Removing Gel Ink Stains

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated August 15, 2011)

Gel ink pens are wonderful to use as writing implements, however they do have a few problems just as any other pen. Occasionally a gel ink pen will leak and create a stain that needs to be removed. Unfortunately, removing gel ink stains isn't as easy as removing other kinds of ink stains. While it can be done, there are a few tricks that you can use to go about removing gel ink stains. What is best of all about these methods is that chances are you already have all of the items needed lying around your home. This means that you do not need to make any additional trips to the store to purchase specialized cleaning equipment.

  • Hair Spray. Using regular hair spray can actually help break up and remove gel ink stains. Simply spray some of the hair spray onto the offending stain, and then use a clean white rag to blot the stain away. Repeat the process as necessary until the stain has been removed to your satisfaction. Wash the garment as you normally would, but double check to ensure that the stain is completely removed prior to placing the garment in the dryer.
  • Gentle hand soap. Using a gentle hand soap such as Ivory can be effective in removing gel ink stains. Simply get a clean white rag, get it wet, and then rub the soap on the rag to work up a nice lather. With the lathered wash cloth, blot away at the stain. Periodically rinse out the cloth, and work up another lather. Repeat as necessary until you have removed the stain completely. Wash the clean garment as you normally would, double checking after the rinse cycle as finished to ensure everything is actually cleaned completely.
  • WD-40. As long as you are removing gel ink stains from a white garment, you can actually use some WD-40 to unbind the ink from the fibers of the garment. Keep in mind that this method may stain the shirt in others ways, so you want to use a very little bit of it directly on the stain, and then blot it way with some paper towels. After you have removed a majority of the gel ink, begin to work on getting rid of the WD-40 by using some denatured rubbing alcohol. Pour a little bit of the rubbing alcohol directly onto the stain, and then begin blotting the alcohol and WD-40 away using some more paper towels. Pre-treat the formerly stained area with a cleaning solution such as WHISK, Shout, or Spray & Wash and wash the garment as normal. As always, double check to ensure that the stain has been completely removed prior to placing the garment in the dryer. If it has not, then repeat the process again.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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