How to Remove Screen Printing? Top Technique Guides!

Screen printing is sometimes referred to as silk screen printing or serigraphy. It is ordinarily used in T-shirts, merchandise, lanyards, bags, and balloons printing. This is a technique or method to create a bold canvas, artwork, and posters in textiles and fabrics. It is also treated as a procedure of pressing ink through the stenciled mesh screen in order to create a design.

While business owners commonly use screen printing in designing the T-shirts and merchandise that they sell, this method also has its problems and disadvantages that significantly affect the production rate, performance, and quality of products of the designers.

Here are some of the information you might want to consider if you are looking for a washing guide on how to remove screen printing.


The following are the common screenprint problems that the T-shirt and merchandise designers encounter.

  1. Line appears in the emulsion while coating the screen.
  2. Drying the screen ink quickly
  3. Short exposure to the sun makes the screen dry quickly
  4. The edges look like bleeding images
  5. Stains in all other parts of the T-shirt or product
  6. After the printing job, the image will stick to the back of the screen.
  7. Improper cleaning of the screen due to uneven emulsion.

Here, we will only focus on the 7th common problem that can be encountered when using screen printing.


Why is it essential to wash the screen properly? The simple answer to this is that leaving the screen dirty will end up for you to remove the leftover ink thoroughly. This may further create problems in your equipment and business because it can damage the screen and eventually ruin future prints.


The improper removal of the print screen does damage not only your products but also your equipment, working area, and business as a whole. Screen printing is messy and dirty. It can also be toxic at many times due to the chemicals and chemical wastes released after screen printing. That is why we should know the simple yet effective technique in removing a screen print when there is an error. When you learn the different methods, it will automatically give the following advantages:

  • Saves up your time;
  • Prevent extra costs caused by design errors that result to waste T-shirts, merchandise, and chemicals;
  • Increase production rate in your business;
  • Protects your health by preventing the long-exposure to chemicals

Stating it differently, screen printing, specifically the materials and chemicals, is not eco-friendly. Therefore, the least we can do is learn the proper screen print removal to minimize waste and chemical consumption, and production. Now, the question is how? Here are washing techniques and guides on removing the screen printing.


1. Sugar Scrub– this technique is used on fresh design and minor errors only. Rinse the error with cold water, get a tablespoon of regular sugar and gently scrub it on the design. Then wash the material again.

2. Acetone or Nail Polish Remover– This is the most popular and effective method in removing the screen print. The chemical acetone can dissolve and remove the old and cracked ink designs. Aside from that, acetone can be easily found in your cabinets and bathroom. But if you do not have one, you can purchase it in the stores. Remember to follow safety procedures in using acetone because it is a strong solvent and might irritate your skin.

To remove the screen print using the acetone, get a cotton ball and soak it in the acetone or nail polish remover. Dab it on the inconspicuous area of the design. Do it gently, so the chemical does not ruin the fabric and the design.

3. Cold water Rinse While Printing– this technique only works on slightly-damaged items and brand new designs. You may use the cold rinse in your washing machine or by hand only if it is just a small error.

4. Spotting Fluid– in this method, you need to have a spot removal gun that can be bought online. It works like an air compressor or water pistols played by kids.

What is unique about this gun is that it uses both chemical solvent and pressure to force the ink to dissolve then soak through the backside of the fabric.

This is easy to use. Fill the gun with a spot remover liquid, then aim the gun at the spot where you want the screen to remove and fire!

5. Fade with Washing– this is the least used method of removing a screen print because it will take many and repeated washing to remove the screen print. Another downside of this is that it may fade the color of the shirt.

6. Iron and Peel– In this technique, you need to get a paper bag, place the screen print design you want to remove against the shinier side of the paper bag. Set the iron on a low setting, then run it back and forth on the paper bag. The heat will encourage the design to be removed to stick in the paper bag.

7. Plastisol Remover– it is a type of screen printing ink, and it has a special ink remover. This is a strong chemical so be sure to wear gloves and use them in a ventilated area.

Whichever technique you will use, make sure to wash the T-Shirt or merchandise with water after successfully removing the print screen.

Final Thoughts

These are the top and best guides on how to remove screen printing. If you want to start a T-Shirt and merchandise design business but are afraid of the mistakes and problems such as removing screen print in many instances, do not let your fear stop you. With the help of this list of screen print techniques, your screen print business will just be fine. Nobody started great, so it is okay to make mistakes, especially if you are new in the industry of screen print business.