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Ink Out of a Load of Laundry


I was wondering how to get ink out of a load of lights.
It is on every piece of clothing.



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By cj parson 2 10/07/2003 Flag

As long as it is not ink from a gel pen, rubbing alcohol should take it out. Be sure to test in as inconspicuous area first. And definitely wear rubber gloves, because the rubbing alcohol will severely dry out your skin. Pour the rubbing alcohol over the stain and work it in by rubbing the fabric together briskly. Continue until you get as much of the ink out as possible, then pretreat it and throw in the wash. Since it is a load of whites you may want to throw some bleach in to the load as well.

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By citecr (Guest Post) 06/10/2004 Flag

Help! Had a pen get loose in the dryer.

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By Susan Sanders-Kinzel 9 2,498 06/11/2004 Flag

We created a new request for citecr so that it will get noticed. You can find it here:

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By Lori In Waukeshs, WI (Guest Post) 09/08/2004 Flag

I had an ink pen get ink all over my dryer and took advice from another site. I put two cups on bleach to 1/2 bucket of water. I soaked two towels and put them through the spin cycle just a bit so they weren't dripping wet. I did this twice and got the majority of the pen spots out of the drum of the dryer. I will have to work on some spots but the majority is gone-My laundry room smells of bleach but saved me going out and getting a new appliance (it is 12 years old so it would not have been tragic).

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By Michele Cramer (Guest Post) 02/19/2006 Flag

I used nail polish remover to take the ink off my dryer drum...worked like a charm, and I had tried EVERYTHING suggested.

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By (Guest Post) 04/07/2006 Flag

spray hairspray on an ink spot it will come out

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By Samantha (Guest Post) 04/07/2006 Flag

Try WD40... it will take it out

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By kristine meechas (Guest Post) 04/08/2006 Flag

how do you get pen ink out of clothes

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By (Guest Post) 04/08/2006 Flag

WHat about if it IS a gel pen.... now what??

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By Bonnie g. (Guest Post) 05/19/2006 Flag

Regular ink pens are easy to get out of clothes, but what about liquid black gel pens? I wonder what the Pentel Company has to say?

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By Jeannie (Guest Post) 06/24/2006 Flag

I did not notice the ink on the clothing (whites, of course) until I pulled them out of the dryer. Can anything be done to get the ink out of clothing once it's been through the dryer?

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By Christine (Guest Post) 09/02/2006 Flag

Absorbine Jr!!! Takes ink right out, use on each drum and wipe with a cloth until all ink is removed
air fluff with fabric softner sheets until smell (of absorbine jr ) is removed! Works like a charm!!

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By ANGELA (Guest Post) 09/15/2006 Flag


Editor's Note:

This reader had great luck by soaking in oxiclean and hot water.

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By Kathy 1 01/30/2007 Flag

I just had this happen, it was a gel pen, and I didn't notice until I pulled the clothes out of the dryer. I used rubbing alcohol on the inside of the dryer, it took a little elbow grease, but it took it all out. For the clothes, I put a cup of baking soda, and 4 scoops of oxy clean and a full cap of liquid laundry detergent in the washer. I filled the washer with hot water and let it agitate for 2 minutes. I then added the clothes and let them agitate for a few minutes to get them completely mixed. Then I let it soak for 30 minutes and then washed as normal. I took the clothes out and all the ink was gone except for on one shirt. I am going to try soaking that again in a bucket for a longer time, it was a gift from one of my kids to my hubby, so he really loves it. I hope this helps!!!

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By alena (Guest Post) 04/11/2007 Flag

a cheap bottle of perfume got 2 pens out of my dryer. on the load of lights, I am still trying.

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By Jenni Baker (Guest Post) 05/29/2007 Flag

The bleached towel worked on the first try, great idea! Sent hubby to the store for baking soda and peroxcide (cheap oxyclean) gonna try to get the ink out of the clothes now...Thanks a bunch!

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By Terry Wangsness (Guest Post) 10/10/2007 Flag

Somehow my husband's ball point pen got into the dryer and exploded all over the drum, he got the dryer totally cleaned up with pine sol, as for the towels, washcloths, they still have strong ink spots on them, I have washed them four times. I'm rather worried that hair spray and perfume are both flammable, I don't want a fire, is there something safer to get the ink out of the clothes? Thanks. TW

Editor's Note: Spray the ink stains, let sit and try to brush a little, then wash again in the washer before drying. It should no longer be flammable.

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By Kevin (Guest Post) 02/05/2008 Flag

As for getting the ink out of a dryer drum, I took an old hand towel and soaked it in rubbing alcohol. I had pretty good results, and had all the ink out in 5 minutes.

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By (Guest Post) 03/22/2008 Flag

Carburetor cleaner in the drum of the dryer, wipes right off!

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By gracie (Guest Post) 03/24/2008 Flag

I washed a load of blues and grays last night and this morning found that i had a pen in one of my pants that got all over all of my clothes. I really do not want spend more money to purchase new clothes to replace the ones that got damaged.

