Your Ultimate Guide on How to Get Ink Out of Clothes Cleanzen Infographic


As you go about your daily life, your clothes will undoubtedly be exposed to various spills and stains. While some spills, such as milk or soup, can easily come out of your clothing in the wash, others will not.


Ink stains are common, and they may come from a pen leaking in your pocket, a smudge of ink on your hand or even an incidental brush of the pen against your clothes. You may be inclined to throw an ink-stained item away, but rest assured that the stains can be removed with the right techniques.



Are Ink Stains Permanent on Clothes?


Many people assume that ink stains on clothing are permanent. After all, you may have tried to wash an ink stain out of your favorite shirt in the washing machine before with no luck.


Laundering ink-stained clothing in the washing machine typically produces no results, but that does not mean that the stains are permanent. There are several options available to remove ink stains on clothing.


How to Remove Ink Stains From Different Types of Fabric


The best time to treat an ink stain is as soon as you notice it. This minimizes the amount of ink that sets into the fabric’s fibers and makes the stain easier to remove. Different techniques and supplies are recommended for different types of fabric.


Before following these recommendations, however, you should test a discreet area of the apparel to ensure that the process will not cause permanent damage.




To remove ink stains from jeans, blot the area with a clean cloth as soon as you notice it. Do not rub the stain as this could spread the ink. Then, add rubbing alcohol to a soft-bristle toothbrush or cotton swab.


Your Ultimate Guide on How to Get Ink Out of Clothes Cleanzen Image of a Woman Holding Jeans with Black Ink Stain


Gently rub the stain until the stain is removed. You may need to repeat this process until the stain is completely gone. When you can no longer see the stain, wash your jeans in the washing machine with cold water. Allow the jeans to air dry.




As soon as you notice ink on wool, begin dabbing it with a clean cloth. You can also dab it with cold water before trying other stain removal methods. One method is to spray the stain with hairspray. Blot the stain with warm water after the hairspray sits for a few minutes.


An alternative is to use a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water. Dip a soft-bristle brush in the solution, and scrub the stain until it is removed. Then, rinse the clothing with water, and use a dry towel to blot the moisture.




To remove an ink stain from leather, dab a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth or paper towel. Gently blot the stain until it is gone.


If the ink is not fully removed through this process, you can try using Weiman Leather Cleaner & Conditioner. Some dry cleaners also can treat ink stains on leather.


Cotton Shirts and Pants


Hairspray with a high alcohol content can be used to treat ink stains on cotton garments. Spray the clothing lightly, and dab the stain until it is removed.


Your Ultimate Guide on How to Get Ink Out of Clothes Cleanzen Image of a Woman Holding White Shirt with Black Ink Stain


You can also use a solution of one quart of warm water, a tablespoon of white vinegar and a half-teaspoon of dish washing detergent. After soaking the clothing in the solution for 30 minutes, rinse it with clean water. Then, use rubbing alcohol to blot the stain away.


Nylon and Polyester


Always test an out-of-the-way area of nylon or polyester clothing before treating an ink stain in a visible area. Using a jar and a rubber band, stretch the clothing over the jar.


Pour rubbing alcohol onto the stain slowly until the stain is no longer visible. Rinse the clothing with clean water, and allow it to air dry.




If you notice an ink stain on silk apparel, dab the stain with a clean cloth as soon as possible. Then, dab it with clean, cool water. This may remove the stain, and no additional steps may be necessary.


Your Ultimate Guide on How to Get Ink Out of Clothes Cleanzen Image of a Woman Washing Black Color Silk Clothes in Basin


If the stain remains, apply hairspray to the stain, and blot it with a clean cloth. When the stain is gone, rinse it with warm water, and blot the excess moisture away.


If the stain continues to linger, apply a 50-50 solution of vinegar to the stain using a clean, soft brush. Rub lightly until the stain is removed. Then, rinse the clothing with cold water and blot it dry.


How to Get Pen Ink Out of Clothes


The techniques to get ink out of clothes vary based on the type of ink involved. Common ink types are ballpoint ink, water-based ink and permanent ink. What techniques and supplies should you use for ink stain removal?


For a ballpoint pen ink stain, you will need pre-wash stain remover, an eyedropper, rubbing alcohol and paper towels. Begin by using the eyedropper to add a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the stain.


Your Ultimate Guide on How to Get Ink Out of Clothes Cleanzen Image of Pen Ink Stain on Fabric


If your stain is large, you can immerse the stain in a dish filled with pure rubbing alcohol for approximately 15 minutes. After the stain is saturated with rubbing alcohol, use a clean paper towel to blot the ink. You may go through several paper towels and need to blot for at least a few minutes to fully remove the stain.


After the stain is removed, spray a pre-wash stain remover on the clothes. Use the hottest water temperature setting on the washing machine to launder the clothing as usual. Only put the clothing in the dryer when the stain is fully removed.


While a ballpoint pen has oil-based ink, gel pens, washable markers and fountain pens usually use water-based ink. This ink is easier to remove, but it still may not be entirely removed in the washing machine. The steps to remove a water-based ink stain are the same as the steps to remove an oil-based ink stain.


Removing a stain from a permanent marker is not always successful, but you will not know if it works for your stain until you try. Follow the same stain removal steps as with the ballpoint pen ink stain removal process.


If the stain does not come out, you can try commercial stain removal products, such as Amodex Ink & Stain Remover or Carbona Stain Devils #3.




How Do You Get Dried Ink Out of Clothes?


The best time to address an ink stain is as soon as you notice it. This is because ink is easier to remove before it has had time to set in the fibers.


However, if the ink is dried, it can still be removed. You can follow the same stain removal steps, but it may take more time and effort to fully eradicate the ink stain As a last resort, if your garment is bleach-safe, try using chlorine bleach to remove the stain.


What Is the Best Home Remedy to Remove Ink From Clothes?


In most cases, rubbing alcohol can be used to remove ink stains from clothes. However, there are different techniques and steps for different types of fabric. Hairspray can be used as an alternative on some types of fabric.


Check out this video and discover additional tricks for effectively removing ink stains from your clothing!



While ink is problematic on clothes, it can also get on your upholstered furniture, bedding and other types of fabric. With different ink removal techniques for the type of fabric as well as the type of ink, it can be difficult to know which steps to take for your issue.


Our professional cleaners at Cleanzen are true experts at top-to-bottom house cleaning, and we can tackle your toughest marks and stains throughout the home. Contact us today for a customized quote for Cleanzen cleaning services in your home.


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