Removing Ink Stains from Clothes

by Lecia DeBrine
(last updated May 8, 2009)

We spend a lot of time and money on our wardrobes, but it only takes a second for an ink stain to get onto your clothes. Ink is not as hard to get out as some people think, as long as you tend to it quickly. With a little effort and some common household products you can follow a few steps to make sure your favorite shirt comes out the wash totally clean.

  1. When the ink is still wet on the fabric you want to get a paper towel and blot out all the ink you can. To prevent smearing and more work for you, be sure to blot and not wipe. Removing excess ink will keep the stain from spreading as you try to clean it.
  2. Spray a little aerosol hairspray on the spot and blot again with a paper towel, the hairspray will dissolve the ink so it can be washed out later. You can also use a cotton swab dipped in denatured alcohol and dab in onto the stain. Do this a few times to ensure the ink is prepared to be removed completely. Another one you can try is whiteboard cleaner. Use this in the same manner as the other two, wetting the spot and blotting out the excess.
  3. Now you want to wash the clothing in warm water or launder as instructed on the tag. Putting some Oxy-Clean in your wash water will help guarantee the ink is completely removed. An alternative to this would be using 1/2 cup white vinegar in your wash water as a stain remover.
  4. If you are not sure the ink was totally washed out hang the article of clothing up to air dry. Do not dry with heat until the stain is completely gone to avoid setting the ink into the fabric. If the stain remains repeat steps two and three until it is washed away.

Some ink stains can be difficult to remove but will usually come out with some work. Before you trash those pants or cut up that shirt for rags try removing the ink. A stain is instantaneous and getting that stain out may take a little more time but will prove to be worth your time when you get to put your favorite shirt on stain free.

Author Bio

Lecia DeBrine

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