Ways & How

How to Remove Ink from Clothes

How to Remove Ink from Clothes

Since most people now type out words on keyboards instead of sitting down with a pen and paper, the possibility of getting ink stains on their clothes is low. It is still a possibility, nonetheless. For that reason, today’s blog post teaches you how to remove ink from clothes. Whether you’re a corporate power dresser with a leaky pen, or a soccer mom trying to save your favorite shirt from an unfortunate encounter with markers, the ink removal tips below should help.

  1. Ink pigments set very quickly once they come into contact with fabric. As soon as ink gets onto your clothes, grab some paper towels and press firmly against the stain so that it absorbs as much ink as possible. Do not use dabbing motions for blotting; this will only spread the ink outwards. Just hold the paper towels in one position and apply steady pressure.

  2. A spirit-based liquid like denatured alcohol or ordinary rubbing alcohol can neutralize ink pigments and cause them to evaporate. Grab some alcohol and bunch up your clothing to isolate the stained area (this is easier when you are not wearing the garment).

    enerously douse the ink stain, being careful not to let it drip onto the unstained parts. If you can take off the garment, soak the isolated, stained area in more alcohol.

  3. As the ink is diluted, carefully wash off the fabric while containing the water and the alcohol in the area of the ink spot as much as you can. Let it dry, and then wash as usual.

  4. If part of the stain remains, you can do a follow-up stain treatment using more denatured alcohol and some ammonia. Note that this is only safe for natural fibers like cotton or linen; synthetics like polyesters and blends may fade or streak.

  5. Take one part ammonia and mix it with two parts denatured alcohol (or try some nail polish remover). Soak the ink stain for about an hour. Add a splash of vinegar to the soaking solution to neutralize it. Remove the garment then rinse and wash it as normal.

  6. In place of denatured alcohol, you can also substitute glycerin to dissolve the ink pigments. Place a half cup of glycerin in a bowl and warm it up in the microwave. Add a few drops of ammonia then apply the mixture directly to the ink spot. Lay the stained garment in a basin full of water and let it sit for more than an hour. Rinse and wash as usual.

  7. If you have no denatured alcohol, glycerin, or ammonia, try some spoiled, curdled milk. It can be a rather smelly fix, but apparently the sour lumps can dissolve the ink stain. Rub the rotten milk solids into the ink spots and keep at it until you see the ink start to bleed off. When you have removed as much of the stain as you can, rub a fragrant bar of soap on it and scrub. Rinse off with lots of cold water then wash and dry as usual.

We’ve given you several tips that show you how to remove ink from clothes. Hopefully, one of them will get rid of that nasty stain so that no residue remains. However, ink pigments are notoriously stubborn. Unless you manage to treat an ink stain while it is still wet, the chances of getting it all out are slim. If you can’t bear to delegate your stained garments to the rag bin, perhaps you can find a way around it by cutting out the ink spot and sewing a patch over it. Alternatively, the ink stain may be in an area where it is not immediately apparent to the casual observer.


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