Some signed shirts are peoples pride and joy. There are others where you cannot work out who the signature even is, let alone if it is authentic. As a seller of hundreds of football shirts, I get some in with pen marks and signatures on that it is simply better to remove the signature and get the shirt back to its best. I've been doing this for a while, in the majority of cases the signature comes out really easily. On some occasions, they don't completely come out, especially on white shirts. This mainly depends on the type of pen used and how long it has been on there.
Step By Step Guide
What you'll need (as well as the shirt)
- MX14 Stain remover (On Amazon here)
As a guide, easy marker pens will come out in around 1-2 hours. More permanent markers and older signatures can take a few days and repetitions of the process.
Step 1 - Apply The Stain Remover
I always use the MX14 pen application as it is perfect for targeting a precise area. I put a piece of plastic in the shirt so it is only targeting the stain and does not go through to the other side. Then dab the pen on the shirt until you can see the light brown liquid coming out. Be generous when applying it! If it is the first time using the pen then it takes a few dabs to get the liquid flowing.
In the example below the shirt was allegedly signed by David May but it came with no proof at all. This is how it looked after 15 minutes of MX 15, it has faded considerably from the black pen it started out as.
Step 2 - Leave it!
Once you've applied the MX14 then just leave it to do its thing. If the signature starts to fade then it is working so just leave it. I'd check on it every now and again to see when it's finished.
As you can see below the signature is no longer visible on the shirt.
Step 3 - Wash The Shirt
Once the signature has gone or you have left it the required amount of time then you need to wash the shirt. My personal advice is to rinse it off in cold water before washing it. I put mine in the washing machine on a cold quick wash. You can alternatively hand wash them (See the hand washing shirts guide here)
If the marks have fully come out then this is great, if it has faded then do another cycle. The pen will keep fading every time and should eventually go.
The only shirt that I have not managed to get a signature out of is a 1986 England home shirt. The material is a waffle type and the pen is trapped in the gaps and I've been unable to get the last remnants of it off. Other than that they have always come good in the end.