It never fails; you’re out and about, looking great, and suddenly a friend points out an ink stain on your best blouse. Or, maybe you have a little artist in the family who refuses to keep the pen on the paper. Whatever the cause, find out how to get pen ink out of clothes quickly and easily in this in-depth guide to ink stains.
Although we live in a world of smartphones and internet communication, ink still plays a significant role in our daily lives. We use ink at work and school, and just about everyone has a junk drawer in their home with a few leaky pens rolling around inside. Yet, few know what to do with ink spillage on fabrics and clothing.
Fortunately, we collected several simple and effective remedies you can use on a variety of common black pen ink stains on clothing. Whether you’re dealing with something water-based, dye-based, or even the dreaded permanent ink stain, we have a solution to help save your favorite fabrics.
- Does Pen Ink Come Out of Clothes?
- Does Hairspray Really Work on Ink Stains?
- How to Remove Pen Ink From Clothes With White Vinegar
- Use Hand Sanitizer as a Stain Remover
- Try Nail Polish Remover on Stubborn Ink Stains
- Non-Chlorinated Bleach for Ink Stains
- Milk as an Ink Stain Remover
- How to Get Pen Ink Out of Clothes
- How to Get Rid of Printer Ink on Your Clothing
- Getting Rid of Water-Based Ink
- How to Get Rid of Dye-Based Ink
- Eliminate Permanent Ink Stains
- Try a Professional Laundry Service for Serious Ink Spills
Does Pen Ink Come Out of Clothes?
Is it possible to get a stubborn stain out of a garment and restore it to mint condition? That’s the million-dollar question, and we have the answers. Learn how to fight ink stains from a ballpoint pen, fountain pen, gel ink, permanent ink, and more in this guide to ink stain removal.
Does Hairspray Really Work on Ink Stains?
Early hairsprays were alcohol-based and very harsh on hair. We now recognize the drying nature of alcohol-based hair products, and many manufacturers have phased them out completely. Check the list of ingredients on your hairspray; if alcohol is listed near the top, there’s a good chance it could lift those ink stains.
Spray a light mist of hairspray on the ink-stained area, and let it settle for a few minutes. Use a clean cloth to blot excess ink, starting from the outer edge and working in. Rinse the garment under cold water and allow it to air dry. Never put something in the electric dryer until the stain is gone because the heat tends to bake it in.
How to Remove Pen Ink From Clothes With White Vinegar
When removing pen ink stains from clothing, making a DIY pre-soak is sometimes necessary to loosen stubborn ink stains. This stain removal soak, made from white vinegar and mild dish soap, is the perfect way to start the ink stain removal process and only takes a minute to get started.
Get a bowl large enough to fit the stained garment section. Fill it with water, vinegar, and soap and give it a light stir. Use clear dish soap or liquid laundry detergent to avoid unintentional staining. Submerge the stain for a half hour, rinse with cold water, and wash as usual on the cold water cycle.
Use Hand Sanitizer as a Stain Remover
An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a convenient and discreet way to manage ink stains at the office. When ink stains strike, saturate them in a little hand sanitizer and watch the stain lift and lighten slightly.
Blot the stain away with a tissue or paper towel, and rinse with cold water if time allows. Store a small bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer in your desk or bag, and use it as your own secret stain remover.
Try Nail Polish Remover on Stubborn Ink Stains
Did you know that certain types of nail polish remover will get pen ink stains out of clothes? That’s right, a dab of non-acetone nail polish remover helps dissolve many common ink stains on clothing. Follow our tutorial to make this trick work for you.
We recommend a clean, white cloth for this remedy, but a cotton ball, cotton swab, or paper towel works, too. Dip the clean cloth into a bit of nail polish remover and use it to blot the ink stain. Rinse with cold water.
A little nail polish remover works on the washing machine interior and the dryer drum, too, for those days when someone forgets a pen in their pants pocket.
Non-Chlorinated Bleach for Ink Stains
Chlorine bleach is a heavy-duty cleaner we usually turn to for the worst kinds of stains. However, if you’re facing a pen stain on colored garments, chlorine bleach is a no-no. The chemical composition of bleach breaks apart color molecules and leaves a splotchy mess.
You need a scoop of oxygenated bleach and regular laundry detergent to get pen ink off clothes without ruining the fabric dye. Oxy-bleach works wonders on set-in ink stains and even doubles as a quick pre-treatment for items going directly into the washing machine.
