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How to Remove Ink Stains from Your Clothing

Posted by Andres Jimenez on
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If there’s one type of stain that instantly sends chills down our spines, it’s an ink stain.  Ink is extremely dark, and so it’s not the type of stain that you can rely on no one noticing.  But, despite how staining ink is, you can remove this type of stain by just following the proper protocol.  In other words, there is a very low chance that you will have to entirely throw out a garment due to getting some ink on it.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Removing an Ink Stain

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Ink is a tough stain, and there’s no denying that.  Ink is formulated to be as permanent as possible, so that the words that we write down stay put.  So naturally, if it gets on your clothing, it’s not going to be the type of stain you can just rinse out with some water.  Fortunately, there is a method that does work on ink stains, as you’ll see below.

  1. Whenever you notice the stain, remove the garment and place it on a flat surface on top of a cloth. The sooner you catch the stain, the easier it will be to remove, but even a pretty old ink stain can be removed using these steps.
  2. Grab a white cloth and blot the stain repeatedly to lift as much of the ink out of the garment as possible. Don’t rub or scrub the stain, as this will only work the ink deeper into the fibers of your clothing, making it tougher to remove.  Blot until no more ink is getting picked up by the cloth.
  3. Flip the garment over and start blotting the other side of the stain, using the same process as above.
  4. The most effective household product to remove ink stains is, surprisingly, alcohol-based hairspray. If you don’t have any handy, rubbing alcohol is a good substitute – just keep in mind that you can’t apply it to silk, rayon, acetate, or wool.  We recommend first spraying it onto a part of the garment that people won’t see, such as a part of the inside, to make sure the material doesn’t get damaged by the hairspray after sitting with it for 30 seconds. 
  5. Spray the stain evenly and generously. Wait about 60 seconds so that the hairspray can set into the stain.  The alcohol will break the ink apart and lift it out of the fibers of the clothes so that it gets removed more easily.
  6. After a minute, start blotting away the hairspray using a clean cloth. Dab over and over again, and the stain should continue to get lifted out of the fabric.  If there’s still some ink left behind, massage some dish soap into the stain as a pre-wash treatment.
  7. Now, you can throw your garment in the washing machine. Wash it as you normally would according to its care instructions, using an effective Grab Green Laundry Care stain-fighting detergent, like our 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Pods, 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Powder, Bleach Alternative Pods, or Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods.
  8. If the stain is still there, soak the garment in a bucket or sink filled with water, containing equal parts white vinegar, for 30 minutes to an hour before laundering it again.

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Ink is Tough, But Not Impossible, to Get Out of Your Clothing!

Ink stains are quite bothersome, and it’s all too easy to set them if you’re not careful.  No matter if you forgot to remove the pen from your jeans or shirt pocket, had a mishap at the office, or your little one decided to draw you a picture…on your shirt, ink stains are not a welcome thing to see at all.  Luckily, alcohol-based products dissolve ink quite effectively, and the sooner you act, the more likely it is that the ink will be completely gone without a trace for you to then put into the washer machine and come out with a clean shirt or paints once again.

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