How To Remove Sublimation Ink From Tumbler? Tumbler Transformation

Are you trying to figure out how to remove sublimation ink from a Tumbler? I’ve got you here. In this article, I’ll be describing the best possible techniques for removing sublimation inks from different types of tumblers. 

Additionally, we ran certain tests, and we came to our conclusion based on those results, which I will share here with you. Continue reading to learn how to remove sublime-ink from tumblers quickly and effectively.

How To Remove Sublimation Ink From Tumbler

Techniques for how to remove sublimation ink from Tumbler?

We picked three metallic tumblers as the test subjects and sublimated them using the same sublimation ink and design. Then, we made three separate attempts to clean them.

Here are various techniques that can help in removing sublimated ink on Mugs or Tumblers.

  1. Use Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. Apply White Vinegar
  3. Try Bleach
  4. Sunlight Exposure

   1. Removing Ink from Tumbler using White Vinegar.

How To Remove Sublimation Ink From Tumbler

First, I poured some regular vinegar into a basin and soaked the metal tumbler in it for 45 minutes. 

Then I started washing the ink off the tumbler with the simple scrub, and it gradually disappeared. The tumbler was then placed in the bowl for an additional 15 minutes, and the procedure was repeated. 

I scrubbed the tumbler twice, and 99% of the ink was removed. Then, after a little more scrubbing, bang. Within an hour, all of the ink had been wiped from the metal tumbler.

2. Using Cider Vinegar to remove sublimation inks

How To Remove Sublimation Ink From Tumbler

The entire procedure was identical to that of white vinegar. Using apple vinegar instead of white vinegar was the only difference. When I tried to scrub the ink from the tumbler after 45 minutes, I was unsuccessful.

I tried to scrape off the sublimation ink after another 15 minutes of soaking the metallic tumbler in the bowl of apple cider. The amount of ink that came off was very small. However, no matter how many times I tried, not even half of the ink was removed.

Therefore, it is not a good idea to use apple cider vinegar to remove the sublimation ink from the metal.

3. Using Bleach to remove sublimation inks

How To Remove Sublimation Ink From Tumbler

Using bleach to remove ink from sublimation prints on metal is a slightly different, time-consuming, but effective procedure. Although it takes longer than white vinegar, it functions almost the same. 

The metallic sublimation tumbler is placed in the bowl once the liquid bleach has been added. Ensure that the bleach has completely covered the sublimation-printed section. Start cleaning the ink after waiting 45 minutes. 

Put the metallic tumbler back in the bleach and scrub it one more after 15 minutes. To completely remove the sublimation ink from the metallic tumbler, you must scrub three to four times more after every 15 minutes.

4. Sunlight Exposure For removing Sublimation Ink from Tumblers

How To Remove Sublimation Ink From Tumbler

UV rays from the sun can harm the binding of the ink on the surface of the tumbler. If you place the sublimated tumbler under the sun for 2-3 days straight. you will see the results of fading of ink on the tumbler. No doubt, this is the most time taking method. It is considered helpful when you don’t want to do the effort of rubbing and cleaning the tumblers again and again. 

This indicates that, out of the four techniques, removing the sublimation ink from metal is best and fastest done using white vinegar.

Every single technique is unique from the others. However, the best and quickest results were achieved using white vinegar. Any of the above methods work with the heat press chemical process and will help to remove all the ink from a ceramic mug and sublimation paper.

Techniques to remove sublimation ink from ceramic Tumblers

How To Remove Sublimation Ink From Tumbler

Ceramics tumbler sublimation is still the most stable surface for supporting sublimation ink among all sublimation substrates. This is good news until the following circumstances arise.

  • The overheating caused the prints to blur.
  • Ink bleeding and ghosting.
  • Fading of the print.
  • You just hate the way it looks now!

When you don’t want to throw the ceramic mug out, the situation becomes more problematic. You don’t have to since I have compiled a list of hidden techniques and top-secret recipes for removing sublimation ink from mugs. Just be sure to keep an eye on the conclusion!

You can also read:

how to remove sublimation ink from shirts

Can you remove sublimation from ceramic mug tumblers?

How To Remove Sublimation Ink From Tumbler

Seemingly, yeah. But your ceramic mugs’ nature and your chemical substance’s stiffness are what ultimately determine the answer. Even though it’s simple to get a quick remedy with different kitchen necessities, including vinegar or dishwashing detergent—even Scotch Brite!

If you don’t want to throw your cup in the garbage just yet, you can “repair” it with the help of some hacks. The sublimation ink from mugs coating can be removed using a combination of chemicals you already have available.