Milk as an Ink Stain Remover
There are many DIY uses for milk around the house, such as tending to insect bites, shining your leather shoes, and even removing ink stains from your clothing. Discover how you can erase pen marks on leather bags and clothing with a simple milk and vinegar soak.
Fill a bowl with one cup each of vinegar and milk. Submerge the stained area of your clothing and allow it to soak overnight. The vinegar breaks down the ink, and the microscopic solids in the milk help push the stain particles out of the fabric. Rinse the garment in clean water and launder it as usual.
How to Get Pen Ink Out of Clothes
Does pen ink come out of clothes? It does when you have a bottle of rubbing alcohol on your side. Alcohol-based products are a great way to get rid of many common ink stains. Since you probably already have a bottle of rubbing alcohol in the house, this remedy is extra-convenient.
Measure out a half cup of rubbing alcohol and suck some up with a small eyedropper for precision application. It’s okay to soak the stain in rubbing alcohol, too.
Once you apply the rubbing alcohol to the stain, let it sit for 15 minutes, flush it with clean water, and blot it with a cloth. Always test your clothes for colorfastness in an inconspicuous area to ensure no color transfer.
How to Get Rid of Printer Ink on Your Clothing
Anyone who has a printer at home or has ever changed the toner at work knows how stubborn printer ink is to remove. Fortunately, we’ve got a few helpful tips to keep your clothes and hands clean on those days when the printer won’t cooperate.
After an accidental ink spill, remove the ink-stained garment and begin the blotting process. Use a cotton pad to lift the ink off your clothing gently. It’s essential never to press the ink into the fibers; always lift and pull.
Treat printer ink stains with alcohol. Try hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, or even a high alcohol-content hairspray to dissolve the ink before it goes into the washing machine. For set-in ink stains, use chlorine bleach for whites or oxy-bleach for colors; always check the care instructions on your tag before using bleach.
Getting Rid of Water-Based Ink
Explore how to remove pen ink from clothes if it comes from water based ink, such as a fountain pen, gel pen, or rollerball pen. You only need a clean cloth and a few drops of liquid laundry detergent.
To remove gel ink, wet the stained area and press a clean cloth against it to pull the ink out of clothing fibers. Add a little liquid laundry detergent and let it sit for five minutes. Rinse the pen ink stain in hot water, and ensure the ink is gone before using the dryer.
How to Get Rid of Dye-Based Ink
Ballpoint ink is incredibly popular, so knowing how to get pen ink out of clothes is an asset at home and work. Dye and oil-based ink from a permanent marker, dry-erase, or ballpoint pen stain require a solvent.
Ethanol or alcohol is a common household solvent in isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol, hairspray, and even mouthwash. Any mild solvent like this is excellent for breaking up ballpoint pen ink and only takes five minutes to start working.
Apply the isopropyl alcohol with an eyedropper or carefully pour it onto the ballpoint pen ink stain and allow it to soak into the ink for several minutes. Lay the inky part of your clothing on a towel, and use a cloth to firmly soak up the stain. Flush the stain with clean water and repeat the cleaning process until the ink completely vanishes.
Eliminate Permanent Ink Stains
Permanent ink tends to be stubborn, hence the name. However, it’s not impossible to restore your favorite pants after a permanent marker disaster. Baking soda removes ink stains from fabric by lifting the stain. Make a helpful paste with a tablespoon of baking soda and a half cup of cold water.
Spread the paste over the marker stain, let it sit for an hour, and pop it in the washing machine. Always air dry after serious stains to ensure they’re gone before exposing your clothes to dryer heat.
Try a Professional Laundry Service for Serious Ink Spills
Does pen ink come out of clothes? Most of the time, yes, but if you’ve tried everything on our list, it might be time to hand things over to the pros. Whether you’re dealing with delicate garments that can’t be machine washed, or a giant ink spill that requires professional carpet cleaning, there’s a local service to help relieve some of the burden.
We hope you got a lot of helpful information from this in-depth dive into ink stains and clothing care. There’s no stain you can’t tackle now that you know how to get pen ink out of clothes using many different methods.
Ink stain removal starts by identifying the stain. It could be water-based fountain pen ink or oil-based ballpoint pen ink. Knowing the difference allows you to apply the best stain-fighting method.
As a general rule, stick to household alcohol-based solvents like rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer for ballpoint ink and liquid laundry detergent for gel and fountain pen ink. Always check the care instructions on your clothing, and deal with ink immediately for the best results.
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