Don’t let an ink spot ruin your favorite outfit. With these practical stain removal tips, you can quickly remove ink from clothing.
No matter how they got there, ink stains from pens and markers are never a pleasant sight on your clothes. But you can use regular household items to get ink off of clothing. Never wash and dry clothes before removing stains; doing so will set the stain and make it more challenging to get out.
Depending on what kind of ink caused the stain, determine how to remove it from clothing.
Before You Begin
Determine the kind of ink that caused your stain first. Some of the simplest stains to remove are those from water-based ink, like those from washable markers. Ballpoint ink responds well to most methods, but a permanent ink stain (including those from the majority of permanent highlighters and markers) can be more difficult to remove.
Fresh ink stains are less difficult to get rid of than dried ones. Ink stains should be covered with table salt, gently dabbed with a wet paper towel, and then the salt should be removed if you’re fortunate enough to notice them before they dry. Continue doing this until the stain disappears.
How to Remove Ink Stains from Clothes?
You can attack the ink with the appropriate treatment method once you’ve determined what kind of ink needs to be removed.
Oil-Based Ink Stain
A typical solvent called ethanol holds the key to eradicating oil-based ink stains. Do you want to know where you can find some? It can be found in rubbing alcohol (also known as isopropyl alcohol), aerosol hairspray, and hand sanitizer, all of which you probably already have in your cabinet.
You can clean an oil-based ink stain with any of these products. Here’s how:
- Placing an old towel beneath the fabric layer that has the ink stain will help you dry your garment. Lay it flat. For this reason, if the stain is on the front of your shirt, tuck the towel between the front and back layers. (This is crucial to prevent ink and solvent from leaking through to the back.)
- Apply your preferred ethanol product to the stained area, saturating it completely. Allow the item to sit for around five minutes.
- Apply pressure to the towel under the garment as you blot the stain with a white, clean cloth. Reapply solvent as necessary to further attempt to eradicate the stain.
- Apply a little detergent directly to the stain before washing the item for added stain-fighting strength. Launder as usual.
Water-Based Ink Stain
Do you really think milk can remove ink? It’s true! Here’s how to treat a water-based ink stain with a bowl of milk:
- Place the stained area of the garment in a bowl filled with milk. Give it about an hour to soak.
- Use an old toothbrush to scrub the stain, then rinse it with warm water.
- The last stain should be treated with detergent directly, allowed to sit for another hour, and then washed as usual.
Recommendation: Avoid drying the garment if the stain is still visible after washing. By setting the stain, will make it impossible to remove. After repeating steps 1 and 2, wash the item once more.
Alcohol-Based Ink Stain
But it’s not impossible, permanent markers can be removed. Try this the next time you have a Sharpie emergency:
- Place an old towel underneath the layer of your clothing that has the ink stain, then lay your clothing out flat.
- Blot the stain with rubbing alcohol using a fresh cloth. Blot the stain until it disappears. Try Amodex Ink & Stain Remover if rubbing alcohol doesn’t seem to be doing the trick.
- Using laundry detergent to spot treat, and wash as usual.
How to Remove Permanent Ink Stains from Clothes?
You can remove ink from clothing using the following techniques and steps.
On stains from permanent ink, rubbing alcohol frequently works well. The liquid may not remove the stain completely (it is called “permanent ink” for a reason), but it will help to at least fade the mark. Your chances of completely eliminating the stain may be higher if the fabric can be bleached.
- Test the Fabric
Put the stained item on top of a white towel that has recently been cleaned. On a fabric seam that is not visible, test the rubbing alcohol. The next step can be taken if the item doesn’t appear to be damaged.
- Blot the Stain with Rubbing Alcohol
Apply to rubbing alcohol to the stain and blot with a paper towel or clean cloth. By doing so, the stain will become more diluted and will be simpler to wash out of clothing. If this happens, move the item to a clean, dry area of the towel to prevent the area from reabsorbing any of the removed ink.
The towel underneath might become wet and stained from the ink leaching out; if this happens, move the item to that area.
Keep doing this until there is no more ink to remove. Rinse the stained area several times to completely remove the rubbing alcohol.
