How to Get Ink Out of Clothes the Right Way
I doubt that there is anyone in the world that has not stared with irritation at an ink stain on a favorite blouse, jacket or pair of trousers. No matter how careful you are, there will come a day where your ballpoint pen or fountain pen leaks and you are left with a glaring ink mark on the fabric.
The trick to treating these stains is to try and get to them as quickly as you can and definitely before the next wash! Ink stains can be removed but you are going to have to use a little bit of elbow grease to get it out.
Fresh Ink Stains
If you notice the stain immediately, make sure you deal with it that same day rather than letting the ink set. Follow these easy steps to get the stain out.
Step 1 – Blot the ink
Start out by using a piece of kitchen paper or a clean, cloth and gently dab at the ink. Press down but DO NOT RUB, just dab. Turn the cloth or paper to a fresh piece and dab again and again until you have lifted as much of the ink as you can.
Never RUB at the stain as this will drive the ink further into the fabric, and that is the last thing you want to do.
Step 2 – Rubbing Alcohol or Surgical Spirits
Take a clean cloth and soak it with the alcohol. Lie the stained fabric on top of an old towel and gently dab the stain with the alcohol cloth, lifting it after each application and turning it around. You are trying to lift as much of the ink out of your clothing and transfer it to the cloth. Again, never rub, only dab gently.
If you have no alcohol, you can use hairspray to the same effect. Spray on the hairspray and gently dab to lift the ink.
Step 3 – Wash the article of clothing
Wash the article of clothing on the hottest wash that the fabric can withstand. When the cycle has finished look at the stain and make sure it has gone. If it is still there, repeat the steps until the stain is removed.
Do not place the item of clothing in the dryer until the stain has been removed. The heat from the dryer will set the stain making it much more difficult to remove.
Old Ink Stains
It is much more difficult to get an old stain out, but it is not impossible. First, try the method detailed above for fresh stains and if it doesn’t come out go to the drug store or pharmacy and purchase a small bottle of pure glycerin.
Mix a tablespoon of glycerin with one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid in a small bowl. Using a clean cloth, spread a little of the mixture over both sides of the stain until the areas around the stain are soaked with the mixture. Leave it to stand for 5 minutes and then dab plain glycerin onto the stain. Leave this to soak for at least 10 minutes and then launder the clothing. The stain should now have disappeared.
Prevention is better than cure
The sooner that you treat an ink stain, the easier, it will be to get out. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, both the liquid in the spray bottle or the hand wipes, will work well if you use it immediately and dab at the ink stain. This will get the majority of the ink out immediately and remember, don’t rub, just dab and turn and dab and turn so you don’t spread the stain around.
Once you get home, you can treat any stain remaining and launder as usual.