In order for the printed pattern on clothing to be durable and wear-resistant, special fast-acting inks are produced for digital printers. Such inks form stable physico-chemical bonds with fabric fibers during heat treatment. If it is possible to etch such a pattern with the help of solvents, then the thing will be hopelessly damaged. If the ink has not yet had time to be absorbed properly, you can try to wash it off. First of all, you need to know what kind of ink was used. In this post we will help you to how to remove sublimation ink from cotton shirts and other materials.
Types of inks for printing
There are a lot of types of ink for printing with a digital printer. But we will talk only about those types that are most common in the production of printing images on finished products:
Sublimation ink, as the name implies, is used for sublimation printing using a heat press. These inks are used not only in the production of printing on clothing, but also for applying images of logos and advertising on hard surfaces: sports equipment, corporate souvenirs, stationery.
Special textile inks have been developed for use directly in digital printers for printing images on clothing. Textile inks are divided into two types:
Water reactive (for printing on natural fabrics).
Aqueous acid (for use on wool, polyamide fabrics and silk).
All of the above types of inks are water-based. However, getting rid of them with water alone will not work.
How to remove sublimation ink
As mentioned above, getting rid of printing ink on clothes that have undergone heat treatment will not work. But it is not always possible to cope with fresh ink. A simple procedure for when an ink stain appears:
- First of all, do not let the ink dry. Rinse the contaminated area immediately with plenty of cold water.
- Wipe off the ink marks with laundry soap.
- A common way to remove ink from white clothes is with a 1:2 solution of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide.
- Citric and oxalic acid will also help to remove the ink.
- After washing and removing the stain, wash clothes with powder in cool water.
How Do I Take Off A Mug’s Sublimation Coating?
This is not the same thing as removing sublimation ink from a cup. This would entail sanding away the polyester covering or removing it with a powerful solvent. Both are not recommended and are likely to cause damage to the cup. Instead of wasting your time, go out and buy a new uncoated ceramic mug.
Why Is Sublimation Printing Permanent on Polyester but Not Cotton?
Let’s start with a basic understanding of what happens during the sublimation process. You’re attempting to prevent all of the vapor from escaping your object.
The gas or moist vapor transfers right on top of the T-shirt during the heating process, transferring the image.
Sublimation on Cotton Shirt vs. Polyester
Because the gas, vapor formed by the heat press only clings to polys, Sublimation printing is permanent on polyester but not on cotton. Although sublimation ink vapor adheres to natural fibres like cotton, hemp, burlap, and even paper, “cling” does not imply a permanent attachment.
Sublimation ink would never leave the sublimation paper if it did permanently adhere to natural fibres.
That is why, whereas sublimation ink can be removed from cotton, it cannot be removed from polyester. Although the ink will transfer to cotton, it will not form a permanent bond.
This is comparable to pouring ink from a pen onto your skin. The pen ink will stain for a few days, but it will gradually disappear. This is due to the fact that there is no real tie, only transient clinging.
So, when you press sublimation ink onto cotton, you’re just staining it for a short time.
If none of these simple methods helped, then you can try using special solvents or “washes”. Such products are sold in specialized stores, but they must be used with extreme caution, as they can not only ruin clothes, but also be hazardous to health.
Today, for the developers of modern printing inks, the main tasks are: safety, fast reaction of the connection with textile fibers, color fastness. Looking for ways to remove print ink from clothes is looking for flaws in the work of professionals.