Your kitchen cabinet fills up quickly and maybe there are custom mugs in there that you just don’t like. It could be a cute photo mug your boyfriend got you for Valentine’s Day, but now you’re broken up. Maybe it’s a mug printed with a group picture of friends from high school that you don’t even talk to anymore. Or it could be some logo coffee mugs you got as promotional items from a business that you don’t even like.

No matter what, tainted memories shouldn’t cause you to throw away a perfectly good cup! Thankfully, there are plenty of easy ways to get a logo or picture off a coffee mug. Just try any of the techniques listed here!

It’s definitely possible to remove a picture from your coffee mug if you don’t like what’s printed. However, there’s good news and bad news when it comes to removing photos or logos from coffee mugs.

  • Good News: There are plenty of things you can try to remove the logo or photo from your mugs.
  • Bad News: After you remove the photo or logo from your mug, it won’t be food-safe anymore. It’s strongly recommended that you use your mug as décor and not use it for food or drinks.

Your mug might not be the same, but that’s okay! It’s still easy to get a a ton of use from an empty coffee cup, so go forth with removing the photo. It’s a fun DIY project for a lazy Sunday afternoon!

How to Remove a Logo From a Mug

Nothing is worse that having a perfectly good coffee mug, only to absolutely hate it because you don’t like the print on the front. Worse if you have a photo mug of you and an ex-boyfriend or a pic of you with a bunch of friends that you don’t even see anymore

If you don’t like the logo or picture on your coffee mug, you can try any of the following to remove it:

  • Wash the coffee mug in the dishwasher.
  • Paint over the logo or picture.
  • Use rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.
  • Apply paint stripper to the coffee mug.
  • Heat the mug & rub with Scotch Brite.
  • Cover the logo/photo with a fabric koozie.

1. Wash the Mug in the Dishwasher

If you want to get rid of a photo on your coffee mug, try running your coffee mug through the dishwasher multiple times on a high temperature on the lower rack. You might still see flecks of the old design, but after a few cycles most of it should disappear.

2. Paint Over the Logo or Picture

Go to your local hobby store and look for “ceramic paint.” From there, be creative and follow the instructions so you can hide the logo or photo on the custom coffee mugs. The thicker and darker your paint, the less likely anything will show up underneath.

3. Use Rubbing Alcohol or Nail Polish Remover

Apply rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to the printed design on the personalized photo mugs, and try carefully scraping off the pic with a razor blade. Double check that the alcohol or nail polish remover contains the ingredient acetone for the best results.

4. Apply Paint Stripper to the Coffee Mug

Fill up a bucket with paint stripper, which you can find in the automotive section at most stores like Target and Walmart. Protect yourself by wearing a disposable face mask and rubber gloves to protect your hands. Submerge your mug in the solution and let it sit for between 20 and 30 minutes. Finally, remove the coffee mug from the solution, and repeat until the logo or picture is totally gone!

5. Heat the Mug & Rub With Scotch-Brite

Hold your coffee mug over a gas range stovetop for about 3 to 5 minutes. Make sure the logo or photo is directly over the flame. Once your mug is super hot, remove it and start scrubbing the logo/photo with Scotch-Brite, a scratch pad, or even sandpaper. The design should end up getting scratched completely off, especially if you’re applying enough pressure.

6. Cover the Logo/Photo With a Fabric Koozie

Have you ever seen the adorable tea cozies that sometimes decorate kettles? You can get that same quaint look on your personalized coffee mugs. If you know how to knit, make one yourself. You can also slide on regular bottle or can koozies if they fit. The fabric will cover up any photo or logo that you don’t love! Plus, you can reuse the mugs to drink coffee without any health risks.

While these strategies aren’t going to work 100% of the time, they at least give you a starting point if you just can’t live with the logo or photo on your personalized mugs. If nothing is working, it may be time to sell or donate your logo coffee mugs instead.

Final Thoughts

Coffee mugs bring us warmth and can make us smile when we’re feeling grumpy in the mornings. Why should you have to sip from a cup that has a bad photo or an ugly logo on it?

Try any of the techniques listed here to remove photos from your coffee mugs, and you’ll have something that you love again! Set your coffee cup on your desk and use it to store your pens or for your makeup brushes. If you still want to drink coffee from your cup, slide on a tea cozy and hide the design underneath. No matter what, there are plenty of ways to use your new, photo-free coffee mug!


Smith, D. How to Remove Sublimation Ink From Mugs. Retrieved from,

Rodrigues, V. (2017, June 14). How to Remove a Logo From a Coffee Mug. Retrieved from,

Technic Guru. (2018, November 18). How to Remove Print Off Mug & Cup at Home. Retrieved from,

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.