How to Remove Pen Ink Stains From Clothes
Removing Ink Stains
You've just had an accident with your ballpoint pen, and it left a mark on your best shirt or blouse. Worse yet, the pen may have exploded or gone through the washer or dryer. Now what should you do? Here are some quick ideas to get the ink stain out.
Remove the Stain as Soon as Possible
Try to remove the stain as soon as possible. Always read labels before trying any stain removal. Some fabrics can't handle water. Wool is a good example; it will shrink if washed in hot water or put in a dryer. If the stain is still there after you wash the item, never put it in the dryer. The heat from the dryer may set the stain, and you may not be able to remove it.
Try one of the suggestions below, and your stain should be gone. If one doesn't work for you, try another.
- Wet the stain with the rubbing alcohol and a paper towel or cloth.
- Take another cloth or paper towel and place under the stain. Take the first cloth/paper towel and dab the stain. This should help remove most of the ink.
- Run it under cold water.
- If the ink is still there, start the process over again.
- Run it in the washer with regular laundry detergent. After going through the washer, the stain should be removed. If not, try one of the ideas stated below.
Caution: Rubbing alcohol is flammable. Be sure to keep it away from flames and smokers. It will also cause extreme eye irritation, so be careful to keep it out of your eyes.
This may sound strange, but it does work for small ink stains.
- Spray hairspray on the stain and place a cloth or paper towel under the stain. Press down. Don't scrub; that could make the ink spread further.
- Continue the process until the ink is removed. Often, this alone will take out the stain.
- If not, spray again, and put it in the washer with the hottest water the fabric can tolerate. Wash with your regular detergent. This should remove the stain.
Caution: Hairspray is flammable. Don't try this method near the kitchen range, candles or smokers.
If you weren't able to try alcohol or hairspray, you can try this technique.
- Soak the garment in a bowl of milk overnight.
- Throw the garment in the washing machine in the morning with regular laundry soap.
- This should remove the stain. If not, repeat the process.
White Vinegar and Cornstarch
- First, let some vinegar sit on the stain for a few minutes.
- Make a paste out of the vinegar and cornstarch. About 2 tablespoons of vinegar to 3 tablespoons of corn starch will be the right consistency. If the stain is large, double the amount of vinegar and cornstarch.
- Put the mixture on the stain.
- Let the paste dry completely.
- Place it in the washer.
Oxiclean and Other Products
Oxiclean will remove the stain, but Oxiclean is not recommented for certain fabrics. This includes fabrics that have a label that says "dry clean only", wool and wool blends, anything silk or containing silk, and leather. The company claims the product won't bleach colored fabrics. I have had it fade out colors, so you should try it on an inconspicuous place first.
Shout claims to remove ink stains. With stain removal products, be sure to read the instructions and labels closely. They aren't safe for all clothing, and each one is different.
None of the laundry soaps claim to remove ink. You are going to need to try the suggestions above or purchase a special product.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.