How to Get Ink Out of Clothes

Kevin Brown

How to Get Ink Out of Clothes

Don’t let your favorite shirt end up in the garbage. Learn how to remove ink stains from clothes.

Whether your pen broke or your toddler decided to use your favorite shirt as a canvas, you can get rid of the stain. There are several effective methods for removing ink from fabric, depending on the type of stain.

How to Get Ink Out of Clothes

Here’s how to remove ink stains from different types of clothes.

Get Ink Stains Out of Clothes Based on Ink Type

Not all ink stains are the same, and treating them requires different methods. Here are the main types of ink and how to remove stains caused by each:

  • Gel and fountain pens – These stains can be easily removed because they use water-based ink.
  • Ballpoint pens – Stains caused by ballpoint pens are thicker and greasier due to the ink’s oil content.
  • Permanent marker – Removing stains from permanent markers is more challenging because the ink is harder to break down.

Removing Gel or Fountain Pen Stains from Clothing

Add a few drops of laundry detergent to the ink spot and let it sit for five minutes. Then wash the garment in hot water with regular detergent.

Inspect the item before putting it in the dryer. If it’s still stained, treat it with laundry detergent or a stain remover and wash again.

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Tip: If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, you can use hand sanitizer or hair spray with high alcohol content.

Alcohol is a solvent that can break down stubborn ink stains.

Step 1: Blot Excess Ink

Use a paper towel to soak up excess ink. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing, as this pushes the ink deeper into the fabric.

Soak a cotton ball or paper towel with rubbing alcohol and blot the stain. After soaking the ink spot, use a dry cloth to dab up the color. Repeat until the ink is removed. Wash the clothing as usual.

Permanent marker stains are difficult to remove. Fresh stains can often be broken down with rubbing alcohol. Dry stains may require acetone-based nail polish remover, but be cautious as it can damage certain fabrics.

Test a small area before proceeding.

Helpful Tips for Removing Ink Stains from Clothes

  • Treat the stain promptly for better results.
  • Remove washable marker ink with cold water and laundry detergent.
  • If you have dried ink from a gel or fountain pen, soak it in a solution of equal parts water and white-distilled vinegar for an hour before washing.

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