Ink-stain On Your Clothes? Here are Ways to Clean the Mess

Two hands showing stains on a shirt

Felt-tip markers and ballpoint pens are notorious for leaving stubborn stains on surfaces. Inks consist of oils, pigments, and dyes that soak into your clothing fibers to cause unsightly discoloration. Getting dried ink out of clothes is quite tricky. While the dye and pigments aren’t complicated to remove, the oil stains are stubborn. Remove ink out of clothes with the following easy ways.

Determine the Type of Ink


Every ink type is unique hence the variance in the products used in removing different inks out of clothes. To choose the right ink removal product, research the ink type in your pen or marker. Keep in mind that pens and markers use oil-based, alcohol-based, or water-based inks. Alcohol-based inks are found in permanent markers and are the hardest to remove.


Oil-based inks are common in ballpoint pens. They are slightly easier to remove than alcohol-based inks. Water-based inks are primarily found in gel pens, fountain pens, washable markers, and rollerball pens and can be effortlessly washed down with water.



How to Remove Dried Ink out of Clothes



Fresh ink stains aren’t as problematic to remove as dried ink stains. If you have a white cloth, bleaching is the easy way to clean the ink stains. However, if your garment is colored, try the tips below:

  1. Start by pre-treating the ink stain using a stain remover. Stain removers with surfactants are highly recommended because they break up the oil content, easing removal.
  2. Let the applied stain remover rest on the cloth for approximately 15 minutes.
  3. Use hand-hot water and cleanser to hand wash your cloth.
  4. Now, put your garment in rubbing alcohol, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or nail polish remover.
  5. Allow the stained area to sit in the alcohol-based solution to remove the stain.
  6. Rinse your cloth with water and let it dry.



Different Ways to Remove Ink from Clothes


Cleaning ink-stained clothes shouldn’t be a matter of life and death. Even the most stubborn ink stains can be cleaned, provided you use the right ink removal solutions. Below are different ways for you to quickly remove ink from clothes.


Cornstarch and Vinegar

If you want to gently get ink out of clothes, consider cornstarch and vinegar. It’s the best ink removal solution if the ink stain is water-based. Although it won’t fine on oil-based stains, it could still do a good job if the ink hasn’t dried. Start by soaking your clothing in white vinegar. Add three parts of cornstarch and two parts of vinegar and mix to create a paste. Cover the stained area of the clothing with the paste and let it dry. Once it has dried, use hand-hot water to rinse it off.


Rubbing Alcohol


The most often used solution for getting ink out of clothes is rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol neutralizes and cleanses the oil content of the ink stain. If the stain covers a fraction of your cloth, apply the rubbing alcohol on a paper towel or clean cloth and then use it to soak the stain. Create enough pressure to blot out and remove the ink. Avoid scrubbing or wiping as that will spread the ink to other parts of your cloth.


If the ink stain covers a significant part of your garment, soak it deep into the rubbing alcohol for approximately fifteen minutes. After the rubbing alcohol has extracted all the oil content, use soapy water to rinse and clean the stained area.


Nail Polish Remover



Nail polish is another great solution for getting ink stains out of clothes. Nail polish removers can remove oil-based ink stains from most cloth fabrics. However, the strength of nail polish removers is a bit higher and could change your clothing’s look if used in excess. Test the nail polish remover on old clothing to avoid damaging your clothing after applying a nail polish remover.


Using Glycerin


Glycerin has long been used to remove oil-based ink stains. It works for clothes made of all fabrics, but more excellently on polyester and cotton clothing. It does work exceptionally on washable silk and wood clothing, as well. When removing ink from clothes with glycerin, ensure you don’t rub but dab the clothing. Ensure you dab the stained area until all the ink content is completely removed. Once the oil-ink stain is removed, rinse it off using hand-hot water.



Dawn Dish Soap



Dawn dish soap is suitable for removing grease and oil from clothes. It’s the go-to option for removing oil-based inks on your clothes.



Easy Ways to Remove Printer Ink from Clothes


Print ink is not similar to pen and marker ink. Fountain pen inks are dye-based, comprise less dense inks, and take less to dry when applied on a surface. Printer inks are pigment-based, highly concentrated, and take longer to dry when applied on a surface.



Printer inks are quite difficult to remove, especially when they dry out. However, you can remove printer inks from clothes using rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover. When dabbing the rubbing alcohol to remove printer ink, ensure you don’t rub as that could make the ink spread to other clothing parts. When using nail polish remover, you must be careful not to apply more than enough to avoid damaging your clothing or causing the cloth color to fade.


Ink stains aren’t problems only common with clothes. Inks can stain your home’s carpets, wood flooring, couches, and other furniture. Inks have chemical properties that are hard to break, meaning cleaning ink stains on carpets, flooring, and furniture should be better left to qualified deep cleaning professionals. We understand you hate the unsightly marks left by ink stains and would want them cleaned the quickest possible. We are your go-to housekeeping experts known for offering high-quality green eco-friendly cleaning services to our clients in commercial and residential areas.


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