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Removing Pen Ink from Clothing

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Ink stain on a white shirt.

How often have you had ink get on clothing in one way or another? This is a guide about removing pen ink from clothing.


Solutions: Removing Pen Ink from Clothing

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Using Milk for Ink Stains

Ink stain on shirt? Use milk, pour the milk on the ink stain and wait for a minute or two then wash and hang up to dry. Don't dry in dryer as it will set the stain. If ink stain is still there pour more milk on and wash again.

By Shirley V. from Fulton, NY

Editor's Note: We would love to hear some feedback about this tip. It seems funny that milk would get ink. Has anyone else tried this?

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Here are questions related to Removing Pen Ink from Clothing.

Question: Removing Ink from Pants

How do I remove dried ink from my wife's work pants?

By Jon E. from Maubry, AL


Best Answer

By Kathie622 [3]08/08/2012

Use rubbing alcohol to remove in stain from pants. Put a rag or piece of paper towel under the material. Then pour some rubbing alcohol over the stain. Blot with a cotton ball until stain is removed. Wash as usual.

Question: Removing Ink from Clothing

How do I remove ball point pen marks from my husband's shirt?

By Cyndy L.


Most Recent Answer

By Donna [2]08/12/2011

Rubbing alcohol or any of the antibacterial gels will get most of it out, not a fan of the hair spray method

Question: Removing Dried Ink from Clothing

I left an ink pen in my wash and dried it. It got all over everything. Is it possible to wash it out?

By Heidi C.

Most Recent Answer

By Flyingbug [1]04/22/2013

Have you tried rubbing alcohol? Try a little in an area where no one will notice first, though.

Question: Ink Stain on White Suit

I threw my white suit in the washing machine, without removing a biro pen and a ink pen. When the washing cycle finished, I noticed a few large ink stains on my white suit, the only one I own. Can you help please?

By Teremoana from Rarotonga, Cook Islands, South Pacific

Most Recent Answer

By bascochi01/16/2015

This is for white ONLY. Use the Tilex Mold & Mildew Remover to remove ink.

Question: Removing Ink from a White Shirt

How do I get rid of blue marks on my white skirt?

By Shaisha from India

Most Recent Answer

By barb_lmtd11/13/2013

I always got ink from pens on my nursing uniform and sprayed hair spray on the ink and washed it right away. It always came out.

Question: Removing Ink from Clothing

I got a pen mark on my white jeans about fifteen minutes ago. I've been using my Tide to Go stick, but it isn't working. I'll be in school for almost eight more hours so I don't have use of many things. HELP!

By Maddie

Most Recent Answer

By Jean [2]10/05/2013

Obviously, this answer is late, but if the stain is still there or if this happens again, try rubbing alcohol.
If that's not available, use something that contains alcohol - hand sanitizer, hair spray, mouthwash, etc.

Question: Removing Ink from Dried Clothes

A pen was left in my husband's t-shirt and it broke and got ink on almost everything. I didn't see it until I took the clothes out of the dryer. Is there anything I can use to get the ink out of a lot of clothes?

By Tiffany

Question: Removing Ink Stain from Clothes

Ink stains on shirt.How do I remove a blue refill ink stain from my Allen Solly white shirt? Please help me.

By Praveen from Madurai, Tamilnadu, India

Question: Removing Ink from Clothing

Someone wrote on my jersey shirt with a pen (ink). I took it to the dry cleaner and washed it; the stain is still there. How can I remove it?

By Ciara

Question: Getting Yellow Ink Out of Blue 100% Polyester

I got a little yellow ink on the side of my 100% polyester blue hoody with white stitching. What would be the best way to wash this out? It's fresh ink as well. Hurry please!

By Shane

Question: Removing Ball Point Ink from Clothes

How do I take out ball point pen ink from cotton clothes?

By Marion


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Removing Ink from Clothing

Use a cheap hair spray to remove ink from clothes, i.e. fabric.