However, keep in mind that there isn’t currently a “marketed” option for removing sublimation ink. Only 70–80% of the sublimation ink will be lightened, corrected, or, in rare instances, completely removed using these techniques.

Five techniques for getting sublimation ink from mugs: (Quick fixes)

These five techniques only make short corrections to a sublimation mistake; they do not remove the coating entirely. These will always work for you as long as the designs are simple, and you’re patient and consistent.

  1. Heating

The best method to easily remove sublimation ink is heating. The process is the reverse of sublimation. In the same way that we seal the ink at high temperatures to prevent it from evaporating, we will do the same thing here, but we won’t let it cool down. Instead, use any scrubber to remove the ink from sublimated mugs.

  • After lighting the burner, stand your mug above it for ten minutes.
  • Scrub the sublimated area and remove it with a sponge while still wearing your heat-resistant gloves. Please ensure to wear gloves as they will protect you from high temperatures.
  • Use regular water to wash the mug once more.

    2. Vinegar

 Vinegar is an excellent approach that works best with hot cups (blurry designs). Vinegar turns sublimation ink into a liquid state since it includes acid and has qualities that react with the ink, making speedy wiping possible.

  • Soak the cotton in vinegar.
  • Use damp cotton to wipe the area until all of the ink has been absorbed. 
  • Well, don’t be too hard on the cup. If after 7-8 minutes none of the ink has come out. Just leave it alone.
Quick Tip: To save time and effort overall, wrap the damp cotton in the cup for 10 minutes before rubbing.

    3. Dishwasher

How To Remove Sublimation Ink From Tumbler

The most traditional and popular approach for removing the sublimation design from your cup is to run it in the dishwasher. A brush scrubber and dishwasher detergent are the two things needed to remove sublimation ink.

  • Add some detergent to the lower rack and preheat the dishwasher to its maximum setting.
  • Do this 4–7 times with your cup to begin fading the ink.
  • Take the mug outside and use a toothbrush or scrubber to remove the ink.
  • Use hot water to wash the mug.
  • After letting the mug dry, you will have a new, blank mug.


    4. Try Using an Oven

How To Remove Sublimation Ink From Tumbler

The oven operates similarly to the heating. When compared to using the stove, this method is slightly safer because the flames will prevent burn marks on the cup from being sealed in.

Steps for removing sublimation ink:
  • Set your oven to 400 degrees.
  • After giving your mug a soapy wash, put a “dry” mug in the oven.
  • The cup should be heated for around an hour.
  • Scrub the cup with any vinegar, alcohol, or citric acid after letting it out.
  • Cleanse the cup with a cloth and wash it in hot water.

Well, that process is time-consuming and exhausting. Only use this procedure if you have an emotional connection to the mug or if you want to get rid of the majority of the cups that have been sublimated. 

    5. Nail paint remover and rubbing alcohol

How To Remove Sublimation Ink From Tumbler

Acetone, an ingredient in nail polish remover and alcohol, is very reactive with ink. Alcohol is one of those solvents that can remove ink from any stiff substrate, including wood or fabric at high temperatures. 

  • Cover the cup with a paper towel that has been dipped in alcohol for five minutes. OR use a brush to apply paint stripper or alcohol to the cup, then let it sit for five minutes.
  • Use a razor blade to check if any ink is leaking.
  • If not, give the mug another two to three minutes in the alcohol.
  • Scrape the ink off gently.
  • After rinsing the mug in hot water with the dishwasher method, let it cool.

Error correction of the sublimation removal process

None of the techniques, as I just stated, will guarantee a success rate of 100 percent. As a result, there are two ways we can cover the entire cup to correct the mistake.

  • Collapsible foam/fabric koozie. 
  • Overcoat of ceramic paint

   1. Ceramic paint overcoat

The ceramic painting is a good way to get a new mug without buying another one.  You only need to synchronize the colors on the cup with the sublimate color, or you can choose to paint the entire thing white.

To get the paint to become firm on the surface, you must leave the mug untouched for the entire night. This method also allows you to re-sublimate the existing tumbler with a new design that you like.

   2. Collapsible foam/fabric koozie

Fabric koozie or Collapsible Foam is a good enough fix to hide the damaged design. Additionally, it looks pretty fantastic, and you can make one for yourself if the price is too high or the design available in the market isn’t to your taste.

How to take off a sublimation finish

The challenging part now is scraping the entire coating from the mug. The fact that sublimation coating cannot be removed totally means that the debate over this issue continues. 

However, we do agree, and on our end, I have destroyed no less than seven coffee mugs before finally getting close to a result without breaking the mug itself on the seventh try. So let’s examine what I tried.

