How to Remove Sublimation Ink from Mugs

Sublimation ink is a permanent printing process that permanently prints designs on surfaces. While sublimation ink looks great on mugs, it can be difficult to remove if you change your mind about the design. In this blog post, we will show you how to remove sublimation ink from mugs so that you can start over with a new design.

How to Remove Sublimation Ink from Mugs

What Is Sublimation Ink?

Sublimation ink is a type of dye used in printers to produce images with intense, vibrant colors. Unlike traditional inkjet inks, which are made from pigments, sublimation inks are made from dyes that are vaporized into the gas by the heat of the print head.

This allows the ink to penetrate deep into the fibers of the printing material, resulting in images that are durably and vividly colored. Because of its superior color quality, sublimation ink is often used for printing images onto fabric, glass, and ceramic materials.

However, it should be noted that sublimation printing requires a specialized printer and printing material designed to withstand the high temperatures required for sublimation. As a result, it is not a suitable printing method for all applications.

Why It’s Important to Remove Sublimation Ink from Mugs?

Sublimation ink is a type of ink that is commonly used for printing on mugs. Unlike other inks, sublimation ink is designed to be a Permanent Marker removed from the mug’s surface. This allows the ink to be easily removed from the mug without damaging the mug or leaving behind any residue.

However, if the sublimation ink is not removed from the mug, it can cause the mug to become stained and discolored. Additionally, the sublimation ink can also transfer onto other surfaces, such as countertops and clothing. For this reason, it is important to remove sublimation ink from mugs regularly.

Remove Sublimation Ink From Mugs

10 Methods to Follow on How to Remove Sublimation Ink from Mugs

Method 1: Wash the Mug in the Dishwasher

If your mug is dishwasher safe, you can remove the sublimation ink by washing it in the dishwasher. Put the mug in the dishwasher and run it through a normal cycle. The high temperatures of the dishwasher will help to remove the ink.

Method 2: Soak the Mug in Vinegar

Sublimation inks are water-soluble, so you can easily remove them with vinegar. Fill a bowl with vinegar and place the mug in it. Let it soak for a few hours overnight, then wash it off with soap and water. The ink should come right off!

If your mug is still stained after soaking, you can try scrubbing it with a soft sponge or toothbrush. Scrubbing won’t damage the mug, but it may take some elbow grease to get the job done.

Method 3: Use Baking Soda

In order to remove sublimation ink from mugs, you can also use baking soda. Make a baking soda and water paste, and rub it into the stained areas with a soft cloth. Rinse well and dry. Repeat as necessary until the stains are gone. You can also sprinkle baking soda directly on the stains and then scrub with a soft toothbrush. Rinse well and dry.

If you are looking for an eco-friendly way to remove sublimation ink from mugs, baking soda is a great option. It is non-toxic and will not damage the mug in any way.

Method 4: Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another effective way to remove sublimation ink from mugs. Pour hydrogen peroxide onto a clean cloth and rub the ink-stained area of the mug with the cloth. You should see the ink transfer from the mug onto the cloth. Once most of the ink is gone, rinse the mug with clean water and dry it with a clean towel.

Rub the Ink-stained Area of the Mug

Method 5: Use Dish Soap and Water

This is the most common and easiest method to get sublimation ink off of mugs. All you need is dish soap and water. First, mix equal parts dish soap and water in a bowl or container. Next, dip your mug into the mixture, submerging the design fully. Allow the mug to soak for a few minutes before scrubbing the design with a sponge or scrub brush. Finally, rinse the mug with clean water and dry with a towel.

Method 6: Use Rubbing Alcohol

If the dish soap and water method fail to remove all of the sublimation ink, you can try using rubbing alcohol. First, saturate a cotton ball or paper towel with rubbing alcohol and rub it over the areas of the mug that have residual ink. Next, rinse the mug with warm water and repeat until all the ink is gone.

Method 7: Use Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover can also be used to remove sublimation ink from mugs. Pour some nail polish remover onto a cotton ball and rub it over the ink area. After a few minutes, the ink should start to fade. Be sure to rinse the mug with water afterward to remove any residue.

If you’re looking for an easy way to remove sublimation ink from mugs, give nail polish remover a try.