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By Jessica (Guest Post) 06/28/2008 Flag

Hey guys! Bad news... The idea behind a gel pen is that the "ink" is a fully synthetic material that isn't soluble in alcohol or water so if you have a good quality gel ink in clothes... that isn't coming out.

Regular ink is usually water or alcohol soluble so it should come out with some elbow grease and the right detergent. You'll want to be careful though that whatever you use won't ruin the dye or the fabric in your clothes.


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By Sarah (Guest Post) 07/28/2008 Flag

My fiance just washed and dried a load of clothes with an ink pen! I used hairspray (NOT aerosol, just the cheap old pump bottle) on the clothing and treated each spot by spraying on hairspray and then rubbing together. Then I re-washed the load of clothes. I used a hot water wash and let 1 cup of baking soda, 4 scoops of oxy clean, 1 cap of liquid tide agitate for 2 minutes; then agitate with the clothes for 2 minutes; then soak for 30 minutes; and wash. I was completely floored even ink stains on his white tee-shirts came out!

As for the inside of the dryer I unplugged it and used a washcloth and rubbing alcohol to get all the spots out.

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By Elaine M. (Guest Post) 07/31/2008 Flag

I had a plain old regular ink pen explode in the dryer. Surprisingly it only got on my boyfriend's favorite pair of shorts. I took the shorts and soaked them with nail polish remover, scrubbed the heck out of them and put them to wash in HOT water. Most of the ink came out, now I am on round two, scrubbed them some more with the nail polish remover and now they are back in the wash. Let's hope it works! Now, as for the dryer, I need to get the stains out of there! The nail polish remover is NOT working on the dryer stains. Any ideas? Thank YOU!

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By (Guest Post) 08/23/2008 Flag

brake cleaner

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By zoombug (Guest Post) 11/08/2008 Flag

Fifteen minutes ago I looked up how to get ink stains out of clothes. Someone mentioned Borax and several mentioned hairspray (key ingredient being some sort of alcohol). I had both at home, so I put the stained portion in a little bowl, poured on some ethanol (rubbing alcohol would probably work just as well) and then put borax on as an abrasive. I just scrubbed it around for several rounds. And amazingly, it came out. This stain had already been washed and DRIED. It had been on this piece of clothing for at least 3 weeks. Try it! I literally just worked for me!

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By Susan Sanders-Kinzel 9 2,498 11/23/2008 Flag

(sent by email)
I just left a ink pen in my pocket and it exploded all over the clothes and dryer I got really up set cause my mom got mad so I tried out a couple of cleaning agents and I found that Purell works the best all you need to do is squrt it on the spot and let it sit for 30 sec and wipe it up with a little elbo grease it comes right off. (This is only for the inside of the dryer.) Matt from New Jersey

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By Nelly P. (Guest Post) 02/24/2009 Flag

I gave up on the clothes BUT did use Parr's Painter's clean hand cleaner on the drum. It was AMAZING. I squirted it on a towel and wiped the drum. It came right off.

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By JESSICA 1 02/28/2010 Flag

I used LA's Totally Awesome spray- degreaser spray- I found it at Dollar Tree- I washed and dried some light jeans and realized after that there was a purple gel pen in the clothes- Ink spots all over everything! I sprayed the degreaser and rubbed with a wet towel- wahsed again and the stains are out! This stuff is totally awesome!

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By Julie 1 10/03/2010 Flag

I can only tell you that this happened to me this morning and I was freaking out. I had all darks and a big load and a Gel ink pen was all over everything after I had just washed and dried it I tried Kramer287's advice (up top) and every item looks good as new! It totally works and it saved everything. Thanks so much, again Kramer287.

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By enamor12 1 11/28/2010 Flag

I just had this happen on Thanksgiving (gee, thanks!). The pen exploded in the dryer over my light clothes, so it was already set in. After dinner, i tried the hairspray and it worked only on synthetic materials, not 100% cotton. Washing with regular stain remover and soaking didn't seem to do anything either. I kept the clothes wet in a trash bag so they wouldn't dry out. The next day, I went to Lowes and got this spray called Goof Off, The Miracle Remover (heavy duty spot remover and degreaser). it was next to the paint thinner, but is safe on clothes. I also got at Meijer (local grocery store) though Wal-mart may carry it not sure, called Tech Stain Remover which says it works on ink.

I also picked up some rubbing alcohol. The two sprays worked the best. You have to use clean blotting towels under the stain and to "press" it out...believe me, it does work, but it took me 4 hours standing at the sink to get all the spots out out of every piece of clothing in the load. With the combo of the sprays, and washing with a little dish soap (non-bleach) in between sprays and scrubbing, I got everything out. After spraying and washing by hand, I also soaked in Oxyclean in HOT water for about an hour, then regular wash, looks like the pen never exploded.
Good luck!

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