Required Resources

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Ammonia solution (1:2 with water)
  • Vinegar (white)
  • Hydrogen peroxide acid
  • Scrubber or toothbrush


  • Use a solution of ammonia to clean the mug.
  • Put vinegar in a bowl, then immerse your mug for five minutes.
  • Repeat the process with the hydrogen peroxide, then place the cup in the basin for the next five minutes.
  • Remove the mug and scrub it once more. Use Scotch Brite and use the sponge side to remove the chemicals.
  • After cleaning the cup with cold water, leave it alone to dry for 30 minutes.

First, what interested me was the removal rate. It’s been the most effective strategy I have found so far. However, failure occurs if the cleaning step is skipped after the chemical soaking step. Wiping off soon after applying hydrogen peroxide can be effective. On that mug, you won’t be able to sublimate once more, though.

Techniques to remove sublimation ink from Fabric Tumblers

If sublimation was pressed onto polyester or polymers, it cannot be removed. The sublimation cannot be removed with even bleach. Although, after repeated washes, sublimation ink on cotton can be ultimately removed. 

But even with experience, accidents happen, and everyone I know has tried almost every method possible to get sublimation ink out… though most of them were unsuccessful. Here I am listing down a few methods with which you can try your luck. 

For example, you may add a paw print coverup if you discover stray ink on a custom coaster with a dog image, and you could put a lasso or flower coverup on a shirt with a cowboy boot design. If you give it some thought, you’ll probably come up with something even better than the original. 

Why Does Sublimation Printing on Polyester Tumbler Last Permanently but Not on Cotton?

Sublimation printing is permanent on polyester but not on cotton because the gas and vapor produced by the heat gun press only bind to polys. Even though sublimation ink vapor binds to natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, burlap, and even paper, the adhesion is only temporary.

This explains why sublimation ink can eventually be removed from cotton tumbler fabrics, but not from polyester. An example of this would be getting ink from a pen on your skin. For a few days, the pen ink will stain, but gradually it will disappear. This is due to the short-term cling and lack of permanent bonds. Therefore, when you press sublimation ink into cotton, you are merely coloring the cotton fabric. 

Final Words!
Conclusion You should now be able to make the right decision regarding how to remove sublimation ink from ceramic/metal tumblers. Before we wrap things up here, I think we shouldn’t go for the removal of sublimation.  If you don’t like the design, you may conceal it with a coating or koozie. If there is a printing mistake, you can fix it with vinegar or alcohol.

If you’re looking for something to do with the rest of the cups, we recommend ordering a new bunch of ceramic tumblers and throwing away the old set. While for the metallic tumblers, It is simple removing ink from metal. All you need is regular vinegar, and it will finish the remaining ink from the polyester coating of the tumbler. Simply follow the directions above, and the metallic object you have will be free of all sublimation ink. The best thing about this technique is that you can sublimate once more on the same metal (or object).

People also ask

Can sublimation ink be removed?

Yes, the sublimation ink can be removed by washing or giving heat.  Even The best quality sublimation ink may peel off, fade, or break over time. So, you can remove them easily through various methods and change their designs and colors as per your liking.  

Can you sublimate over a Tumbler that has already been sublimated?

Yes, in a technical sense. Any material that has previously received sublimation ink is eligible to do so again. You just have to make sure that the new design is placed before removing the already existing design. But in ceramic tumblers, re-sublimating after removing the sublimation may not allow the tumbler to receive another sublimation design. 

Can sublimated tumblers be washed?

Yes, you can wash the sublimated tumblers. If you want to keep the ink intact you need to hand wash the tumbler. As dishwashing can gradually fade the ink on the tumbler, certain measures can be taken to prevent ink fading.  Put the cup on the top shelf of the dishwasher and away from the heating element as you can for more durability.

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I am Edward Smith, a highly skilled content writer with a remarkable track record in the field. With over seven years of experience, I have honed my craft in creating engaging and compelling content that captivates audiences and drives results. My extensive experience includes working with renowned brands across diverse sectors, including technology, finance, lifestyle, and healthcare. My deep understanding of SEO principles and keyword research ensures that my content not only delivers value to readers but also ranks well on search engine results pages. At, I, hope to help readers discover the best products and information for their sublimation-related business, and to provide expert guidance and advice to help them make informed purchasing decisions.

Tech Rayss

Techrayss's main objective is to give well-researched sublimation reviews and detailed information on related topics. our prime focus is to gather sublimation-related facts and findings so users can smartly make a purchase for their business. unbiased reviews and high-value content always support people to select the right product at right time.


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