Removing Ink Stains From Clothing

Tips and techniques for removing ink stains from clothing using common household ingredients and cleaning solutions.

Our wardrobe says a lot about who we are and can be an expensive investment. Although ink stains are unsightly, they are not as hard to remove as you may think. So, before you donate or trash the stained garment, try removing the stain.

Before you start, make sure you will have everything you need to get the job done properly. You will need plenty of water, dishwashing detergent, vinegar, alcohol, bleach, and some clean, lightly colored cloths. Light colored cloths will help you to see how much of your stain is actually coming out. You will also need a bleach pen, q-tips, or a dropper.

The first thing you need to do is mix your cleaning solution. One teaspoon of dishwashing detergent mixed with a cup of water should do the trick.

Once you have your solution mixed, rinse your stain with water. Apply your cleaning solution to the stain along with two to three drops of vinegar. Leave the garment for at least thirty minutes, blotting occasionally with a clean cloth. Rinse thoroughly.

Next, apply rubbing alcohol to the stain. Using one of your clean cloths, firmly blot at the stain. Make sure you are always using a clean section of the cloth. Remember, the cloth will show you how much of the stain is coming out. Rinse out the alcohol and allow the garment to dry.

After the stain has dried, add water to the stain. Also, add more detergent. This time, add two to three drops of ammonia with the detergent. Again, let the garment set for at least thirty minutes, blotting occasionally. Rinse the garment again, with water.

On the remainder of the stain, you will use bleach. Using a bleach pen, q-tip, or dropper is a good idea. This will help keep the bleach only on the stain. Once you have applied the bleach, remove it by rinsing within a few minutes. Use water to rinse. Do not leave bleach on your garment.

If your ink stain happened to come from a ballpoint pen, your steps change slightly. For your first step, rinse with glycerin instead of water. This can be purchased at a store. Skip the vinegar and next apply the detergent and ammonia following the same steps. You should only apply bleach following the steps above if there is still some of the stain remaining. Rinse thoroughly after applying the bleach.

Your final steps are going to be to rinse with vinegar and then again with water. At this point, your stain, hopefully, will be gone.

Cautions: Do not use bleach on silk, spandex, or wool. Bleach can permanently damage these fabrics. Do not smoke while treating your garment. You are using flammable materials. Do not use near open flames. If bleach touches your skin, immediately wash with soap and water. Only treat garments in well ventilated areas. Keep all materials away from your eyes. Remember to spot test the garment before treating whole stain.

It may seem like there are a lot of steps involved to remove ink stains. If it's one of your favorite pieces of clothing, it may be worth trying. If the garment that is stained is expensive, you may want to consider having it treated by a professional. Cleaning professionals have special chemicals that they can use on different kinds of stains. Remember, just because we call it a stain, it does mean it won't come out.

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