Method 8: Apply Paint Stripper to the Coffee Mug

A paint stripper can be used to remove sublimation ink from mugs. You will need to purchase a specifically meant for removing paint. Follow the instructions on the paint stripper product. In general, you will need to apply the paint stripper to the mug and let it sit for a period of time so that it can work. After the allotted time has passed, use a scraper to remove the ink. You may need to repeat this process several times to remove all the ink.

Method 9: Heat the Mug & Rub With Scotch-Brite

This is the surest way to remove all the ink from your mug. All you need is a hairdryer and a Scotch-Brite. First, heat the mug with the hairdryer for about 30 seconds. Then, take the Scotch-Brite and rub it all over the ink. The heat will cause the ink to come off easily. You may need to repeat this process a few times to remove all the ink.

Method 10: Paint Over the Logo or Picture

If you’re not interested in keeping the logo or picture on your mug, you can always paint over it. This will require some light sanding to rough up the mug’s surface so that the paint will adhere properly. Once you’ve sanded and painted, your mug will be good as new!

Now that you know how to remove sublimation ink from mugs, you can remove the ink from your mug. Be sure to follow the method that works best for you, and you should be able to remove all of the ink in no time.

You Can Check It Out to Paint High Stairwell Without Ladder

How Do You Get Sublimation Ink out Of Polyester?

When you heat print with sublimation inks on polyester garments, the ink particles become one with the fabric fibers. This means that the ink will not come out of the fabric, even if washed or dry-cleaned. However, there are a few things you can do to remove sublimation ink from your clothing.

One option is to use a lint roller to remove any loose ink particles from the fabric’s surface. You can also try using a hairdryer on a low setting to loosen the ink particles before you brush them away.

If all else fails, you can always bring your garment to a professional dry cleaner specializing in removing sublimation inks. Keep reading for more information about how to remove sublimation ink from mugs.

What Do You Do with Messed up Sublimation Mugs?

You’re in the middle of making a batch of sublimation mugs, and suddenly, disaster strikes! One of the mugs gets smudged, smeared, or just flat-out ruined. What do you do next?

Fix a Botched Mug

First, don’t panic! It’s easy to fix a botched mug. Just grab a can of clear polyurethane aerosol spray and give it a good couple of coats. Once that’s dry, re-sublimate the image onto the mug. The polyurethane will protect the image from damage during the heating process.

If you’re unlucky and have a ruined mug, you can always use it as a test piece when trying out new images or color schemes. So, even if things don’t go according to plan, there’s always a silver lining!

How Does Sublimation Printing Work?

Sublimation printing is a type of digital printing that utilizes a special ink that, when heated, turns into a gas and bonds with the fibers of synthetic materials. This process involves printing an image onto a transfer paper with specialized sublimation inks and then transferring it onto a substrate using heat and pressure.

The resulting print is vibrant, high-quality, and long-lasting, making it an excellent option for customized apparel, accessories, and signage. Sublimation printing can be done on a variety of materials, such as polyester, nylon, and certain plastics.

The process requires specialized equipment and a skilled operator to produce high-quality results. Overall, sublimation printing is a popular choice for creating customized products with vibrant, long-lasting prints.

Frequently Asked Question

Can You Remove Sublimation Ink?

Yes, sublimation ink can be removed from mugs. However, the removal method will depend on how the ink was applied. For example, if the ink was applied through a sublimation printer, it could be removed using acetone. On the other hand, if the ink was applied through a screen printing process, it could be removed using ammonia.

Can Sublimation Mugs Go in The Dishwasher?

The answer to this question is a little bit tricky. It is not recommended to put mugs in the dishwasher because the high heat can cause them to break. However, if your mug is specifically designed for use in the dishwasher, then it should be safe to go in there. If you are not sure whether or not your mug is dishwasher safe, it is always best to check with the manufacturer before putting it in.

Put Mugs in the Dishwasher


So, there you have it—our guide on how to remove sublimation ink from mugs. If you follow these simple steps, your mugs will look as good as new in no time at all! Have any questions or tips of your own? Please share them with us in the comments below.

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Angela Ervin

Angela is the chief editor of Indoorense. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to lifestyle and home. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for housekeeping and cleaning,home decorations as well as other efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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