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How To Get Ink Out Of Clothing

ink stain

As far as clothing stains go, ink stains are probably some of the most irritating to have happen as they usually go undiscovered until a later stage, leaving you sporting a blotch of ink throughout your day. The reason for this is that they don’t always occur from obvious accidents. 

If the reason for the stain is obvious though, you’re in luck as you’re able to get it out sooner rather than later. No matter how it happens to you, we’re here to help you get ink out of your clothes using the 5 best methods.

Ink Stain Removal Tips

Before we look at the 5 methods of removal, let’s take note of some important tips and tricks to help you along your way:

Water-based ink – usually found in washable markers and rollerball pens. These stains are easier to remove. 
Oil-based ink – usually found in ballpoint pens. Best to remove these stains with a product containing alcohol or glycerin. 

1. Removing Ink Stains with Dish Soap Or Laundry Detergent

Dish Soap and Laundry Detergent are two very common household items and should therefore be the easiest to use. 

Start by using a clean white wet cloth that you don’t mind getting dirty to blot the stain. Add enough dish soap or laundry detergent to cover the stain and let it sit for 5 minutes. Use an old toothbrush to gently scrub the soap or detergent in and then gently rinse it with warm water. Once the stain is completely gone it’s safe to wash and dry as per usual. 


  1. Blot gently with a wet white cloth.
  2. Add soap/detergent and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Gently scrub before rinsing under warm water.

2. Removing Ink Stains With Milk

If not dish soap or laundry detergent, most should have milk in their houses to help them remove ink stains. 

Cover only the stained area of your clothing with milk in a bowl or container. After letting it sit overnight or for an entire day, rinse it with warm water. Once the stain is completely gone it’s safe to wash and dry as per usual. 


  1. Submerge only the stained area in a bowl of milk.
  2. Allow to sit overnight.
  3. Rinse with warm water.

3. Removing Ink With Nail Polish Remover

Other than removing nail polish from your clothes, and your nails, of course, nail polish remover can also be effective in removing ink stains from your clothes. Be careful though as it can be damaging to certain fabrics, so always test it first.

Blot the stained area with nail polish remover using a paper towel or a clean cloth. Keep moving the item of clothing around so that the towel underneath doesn’t revert to transferring the ink back. Once the stain is completely gone, rinse before washing and drying as per usual.  


  1. Blot stain with nail polish remover using a paper towel or clean cloth.
  2. Rinse once the stain has completely vanished.

4. Removing Ink With Glycerin

As mentioned above, glycerin is especially helpful for removing oil-based ink stains. 

Soak the stained area in cold water before applying the glycerin for 10 minutes. Blot the area gently until it starts to froth up. Rinse the frothed-up area with warm water; if your clothing is made from wool or silk then prod it with a wet cloth. Wash and dry your clothes once the stain is completely gone. 


  1. Soak stained area in cold water.
  2. Apply glycerin for 10 minutes.
  3. Blot until a froth begins to form before rinsing with warm water (keep blotting instead for wool and silk). 

5. Removing Ink With Hairspray

The final product we’ll speak about in our arsenal of ink removal is hairspray.

Begin by spraying the stained area with hairspray. Blot the stain using a clean white cloth while applying more hairspray if needed. The clothing is ready to be washed only once the stain is completely gone.  


  1. Spray stain using hairspray.
  2. Blot using clean white cloth and repeat steps until the stain is gone.

As much as the sight of an ink stain can be a shock initially, the good news, as you can see, is that there are many different ways to get rid of it. Once you’ve enjoyed the benefits of using common household items to remove ink stains from your clothing then share these tips with friends and family to help them in their time of need. 

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