How To Fix Sublimation Mistakes: Tips For Perfect Prints Every Time

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    Sublimation printing is popular as it allows the design of unique custom layouts onto a variety of materials within just a few minutes. Despite its popularity, however, it’s not without its issues, such as sublimation problems that can arise, leading to imperfect results.

    Many beginners in the business of sublimation printing often overlook important aspects. They only consider the raw production costs and not overheads and labor time. This rookie mistake forgets to factor in these vital costs which constitute the bulk of the real cost and should be built into the price tag of the product!

    Key Takeaways

    Get alcohol or acetone

    Alcohol and acetone are the quickest solutions for all sublimation ink mistakes, and all you need to do is put them in a bowl so you can use them without any obstacles.

    Soak the material

    Soak the garment with a sublimation mistake with acetone or alcohol, but make sure to put them only on the part of the garment you want to treat because you don’t want to ruin the rest of it.

    Leave the garment that way for 15 minutes to half an hour, depending on the size of the sublimation mistake, and let it soak all of it.

    Scrub the sublimation

    After the material has soaked in alcohol or acetone, the ink will start to fall off, so scrub off the remains with a sponge for a few minutes, and you will see everything will disappear.

    Wash the garment

    After you have successfully removed all the sublimation ink, you will need to wash the garment in cold water, and it will be ready to wear without any mistakes!

    Once these aspects are factored in, the real cost of the production, including possible design errors or sublimation problems, becomes clear. Understanding these costs helps highlight the importance of recovering mistakes (if possible) to manage costs. Let’s face it, mistakes happen, and damage control is an integral part of sublimation printing!

    If you’re seeking to rectify sublimation ink mistakes quickly and efficiently, we’ve got you covered. I have compiled all the best solutions for eradicating design errors and mitigating sublimation problems in one place.

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      Curatives such as alcohol and acetone are often the quickest solutions for all sublimation ink mistakes. Simply place them in a bowl for easy accessibility during the correction process.

      To use these solutions, soak the garment or material with the sublimation error in acetone or alcohol. Be mindful to apply them only on the portion you wish to treat, so as not to spoil the rest of the design.

      Fixing Mistakes After Sublimation Process

      While there are numerous reasons that can affect your sublimation prints and potentially spoil your design, it doesn’t spell the end. If a sublimation ink blot isn’t too big, it can be removed within a few minutes.

      There are countless simple and inexpensive solutions to this problem. Here are the quickest and easiest ones:

      Many causes can effect your sublimation prints and spoil your print image

      Rubbing alcohol is a powerful option for eliminating any stains. So, if the sublimation ink has left unwanted traces or stains during printing, this should be your first choice.

      All you need to rectify a sublimation error is some rubbing alcohol and a paper towel.

      I would recommend using rubbing alcohol with a high concentration but avoid 99% ones as they can inflict damage on your garment item.

      How To Remove Sublimation Ink Stains With Rubbing Alcohol

      If the stain doesn’t entirely disappear at first try, don’t worry! Just repeat the process a few times or take more time to scrub the stain with alcohol.

      In case the stain is quite large and prominent, you may want to opt for rubbing alcohol containing more than 90% of the solution. The goal is to remove the stain swiftly before it permanently sets in.

      Although the odor might be a bit strong, the whole process will only take a few minutes. However, don’t forget to wear protective gloves and cover up the unaffected parts of the paper or shirt to avoid inadvertently ruining other sections of the design.

      • Put a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the part of the paper or garment where the sublimation ink stain is.
      • Let the paper or the garment absorb the alcohol for 20 to 30 minutes.
      • Take a paper towel and remove the excess moisture.
      • Start rubbing the stained part of the garment until you see the ink has disappeared completely.
      • Wash the garment in cold water.

      All types of garments, whether they are polyester or cotton, can be treated this way, and it is the best option if you have stains on your shirts, pants, or hats. An unfortunate side effect of the treatment process can be ghosting, but don’t worry, you can bring your clothes back to life with proper care.

