How to Remove Silk-Screen Lettering From Clothes

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum-based extraction system

  • Gloves

  • Eye protection

  • Spot cleaner gun

  • Plastisol remover

Silk-screening uses silk screens and ink to create images and lettering.

Clothing is often silk-screened using screen-printing techniques. Screen-printing utilizes masked screens, sometimes made of silk, and ink to create images and letters. These inks are frequently made from plastisol, which is similar to acrylic paint, although water-based inks are also available. Plastisol and water-based silk-screen inks are both made to withstand repeated washing and drying without losing the image or lettering. However, you can remove silk-screen lettering from clothes, if needed.


Step 1

Place your screen-printed clothing item on the surface of an extraction system. The extraction system pulls screen printing remover and vapors away. Make sure the screen-printed lettering is on the vacuum surface; think of it like placing a shirt on the end of an ironing board.

Video of the Day

Step 2

Put on protective equipment. Plastisol removers may be hazardous to your health.


Step 3

Turn on the extraction system and fill the bottle of a spot cleaner gun with plastisol remover. Extraction systems, spot cleaning guns and plastisol remover can be found at screen-printing supply stores.

Step 4

Spray all of the silk-screen lettering you need to remove. You might need to adjust the fabric to keep it over the extraction vacuum and to remove all of the lettering. Keep the extraction system running even if you need to adjust.


Step 5

Turn the extraction system off when all of the plastisol cleaner has been removed from the fabric.

Step 6

Wash and dry your fabric per the care instructions for the fabric type.


Plastisol remover might also remove water-based screen-printing inks. Check any instructions that come with your remover or contact the manufacturer for more information. Always work in a well-ventilated area when working with harmful chemicals.


references & resources

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...