It’s happened to all of us at one point. You may have forgotten to take your favorite fountain pen out of your pocket, or your kids might have gotten a hold of your pens and made your clothes their canvas. Getting ink stains on clothes is a pretty common occurrence, but it does not make it any less of a nuisance. But don’t fret; there are things you can do to get that ink stain out of your best dress shirt. Here is the best way to get pen ink out of your clothes or other fabrics.
Why is it so hard to remove ink from clothes?
Before we dive into how to remove ink from clothes, it is helpful to learn why ink is so difficult to remove from fabric in the first place. Most inks are made by mixing some sort of dye with water. Not only that, but other organic solvents such as preservatives, resins, wetting agents, and humectants can be found in these inks. Such ingredients can easily color and stain fabric. Not only that, but some inks are more viscous and adhere to clothes more than others (e.g., ballpoint pen ink).
Water-Based vs. Oil-Based Ink Stains
There are two types of ink you should be aware of when trying to remove stains from your clothes. Water-based inks that are found in fountain pens, washable markers, and gel pens are typically easier to remove. Oil-based ink that is found in ballpoint pens is thick, greasy, and repels water, which makes it much more difficult to remove from fabric.
How to remove ink stains from clothes or fabric
If your clothes have been stained by either type of ink, it is important to act quickly. This gives you a greater chance of achieving stain-free fabric.
Step 1 - Blot excess ink. The first step is to blot the fresh ink stain with a clean cloth or paper towel to soak up as much of the excess ink as possible.
Step 2 - Treat the ink stain. Next, treat the ink stain. Take a small amount of rubbing alcohol, which will dissolve the ink, and use it to blot the area. Once there is no more ink coming off the fabric, rinse your clothes to remove any alcohol and excess ink. After that, use a small amount of laundry detergent to blot the affected area.
Step 3. Wash clothing or fabric. Once you’ve done what you can to blot most of the ink away, it’s time to add the stained fabric to your washing machine and set it on your preferred cycle. Make sure to wash the clothes or fabric by itself to avoid staining other materials in the same wash.
Step 4. Dry the fabric. Before letting your garment dry fully, inspect it to see if any stains remain. If the stain has not been fully removed, then repeat the process before air drying your clothes completely.
Here are a few other pointers you may find useful when cleaning an ink stain out of your clothes:
- Keep the fabric damp.
- Do not use your dryer to dry the stained garment as this can cause ink to set into the fabric.
- Air dry your clothes only after the stain has been fully removed.
- If the stained clothes are white, you can try using bleach if the rubbing alcohol and laundry detergent do not work.
The Bottom Line
Getting ink stains out of your clothes can be tricky, but it is not impossible! You just need to follow these steps and have a bit of patience, especially for ink types that are harder to remove. If you have spilled ink on yourself, then it is worth checking out how to remove ink from your skin as well.
Happy inking, and happy writing!
Written by EndlessPens Blogger Ramona Kabigting