt is completely dry before starting any method.
- When using the heat method, remember that you should not use a steam iron. Also, never press on the cloth directly. It is counter-productive as it gets the print to solidify and become permanent.
- Washing the shirt repeatedly can remove the print. Hand-washing is a better way to do that as it allows you to focus on the print. However, excessive washing of a shirt can make the colors fade.
- When you need to buy anything, it is good to compare the price and that of buying a new shirt. If the cost of the shirt is cheaper, we advise that you buy a new shirt. But if the shirt has sentimental value, then, by all means, get that print off.
- You can take the shirt to professionals to remove the ink when you have tried every method we have discussed. It might not come cheap, but it sure will get that screen print off.
- Make sure that you work in well-ventilated areas, especially when using chemicals.
- If you have tried everything and none of them worked, replace the shirt.
Read our related article on How to Remove HTV From a Shirt. Mistakes happen! Learn how to remove heat transfer vinyl from shirts with ease.
Now you know that you can remove screen prints from shirts. We have taken it upon ourselves to bring you these easy methods so that you can take care of the print-removal all by yourself.
With persistence, you will understand that it is not a difficult task. All you need to do now is to make sure you follow the steps properly. Remember to also consider the added tips and the safety measures for maximum benefits.
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