How To Get Ink Out Of Clothes

How To Get Ink Out Of Clothes

Tips and Tricks to Remove Ink Stains from Clothes

There’s nothing like a stain to ruin your favorite piece of clothing. Maybe you left a pen in your pants pocket that bleed, or a pen exploded on your favorite sweater. Regardless of how the ink stained your clothes, you probably want to find a solution, so you don’t have to get rid of them.

Luckily, there are a variety of methods to get rid of ink stains. Best of all, the majority of them are everyday items that you can find in your home. Here’s a list of common ink stain remedies worth trying.

How do you identify the ink stain?

How you remove your ink stain correlates with how difficult it is to remove. Generally, there are three types of ink: gel, water-based, and oil-based. Typically, water-based inks are the easiest type to remove stains.

Oil-based inks like permanent marker are a bit more difficult, but they do respond to certain solutions. Gel inks are the most difficult to remove.

Usually, you can pre-treat your garments to remove stains at home. However, some fabrics are considered dry-clean only. These are fabrics that contain modacrylic, triacetate, and acetate.

Oftentimes, these materials are found in garments used in special occasions like wedding gowns.

Some people take the risk of treating these materials rather than sending them to professionals to cut costs. This is a bad idea because you’ll more than likely have to throw your garment away when you ruin it. When you think about the dry cleaning bill, tell yourself that it’s significantly cheaper than having to pay for a new one.

How do I remove ink stains at home?

If you’re removing stains from fabrics that weren’t in the dry-clean only category, you’re in luck. There are many ways to remove ink stains, including:


Milk is one of the easiest and most common ways to remove ink from your clothes. This method works for both fresh and set-in stains. To start, pour some milk into a bowl. Add your stained garment to the milk and submerge the stain for a minimum of 20 minutes.

For deeper stains, you can leave your garment to soak overnight. After soaking, use a clean toothbrush and scrub the stain before adding it to your laundry.

Rubbing Alcohol

If you’re trying to remove a permanent stain, try using rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol and vinegar method effectively remove even the toughest stains. Start by gathering your ingredients:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • White vinegar
  • Salt
  • Soft bristle toothbrush
  • Paper or clean white towels
  • Bowl
  • Clean cloth

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, lay down your towel. Mix equal parts of alcohol and vinegar and dip your cloth into the mixture. Saturate the entire stain with your mixture and allow it to sit for ten minutes.

Next, sprinkle your table salt onto the mixture for an additional ten minutes. Using a soft toothbrush, gently scrub your stain before rinsing with warm water. Repeat this process until the stain disappears and wash as usual.

Hand Sanitizer

Stains are an inconvenience, especially when you’re not at home. Hand sanitizer has a high amount of alcohol, which is great when you’re on the go. Apply hand sanitizer to the stain for at least ten minutes.

If you can, hand or machine wash your garment to remove the rest of the stain. This method works best for newer stains.

Oil-Based Stains

Since oil-based stains are the hardest to remove, so you’ll need to complete a few more steps. Start by gathering your ingredients:

  • Dry towel or paper towels
  • Hairspray, hand sanitizer, or rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Laundry detergent

Before you begin removing your stain, lay a clean towel down. Place your stained garment on the towel and roll another one directly underneath the stain. Next, you’ll want to soak your cotton ball in one of the previously mentioned liquids and gently pat the stain.

It would help if you moved the towel as it gets wet so it can also pick up liquid. To avoid spreading the stain, you also want to use different sides of the cotton ball. Use as many cotton balls as it takes to remove the stain.

Once you’ve removed the stain, apply laundry detergent and allow it to sit for at least five minutes before washing it. Since the ink will run onto your white towels, you can bleach them to remove the stains.

Are there any general stain removal tips?

Regardless of what type of ink you’re trying to remove, there are a few ways to make it easier. For instance:

Remove the stain as quickly as possible.

The longer it takes you to tend to a stain, the harder it’ll be to remove. Therefore, attack as soon as you can.

Utilize the manufacturer’s website.

If you have the pen responsible for the stain, you should visit their website to see if they can give you a better idea of how to remove the stain. You want to use the proper method the first time, so you don’t waste time on numerous attempts.

When in doubt, use detergent first.

In cases where you have no idea which pen caused your stain, it’s best to lead with laundry detergent. If this doesn’t remove the stain, oil-based solutions typically work to remove any ink.

Always blot your stain.

Whether you use a towel or cotton ball to remove your stain, never smear the ink. This further saturates the stain. Instead, gently blot the ink until the stain lifts. Also, when your blotting cloth absorbs ink, use a different section to avoid re-staining your garment.

Ink stains don’t have to ruin your clothes or your mood. With these stain removal methods and tips, you can easily remove stains and save your garments.