Apply regular liquid laundry detergent to the area and let it sit for three to five minutes if you’re trying to remove ballpoint pen ink after using rubbing alcohol.
- Check the Fabric and Wash the Garment
If the stain has disappeared, wash your garment as usual in the hottest water recommended for the fabric. Make a mixture of cool water and bleach with an oxygen base if the stain persists. The amount of product to use per gallon of water is specified on the package.
Allow the garment to soak for at least eight hours while fully submerged. Create a new solution and try again if the stain doesn’t go away. Before letting the clothes dry, make sure the stain is completely gone.
Nail Polish Remover
Nail polish remover should be used cautiously because it can harm fabrics even though it can remove stubborn ink stains.
- Test the fabric by doing so on a hidden area of the garment, such as an inner seam. Take the next step if everything goes according to plan.
- Blot the Stain with Nail Polish Remover: Blot the fabric with nail polish remover as directed when using rubbing alcohol. As the ink is being removed, be sure to transfer the stained area to a spot on the towel that is clean and dry.
- Rinse and Wash the Garment: After you’re done, rinse the fabric thoroughly to remove all traces of the nail polish remover, then wash it according to the care label’s instructions.
The alcohol found in the majority of hairsprays aids in the ink’s dissolution and stain removal. Try to find a hairspray with a high alcohol content; frequently, the cheapest brands are the best.
- Placing the Spot on a Towel: Place a clean, dry towel beneath the stained area of the fabric.
- Spray the Stain with Hairspray and Blot with a Clean Towel: Spray the Stain with Hairspray and Blot until the Stain is Gone.
- Garment Washing Instructions: Wash the clothing as directed.
Milk is a different gentle method for removing ink stains. This technique necessitates an overnight soak.
- Put the Fabric in Milk: Add enough milk to a shallow bowl or other containers so that it will cover the ink stain when the fabric is submerged in it.
- Fabric Soak: Soak the clothing in milk for the entire night.
- The following day, take the clothing out of the milk and wash it according to the label’s instructions.
Vinegar and Cornstarch
Other typical household items that can be used to remove ink stains include vinegar and cornstarch.
- Vinegar: Use vinegar to wet the ink stain.
- Make a Vinegar-Cornstarch Paste: Combine two parts vinegar and three parts cornstarch to make a paste, which you should then work into the fabric.
- Allowing the paste to completely dry is important.
- Wash the Garment: Wash the garment without first rinsing it of the paste.
How to Remove Dried Ink Stains?
Oh no, you didn’t see the ink stain until after your clothes were dried? The embedded stain might still be erasable.
- The stain should be treated with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which should be left on for about five minutes.
- Hope for the best by washing the item in the hottest water setting with detergent and half a cup of color-safe bleach!
Additional Tips for Handling Ink Stains
Consider dyeing the item a dark color if the stain is difficult to remove and stubborn. Another choice is to cover it up with a pretty patch, ribbon, or button.
Wearing another piece of clothing over a stain in a less noticeable area is another way to cover it up, such as a sweater over a collared shirt with ink stains on the sleeves.
How to Get Ink Stains Out of Jeans?
With this easy method for getting ink stains out of jeans, you can maintain the appearance of your favorite pair of pants or denim jacket. Be careful not to rub the stain deeper into your jeans by beginning by immediately blotting excess ink with a paper towel or cloth.
If you get ink on your jeans while you’re away from home, dab a few drops of water on the dried ink stain before blotting. Apply a few drops of isopropyl rubbing alcohol to the stain with paper towels or a clean cloth underneath your jeans, then gently scrub with a cotton swab or soft-bristled toothbrush.
Before putting your jeans through a cold cycle of washing, thoroughly rinse the ink stain.
Conclusion: Remove Ink Stains from Clothes
Getting ink on your clothes is annoying, whether it’s from an office accident or a rogue toddler with a marker. The good news is that your favorite shirt is not destroyed by an ink accident. Your clothing will look brand new with the right stain treatment.
As you proceed with the ink stain removal procedure, be sure to adhere to the directions on the label of the garment and those provided by the manufacturer of any products mentioned.