      You should be careful with it, especially if your garment has just gotten out of a sublimation printer, because you don’t want the print to start spilling all over the garment and ruin it completely. Bringing your clothes back from the brink of a fashion disaster requires a keen eye and quick action.

      Acetone also has a high percentage of alcohol in it, and it is excellent for sublimation ink stains because it won’t do harm to your sublimation designs. Despite possible ghosting issues, acetone manages to solve the problem without fostering further damage.

      The process will be a bit longer if you decide to use acetone, and you will need some aluminum foil, a pair of gloves, a bowl, and a clean paper towel or cloth. Your time and effort will be well spent bringing your attire back to its former glory.

      Acetone is usually as effective as rubbing alcohol, and all of us have it at home, so it is a quick fix when you see stains on your sublimation blanks. It can help to resolve any ghosting issues and bring the vibrant colors of your garments back.

      How To Remove Sublimation Ink Stains With Acetone

      However, you should test it out before you decide to treat the garment with it, and always soak a cotton pad in acetone and rub the fabric inside to see whether the color will change or not. Your primary objective should be to bring the affected area back to its original state, without disturbing the rest of the garment.

      If your shirt or pants don’t change color after this, you can feel free to use acetone. You would have conquered the ghosting menace and successfully brought the clothing item back to its pristine state.

      • Prepare the workspace by putting an aluminum foil over the table, and then put the garment onto it
      • Pour acetone into a bowl and get a pair of rubber gloves
      • Soak the towel or cloth in acetone and start tapping it over the sublimation print or stain you want to remove – only apply acetone over the specific area if you don’t
      • Leave it to soak in the acetone for 5 to 10 minutes
      • Remove the cloth soaked in acetone and take clean paper towels and remove the acetone by rubbing the treated area
      • Wash the garment in cold water

      These are the two easiest ways to remove any sublimation mistakes, and most of us have these two products at home, so removing sublimation ink can be done the moment I see a stain on the garment. Whether it’s a ghosted image or an annoying stain, these household staples can help bring your sublimated items back to tip-top shape.

      Although there are other ways to remove sublimation ink, too, these are the most popular and will provide you with fast results without too much effort. They can efficiently combat ghosting issues and bring back the appealing look of your garments.

      In case none of these techniques have worked for you and you could not remove sublimation ink at all, there are some other, more professional options to help bring your garment back to its former glory.

      Bleach is an effective chemical solution that can help you get rid of any stain, but since sublimation ink stains, even those causing ghosting effects, are usually not that big and complicated, people rarely use them.

      However, if you are stuck with a bad sublimation print or a stain that just doesn’t seem to disappear no matter how much alcohol you soak it in, then bleach would probably be the best choice to bring your garment back to normal.

      Although it isn’t the best option for dyed garments, you need to be very careful while using it, so you don’t ruin or burn the garment, it removes all types of stains within seconds, so if nothing else works, bleach is what you should try out to bring your fabric back from the brink.

      Can I Fix Sublimation Errors With Bleach?

      Removing sublimation ink with bleach is simple, and all you need to do is follow the given instructions carefully so you can bring the stained or ghosted areas back to their clean state.

      This is the most efficient method for removing sublimation ink, but it can be very risky, especially if the ink is close to the print you don’t want to remove, or the garment is colored, and just a tiny amount of bleach could create white dots and stains.

      I would recommend treating the garment with bleach only when you have tried out other techniques for removing stains and they didn’t work because even the slightest mistake can create an even bigger problem than the one you were trying to solve, while trying to bring your garment back to its original condition.

      Also, always read the instructions on bleach and check whether the garment you are dealing with should be treated with bleach and if this could create some other problems with your sublimated shirt. Before you begin, make sure that the bleach won’t bring new problems while you’re trying to rescue your garment from its current ones.

      • Put the bleach on the sublimation print or stain and soak it for 20 to 30 minutes.
      • Take a paper towel and absorb the bleach.
      • Rinse the bleach off your garment.
      • If there is any leftover sublimation ink or print, take a sponge and rub it until everything is gone.
      • Wash the garment in the washing machine.

