Whether you’re a student, work in an office, or just use a pen at the bank, it is likely that you will need to get ink out of your clothes at some point. We have some quick and easy at home remedies to this common problem that will remove most types of ink, including ballpoint, fountain, and gel pen ink. This method works so well in fact, that you may want to apply a small amount of the cleaner on a hidden area of the garment, like on the inside of a seam, to test that it does not affect the dye on the fabric.
You Will Need:
- Cleaning solution (one, preferably the top one):
- Aerosol hairspray
- Rubbing alcohol
- Hand Sanitizer
- Cloth or cotton swab
- Laundry detergent
Steps to Remove the Ink:
- Treat the stain as soon as possible for the best results.
- Spray the stain thoroughly with aerosol hairspray. The cheap brands work best as they contain the most alcohol. (The other chemicals in hair spray help to lift the stain as well though.)
- If you don’t have any hair spray, either rubbing alcohol or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be applied to the stain instead. Dab it on with a cloth or cotton swab.
- Allow the liquid to sit on the stain for a few minutes, but do not let it dry.
- Immediately toss it into the washing machine and wash as usual with laundry detergent.
- Once washed, allow the piece to air dry to be sure the stain is no longer visible. After it’s completely removed, the piece can be washed and dried as usual.
Additional Tips and Advice
- The above method has had a high success rate, there are some inks that won’t respond to alcohol. If that is the case, try using acetone nail polish remover instead.
- Stain removal products can be used instead, but allow them to soak longer on the stain before washing to give them time to break down the ink particles.
- Aerosol hairspray works better than pump sprays. Rave and AquaNet are two popular brands to use for the best stain removal.
- Clean It Fast, Clean It Right by Jeff Bredenberg
- Joey Green’s Cleaning Magic by Joey Green
- Field Guide to Stains by Virginia M. Friedman, Melissa Wagner and Nancy Armstrong