How to remove ink stains from clothing?

Ink stains are some of the most scary ones that might occur on clothing. We have all experienced a pen spilling in our pocket. Yes it is horrible and even though it seems impossible to remove, it is not. We are going to share a few ways in which you can treat those stubborn stains and eventually get rid of them. Even if the stain is old, you can still remove it, you just need to leave the stain-remover on. If you struggle to do it yourself, you can always ask for help cleaning company to do it for you.

The first step is to determine the type of ink that caused the stain. There are a few different types of ink and they all require a different approach.

Water- based inks include rollerball pens, fountain pens, gel pens, and kids markers.

Oil-based inks are found in ballpoint pens, permanent markers, highlighters, felt tip pens and dry erase markers.

  1. Fresh water-based inks should be removed immediately. Treat them with cold water first then give the clothing a hot wash. Press a clean dry towel on the stain to blot the ink away. Do not rub it and change towels in order to avoid spreading the stain around.Once you are done lifting most of the stain, run the clothing under cold water with the stain facing down so you can rinse out any leftover ink. Then put the piece of clothing in the laundry and wash with the hottest temperature allowed on the label. Air dry and check if the stain is completely gone.
  2. Dried water-based inks should be pre-treated with a vinegar soak. Dab the stain with some liquid laundry detergent on both sides. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes but make sure it does not dry. Next, mix 1:1 solution of vinegar and warm water and let the clothing soak in it overnight. Rinse with warm water then put in the laundry. Wash with the hottest water that the care label allows.
  3. Fresh permanent (oil-based) inks. Alcohol will be your best friend in a situation like this. Dab the stain with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol. Do that on both sides and wash the piece of clothing in the hottest water that the label allows.
  4. As long as the oil-based ink has not been set with heat, you can remove it by applying rubbing alcohol on both sides of it. Wait 10 minutes then apply liquid dish detergent and wait another 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water with the stain facing down. If it is not completely gone, repeat the alcohol and dish soap steps. After that, wash in the laundry with the hottest permitted water.

Tip: Always air dry clothes after using ink stain remover. The heat from the dryer might set the stains deeper and make them impossible to remove. By air drying them, you will be able to repeat the stain removal treatment if needed. If the ink stain is completely gone, you are safe to wash and dry the clothes as usual.

There are other ways to get rid of ink stains. If by any chance you don’t have the ingredients needed for the methods above, there are more ways in which you can approach stubborn ink stains. No matter which method you use, make sure you launder the clothes only when the stain is no longer visible.

Wet Dryer Sheets – Dryer sheets contain oily surfactants that can even help remove oil-based ink stains. Whenever you get an ink stain on a piece of clothing, blot it away with a dryer sheet.
Hand Sanitizer – If you are out of rubbing alcohol, grab a hand sanitizer and use it on the stain instead. Squirt a small amount on the spot and dab it on both sides of it. Make sure your sanitizer is free of dyes, fragrances and moisturizers because those might cause more stains.
Milk – You might have heard this from your grandma. An overnight soak in milk is what is going to rid you of those ink stains. This method works best with water-based ink stains. Some people like to add an equal part of white vinegar to the milk.
Nail Polish Remover – This method would work best if you have permanent ink stains. However, keep in mind that the nail polish remover may damage your clothes as well. You might want to check in an inconspicuous area first. If it doesn’t damage your clothing piece, apply to both sides of the ink stain, then wash in the laundry.
Vegetable Glycerin – Glycerin is a type of alcohol that makes a perfect stain remover. Mix 1 tablespoon of glycerin with 1 tbsp of oxygen bleach. Add a bit of laundry detergent or dish soap and dab on both sides of the stain. Rinse under warm water and immediately put in the laundry machine. Air dry to check if the stain is completely gone.