      Be careful, wear gloves and place bleach only on the specific areas to avoid any further problems. With a careful application, you’ll effectively eliminate ghosting and bring your garment back to looking its best.Sublimation printing is a very popular technique, and people seem to be extensively involved in sublimation DIY projects. If they have a printer like this, they usually have a regular iron press at home too. The only issue they seem to face is the effective removal of sublimation prints and stains. However, with the right steps, this issue can be easily addressed.

      However, they often don’t realize that sublimation prints and stains can be effectively removed with a heat press, too, especially if you have just taken the garment out of a sublimation printer.

      If you don’t have any alcohol, acetone, or bleach at home and have just spotted a sublimation printing mistake, you can grab your iron and promptly initiate steps to remove the sublimation ink.

      Removing sublimation ink this way doesn’t include harsh ingredients or chemicals and isn’t risky, so it is a great option.

      Can Sublimation Ink Be Removed With A Heat Press?

      This is how you can remove sublimation ink with a heat press:

      However, you will need to be careful when you are removing sublimation with a heat press because the garment may be letting out some color during ironing, so be cautious during the process and always put it on an old surface you don’t care about ruining.

      Some people also iron the garment over a sublimation paper, so if you have leftover one, you can use it for the removal process too, except that I would advise you to be careful

      The process is straightforward and, except for ironing the garment, you won’t need to do anything else. This technique can be a great fix when you just don’t seem to have any available alcohol or acetone that could resolve the issue.

      Coffee mugs and tumblers are other items people sublimate regularly, however, issues may occur when the sublimation printing process doesn’t go perfectly, and you need to rectify things.

      • Put your sublimated item in the same place where you are ironing your wardrobe, whether it is a table or a special stand.
      • Put a regular dry piece of cloth inside or under the garment, directly under the sublimation ink you want to remove.
      • Make sure the garment is completely flat and correct any wrinkles with an iron if needed.
      • Get a clean cloth, wet it, and put it over the garment, specifically the area you want to remove ink from.
      • Turn on the iron and set it to medium heat.
      • When the iron has reached medium temperature, start ironing over the dry cloth.
      • Increase the temperature throughout the process, but don’t get to the highest temperature, so you don’t ruin the garment.
      • Iron for 5 to 10 minutes while applying some pressure.
      • Turn off the iron and remove the cloth from your sublimation-printed garment.
      • Get a sponge or a harsh cloth and start scrubbing the garment until you see that the print and ink have started peeling off – start scrubbing from the edges, and your print will probably peel off entirely with just one swipe.

      Although most people think it is pretty much impossible to fix this type of mistake, you can effectively remove sublimation ink from it, just in a slightly different way than you would do it on a regular garment.

      The easiest way to remove a sublimation print or stain on a coffee mug is simply by washing it in the washing machine at a high temperature.

      While you may not see the result after the first wash, if you repeat the process a few times, your sublimation print will disappear entirely; make sure you are always washing them on a high temperature and on a lower rack.

      Can I Fix Sublimation Errors On A Mug?

      In case you don’t want to remove sublimation ink completely, or you just weren’t satisfied with the results of a sublimation process, you may decide to take steps to sublimate things again.

      Double sublimation is possible, and you can do it without the fear of ruining something, but you should know that it will not remove the sublimation print created the first time.

      If you want to make your print more vibrant or make it last longer, you can double sublimate it, but make sure you are very precise, and your sublimation printer is able to reproduce the exact same print again; otherwise, it may look quite unappealing.

      If you decide to do it, I would recommend using Kraft paper or Teflon to ensure the process goes smoothly and effectively.

      Can You Press Sublimation Twice?

      In case you don’t want to remove sublimation ink completely or you just weren’t satisfied with the results of a sublimation process, you will probably try to sublimate things twice.

      Double sublimation is possible, and you can do it without the fear of ruining something, but you should know that it will not remove the sublimation print created the first time.

      If you want to make your print more vibrant or make it last longer, you can double sublimate it, but make sure you are very precise and your sublimation printer is able to reproduce the exact same print again; otherwise, it will look quite bad.

      If you decide to do it, I would recommend using Kraft paper or Teflon to ensure the process goes smoothly.

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