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How to remove screen printing from clothing

Updated March 23, 2017

Screen printing makes intricate and beautiful designs on designer and name-brand clothing cost effective and relatively easy to execute. If you plan to screen print your own clothing, you should know how to remove the screen printing in the event of mistakes or errors. Catching an error quickly enough will help you to avoid the cost of losing a piece of clothing during the production process.

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  1. Submerge your clothing into cold water. The cold water will prevent the screen printing from solidifying any more than it already has. You can put the shirt into a sink or a bucket with cold water.

  2. Use a sponge to scrub the screen printing stain. Scrub the printing with a good amount of force, pausing only to dip the clothing into the water in order to continue scrubbing. Squeeze the water out of the shirt.

  3. Lay the shirt flat in a bathtub or a sink. Soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and proceed to dab at the screen printing with quick movements. You must use the cotton ball to absorb ink from the clothing. Periodically flush the garment with rubbing alcohol.

  4. Repeat the previous process using the nail acetone if the rubbing alcohol has not completely removed the screen printing. Some clothing materials are sensitive to nail polish remover, so use a small amount on a part of the clothing that is not clearly visible. You can test to see if acetone ruins the clothing.

  5. Dry the clothing in a ventilated space.

  6. Tip

    Screen printing that is not fresh may prove extremely difficult to remove. Try to remove screen printing immediately after it is applied to the shirt.

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Things You'll Need

  • Sponge
  • Cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Nail acetone

About the Author

Aaron Marquis

Aaron Marquis is a University of Texas graduate with experience writing commercials and press releases for national advertising agencies as well as comedy television treatments/stories for FOX Studios and HBO. Marquis has been writing for over six years.

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