How to Remove Ink Stains from Clothes
~Pooja Chakrabarty

Learn How to Remove Ink Stains from Clothes

Ink stains are extremely common, and are often very stubborn. Ballpoint ink does not usually spread too much, but they are also occasionally nearly impossible to get rid of. Other inks may get eliminated quicker, but the chances of them spreading and affecting more of the fabric is greater. Here are some tips on how to remove ink stains from clothes.

How to Remove Ink Stains from Clothes: In General

With ink stains, urgent action is required. And avoid heat at all costs. Heat will only help set the stain further making your job of stain removal that much more difficult. Before using any stain removers, test them out on some inconspicuous area of the garment. Check for colorfastness of the fabric. Read the garment care instructions carefully.

Learning about the different types of inks will help you learn how to remove ink stains from clothes

The damage from ink can be reduced by putting absorbents such as talcum powder on still-wet ink stains. This will help lessen the extent to which it spreads. Even blotting paper can be used to soak up ink from the cloth before you launch into some elaborate stain removal method.

Different inks have different compositions and therefore require different treatments. Learning about the different types of inks will help you learn how to remove ink stains from clothes.

Below are given some specific treatments for specific ink stains.

How to Remove Ink Stains from Clothes: Permanent Ink

The inks in permanent markers make fairly permanent marks on the clothes that they happen to stain. To deal with such a stain you must act at once. The longer you dilly-dally, the lesser the chances of you ever managing to get the stain out.

One thing you can do is to place the stained side on absorbent towels and wet the stained area. But be careful…you do not want to spread all over the fabric. Continue this till the towels stop getting stained. Let the fabric dry and then carefully sponge the permanent ink stain with a dry-cleaning solvent. Let it dry, and then rub the area with detergent and rinse thoroughly.

After that you could apply a very dilute solution of ammonia on the stain and let it soak. If the stain becomes lighter, rinse the fabric and repeat the process.

Finally, launder as usual.

How to Remove Ink Stains from Clothes: Solvent-Soluble Ink

Sponging the area around the stain with denatured alcohol, and then sponging the stain itself with the alcohol and forcing the stain onto towels that will sop it up constitutes the first step to removing such stains. Continue applying the alcohol to the underside of the stain. Keep replacing the towels till such time as they stop getting stained. Now rinse the stained area thoroughly.

Rubbing the stain with detergent in hot water (the hottest that can be tolerated by that fabric), and then applying bleach (provided that the fabric is bleach-safe) will form the next step.

How to Remove Ink Stains from Clothes: Ballpoint Pen Ink

Alcohol-based solvent are good for removing ballpoint pen ink stains. A lot of people use alcohol-based hair spray. The role of alcohol in this is to loosen the ink molecules. Placing an absorbent towel under the stain will help avoid the stain from spreading. It will instead soak up the stain. Blotting with a clean cloth would also help. Do this for some time till the ink stops staining the towel or the cloth. Finally launder the garment as usual.

How to Remove Ink Stains from Clothes: Water-Based Ink

Water-based inks respond better to water-based cleaning agents rather than to alcohol-based ones. While treating the cloth with the cleaner, apply it onto the underside of the stain. While doing this keep the stained surface face-down on absorbent towels. This will soak up the excess. As in the earlier case, repeat this till as much as possible of the stain is removed. However, before using any kind of cleaner, test it out on the cloth. You do not want to end up with a discolored fabric.

[The picture used in this article has been taken from the photo library of stock.xchng.]