How To Remove Screen Printing From Fabric

When it comes to transferring a particular design on a material, such as bags, t-shirts, hoodies, screen printing has always been the best method. You can put almost any design or pattern on fabric through this technique. 

There are so many people out there who have been practicing this technique to create beautiful and eye-catching pieces of clothing and accessories. 

Some of them do it as a hobby, and others do it to make a profit. Social media platforms are flooded with tutorials on screen printing, which you will find easily. 

But what if you want to remove a screen-printed design from a material? Well, the reason could be anything.

Removing the screen-printed design from a material is pretty straightforward and simple, and there are many ways you can do so. 

How To Remove Screen Printing From Fabric?

To get rid of screen printing from a material or fabric, using an iron and a paper bag will do the trick. 

Otherwise, you can also use a cotton ball soaked in solvent and rub it on the design to remove it. 

No matter what technique or method you use to remove the screen printing, both are pretty effective. They will provide you with the best results in a hassle-free manner. 

remove screen printing from fabric

So, if you wish to know how these techniques work, you can follow the information here. You will get the chance to learn about the two screen printing removing methods in detail.

If you think removing the screen-printed design from a material is difficult, well, you are wrong. The process is simple, and you do not require many materials as well. 

Since there are two ways you can get rid of screen printing, let’s check them out without further delay. 

How To Remove Screen Printing From Fabric With an Iron?

Step 1: Place The Printed Material Over A Flat Surface

Take your screen-printed fabric and put it in a flat area where you can easily do the ironing. You can use a complex table or the iron board itself for the job. 

You are also free to use the floor to get the work done. But be a bit careful when working on carpeted floors. 

Also, if the prints on the fabric are made from rubber or vinyl, you can easily get it removed with an iron. 

Step 2: Put A Dry Towel Within The Fabric Beneath The Print

remove screen printing from fabric with an iron

Take a towel and fold it in a way so that it fits perfectly when you place it within the fabric. Make sure to place the towel underneath the printed area. 

This will prevent the material from getting stains when you start removing the design. Apart from that, it will also protect the other side of the fabric from the heat of the iron. 

When you do not have an extra towel, you are free to wear a t-shirt or cloth that you don’t use often. Make your shirt or towel not prone to damage from heat and should be soft. 

Step 3: Place A Damp Cloth On Top Of The Printed Design

Soak a clean cloth or a towel in cold water and wire out the extra water from it. After that, place the damp cloth over the printed design right before you apply the heat. 

Putting a damp cloth or towel on the screen-printed design will deliver a layer of protection between the printing and the iron. Doing so will prevent the printing from melting into the iron. 

Step 4: Put The Iron On The Damp Cloth 

Now, it’s time to start the main work. Take the hot iron and put it over the damp cloth. Make sure to place the iron on the area where the printing is. 

You apply a bit of pressure so that the heat reaches perfectly to the printing. Also, if you are using an old-fashioned iron, it will be better to let it sit on the cloth for a while. 

Step 5: Remove The Iron Once The Wet Cloth Is Dry

When you place the hot iron on a damp cloth, you will come across the fizzing sound of the water. 

Once the water evaporates, the cloth will become dry, and you must immediately remove the iron. 

But make sure you don’t leave the iron on the damp cloth even after it’s dried. It might cause the fabric to burn and will affect the printing as well.

Step 6: Take A Knife And Loosen Up The Printing

After removing the cloth and the iron, you will find the printing has become soft. Take a sharp knife and start scraping on the printing slowly and gently. 

You can also use your fingernails to peel off the design once you have loosened the printing with the knife. 

Remember, when you are using a sharp object like a knife, you must always be careful. It’s because accidents can happen suddenly.

When using your fingers to peel off the printing, don’t scrape too hard as it might damage the material. 

Also, you must repeat the process until all the screen printing has vanished from the material. 

How To Remove Screen Printing From Fabric With Solvent?

Step 1: Get Yourself A Solvent

Solvents, such as rubbing alcohol, adhesive remover, and nail polish remover are perfect for getting rid of screen printing from a material. 

Since these solvents are pretty standard, you will find them at any store. One of the solvents, nail polish remover, will already be available at your home. 


But you must opt for a bottle that has enough liquid to cover for the entire printing, which you want to remove. 

If the material you have has vinyl printing on it, you can go for a vinyl remover, instantly getting rid of the printing. 

Solvents, such as the nail polish remover will be perfect for the job because it contains acetone. Acetone has the power to dissolve cracked and old designs with no hassle. 

Step 2: Make Sure To Test The Solvent Before Using 

Before you think of using the solvent, you must first test out whether it causes any damage to the fabric or material. 

You can turn the material or clothing inside out to test the solvent. Otherwise, you are free to use an area, which will not be visible. This technique will give you an idea of whether you should use the solvent or not. 

Keep in mind not to use solvents on delicate materials, such as silk, wool, rayon, and it will completely ruin the entire material. 

Step 3: Turn The Clothing Inside Out And Pour The Solvent

To begin the removal process, you must turn the clothing or material inside out. Doing so, the backside of the printing will face towards you. 

turn the clothing inside out and pour the solvent

Once you have done that, it’s time for you to pour the solvent on the backside of the printed area. Make sure to pour it in a way so that it soaks the entire printing area. 

Stretch the material a bit so that the solvent gets soaked into the fabric. It will become a lot easier for you to remove the printing once and for all.

Step 4: Turn The Material At The Front Side And Peel Off The Printing

Now, you must flip the material to its front area and slowly peel off the printing from the clothing or fabric. 

If you cannot peel off with your fingers, you can use a sharp knife to scrape it off. Make sure to wear gloves if you do not want the solvent on your hands.

Reasons To Remove The Screen Printing From The Fabric?

There are several reasons why you need to get rid of screen printing from a particular material or fabric. These reasons are:

  • You might live in the clothing or material that carries the screen-printed design. But you do not like the design it carries. For such reasons, removing the design stands out as the best choice.
  • Another reason for removing the screen-printed design is because you want to put a different design in its place. That is why you might want to get rid of the existing screen-printing design and replace it with a new one.

Can I Use The Sugar Scrub Technique To Remove The Printing?

Yes, of course, you can. Using sugar to scour the screen-printing designs will help remove the design gently without leaving any trace of it. The technique will do wonders on fresh screen-printing designs. 

But don’t worry, the method will work on older designs as well. You must try to rinse the printed area with cold water.

If you encounter some of the printing on the material, pour a teaspoon of sugar on it and start scrubbing. 

But wait, do not use your hands for the scrubbing part. Make sure to use soft clothing for the scrubbing part instead of your hands.

What About Plastisol? Will It Remove The Screen Printing?

Yes, definitely! A plastisol is also a good option when it comes to removing screen printing from materials. This is a special ink remover that can remove all types of inks, including the screen-printing ones. 

When you are using Plastisol, make sure to work in a well-ventilated location. It’s because the remover is pretty strong and might make you a bit uncomfortable. Also, don’t forget to wear gloves while using this liquid.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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