Will Acetone Remove Sublimation Ink From Tumbler?

Written By PrintingPro

Sublimation ink, known for its vivid colors and durability, is commonly used in tumbler printing. However, there may be situations where you need to remove the ink from the tumbler. Acetone is a popular solvent known for its effectiveness in various applications, but the question remains: Will Acetone remove sublimation ink from a tumbler?

Understanding Acetone:

Acetone is a highly flammable chemical commonly used in chemical reactions and as a solvent. It can dissolve various substances and is easily miscible with water, alcohol, and other solvents due to its polar nature. Acetone is frequently utilized in laboratories and industrial settings for cleaning purposes and in the production of certain plastics. It’s also found in products like nail polish removers and paint thinners.

Will Acetone Remove Sublimation Ink From Tumbler

Yes, it’s possible for Acetone to remove sublimation ink from a tumbler. Acetone, being a polar solvent, can effectively dissolve organic compounds, such as the dye and polymer components of sublimation ink. However, the effectiveness of this method may vary based on factors like ink solubility, curing temperature, and tumbler surface properties.

Process for Safely Using Acetone to Remove Sublimation Ink:

Will Acetone Remove Sublimation Ink From Tumbler

Follow these steps to safely and effectively remove sublimation ink from your tumbler using Acetone:

  1. Prepare the Work Area: Ensure good ventilation and remove any potential hazards from the area.

  2. Wear Protective Gear: Wear gloves and eye protection to safeguard against skin irritation and fumes.

  3. Choose a Method: Decide on a method – soak, wipe, or dip – based on your preference and tumbler size.

  4. Soak or Dip the Tumbler: Allow the tumbler to soak in Acetone for the required duration, typically 15-20 minutes.

  5. Scrub off the Ink: Use a stiff brush or scraper to remove the ink, focusing on areas with denser ink.

  6. Rinse and Dry: Rinse the tumbler with water and dry it thoroughly, ensuring all Acetone residue is removed.

Safety Tips for Using Acetone:

  • Use Acetone in a well-ventilated area and avoid inhaling its fumes.
  • Always wear gloves and eye protection when handling Acetone.
  • Test the method on a small area of the tumbler first to check for any adverse reactions.
  • Dispose of used Acetone properly according to local regulations.
  • Keep Acetone away from ignition sources and use it only when necessary.

Read: can you use sublimation ink for regular printing?

Alternatives to Acetone for Removing Sublimation Ink from Tumbler:

Other Solvents:

Several alternative solvents can effectively remove sublimation ink from a tumbler:

  • Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA)
  • Denatured Alcohol
  • Methylene Chloride
  • Ethyl Lactate

Benefits of Using Different Solvents:

  • Safety: Solvents like Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and Ethyl Lactate are less flammable and have lower odors compared to Acetone, making them safer options.

  • Effectiveness: Solvents like Methylene Chloride may be more effective in removing certain types of sublimation ink.

  • Surface Protection: Solvents like Ethyl Lactate may cause less damage to the tumbler’s surface or discoloration.

Heat Press Method:

An alternative method involves using a heat press, which can be safe and effective but requires specialized equipment.

Professional Services:

Some printing or engraving companies offer specialized services for removing sublimation ink from tumblers, ensuring complete removal without damage.

Read: What printer to use for printable vinyl – Inkjet vs. Laser


Is there another method besides Acetone to remove sublimation ink from a tumbler?

Yes, besides Acetone, other methods include using Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA), Methylene Chloride, Denatured Alcohol, or Ethyl Lactate. In some cases, heat or specialized solvents may be safer and more effective than Acetone.

Is Acetone safe for removing sublimation ink from a tumbler?

While Acetone is effective, caution should be exercised due to its flammability. Alternative solvents like Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and Ethyl Lactate may be safer options.

Is it safe to drink from a tumbler cleaned with Acetone?

Generally, it’s safe if the tumbler is thoroughly rinsed and dried. However, it’s advisable to check for any residue or odor before using it for food or beverages.


Removing sublimation ink from a tumbler can be challenging, requiring special solvents and techniques. While Acetone is commonly used, alternatives like Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) or Ethyl Lactate may offer safety benefits. Additionally, professional services ensure thorough ink removal without damage. Always test for residue or odor before using the tumbler for food or beverages.

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Written By PrintingPro

PrintingPro Konti is a seasoned wordsmith with a fervor for crafting enlightening and captivating content. With a wealth of experience in crafting blog posts and product guides within the printing industry, Konti has firmly positioned himself as the go-to authority for readers in search of valuable insights within this multifaceted and dynamically evolving sector. As a recognized expert in the printing domain, Konti possesses an exhaustive grasp of cutting-edge technologies, emerging trends, and industry best practices. He adeptly harnesses this knowledge to generate content that not only informs but also engrosses, ensuring that readers stay abreast of the latest developments in digital printing, offset printing, and 3D printing.