How do I get ink out of clothing?

If you are reading this, chances are, you forgot that you left that pen in your pocket after school or work and when you got home you realized that the darn thing had exploded. Don't worry, it happens to the best of us.

Below are some tips on getting ink from different types of pens out of your clothes. Good luck.

First of all, when you find the stain, it is very important that you try and clean it immediately, as the longer you wait, the harder it is to get the stain out.

Ballpoint Pens.

If a ballpoint pen is the culprit, follow these instructions to get ink out of your clothing. Use a clean wet sponge to blot the stain. Do this until the sponge is no longer lifting ink from the stain. Next, let the stain on the clothing air-dry. Afterwards, spray the ink stain with some hairspray. Then use two paper towels to sandwich the soiled fabric. Next, dab the ink-stained clothing’s backside, to blend the stain into the second paper towel. Perform this procedure repeatedly until the stain has been removed. The next step is to place a pre-treatment stain remover onto the stain. Finally, wash the clothing in warm water and then air-dry it.

Felt Tip Pens.

A different procedure should be used when a felt tip pen stains your clothing. First, press a paper towel onto the stain to remove most of the ink. Next, use a cotton swab to add denatured alcohol to the stain. Denatured alcohol is alcohol that has been made toxic or undrinkable. Finally, clean the fabric in the normal manner.

Permanent Markers.

Permanent inks and markers create some of the most difficult stains to remove and require a special approach. Keep in mind that if a cloth or pattern cannot be bleached, removing the ink stain will be nearly impossible to accomplish. Your first option is the method using two towels, mentioned in the ballpoint pen section. If the stain remains, use fingernail polish remover. When using the “two-towel” method previously described, use fingernail polish remover as a substitute for the denatured alcohol. Transfer the stained section to a clean, dry towel. Then completely rinse the affected area of the clothing. You could also use acetone, although this chemical does not function well on several types of fabrics. Use the same “two-towel” procedure. Again, remember to rinse the section completely. Another option is to rub a mixture of baking soda and water onto the ink stain. Yet another plan of attack is to treat the ink stain with a stain spray, gel or stick. Then wash the clothing. After washing, if the stain remains, repeat the baking soda method, and then rewash and dry the garment.

Now, next time you are wondering, "how do I get ink out of clothing?" you will know. It is a relatively easy process, as long as you find the stain before its too late.

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