RE: Tip for Removing Ink from Clothing

How do you remove ink from clothing? (03/31/2004)

By lorraine

RE: Tip for Removing Ink from Clothing

I've used Stain Devil's #3 by Carbona which is found in a small yellow container in the laundry detergent section of most grocery stores. sometimes you have to repeat several applications but it works (07/06/2004)

By Ivy

RE: Tip for Removing Ink from Clothing

Saturate stain with a cheap hairspray (pump), let sit for a minute, then rinse with tepid water. May have to repeat several times. (07/06/2005)

By Goosie

RE: Tip for Removing Ink from Clothing

Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol is really what is in the products that people have mentioned that works.

Lots of rubbing alcohol, and you're all better. Blotting works well. Be careful because as soon as you apply alcohol, the ink will be come very mobile, and may soak out of the spot into other parts of your clothes, ala capillary effect. (08/01/2005)

By Kevin Thompson

RE: Tip for Removing Ink from Clothing

I worked powdered oxyclean into a soupy paste, applied it to the actual ink mark rubbed it into the mark left it sit for a half hour. After a half hour I put the clothes into the washer, filled with hot water, put double the amount of oxyclean into the washer, agitated the machine for a few seconds to distrbute the oxyclean and let the clothes sit for 2 hours like that. After 2 hours I washed them and dried and no pen left at all. One of the articles of clothing was a off white polo shirt. (02/28/2006)

By Cheryl

RE: Tip for Removing Ink from Clothing

Use rubbing alcohol but be careful to use a little at a time because the ink can come out of the clothes and run quickly. I got a pen mark on my khaki skirt and the isopropyl alcohol took it right out.

Nail polish remover (acetone) will remove permanent marker BUT may also take the color out of your clothes. Rinse immediately! Test on a spot that can't be seen before going crazy with the acetone. (12/10/2006)

By Deannak

Archive: Removing Ink From Clothing

How do you remove ink stains from cotton shirts?

Harry from Bridgeport, WV

RE: Removing Ink From Clothing

Hairspray. (01/25/2007)

RE: Removing Ink From Clothing

Try spraying Lysol spray on the ink. My husband discovered that this product takes out ink. (01/26/2007)

By Sally

RE: Removing Ink From Clothing

Tried rubbing alcohol. Works great with hot water! (12/26/2008)

By Lyn

RE: Removing Ink From Clothing

My great grandmother use to use Crest toothpaste to get out stains, so I tried it on an ink stain I had and it really works. I just used an old tooth brush to rub the tooth paste in. I left it in the shirt for the day, then when I washed, behold the ink stain was gone. (01/24/2009)

By Jennifer

Archive: Removing Ink From Clothing

How do I remove permanent ink from cotton pants?

By CarolineBK from Cathedral City, CA

RE: Removing Ink From Clothing

I've always had real good luck using hair spray. It also works on kids grass stains. (04/19/2009)

By ivorylov

Archive: Removing Ink From Clothing

How do I get ink out of clothes?

By jaguar65

RE: Removing Ink From Clothing

If you can get to a stain fast enough before it permanently sets in the fabric you've got most of the problem solved. Spray the ink stain with some hair spray, then pour some mild liquid detergent or liquid dish washing soap on the spot and gently rub the fabric to remove the stain. Rinse with water and repeat several times.

Also try soaking the article of clothing in a solution of warm water and a few scoops of generic brand oxyclean. (05/15/2009)


RE: Removing Ink From Clothing

You didn't say if it was ball-point, permanent pen, or printer ink. It depends on the fabric and the ink (hopefully your fabric is cotton or cotton/poly). Start out with hair spray or rubbing alcohol then blot and if that doesn't work, you can try fingernail polish remover (if the fabric isn't Acetate). Better yet, you can also buy a commercial ball-point ink cleaner online.

My old boyfriend's kids were a handful and they drew with ball-point all over his favorite easy chair, but he had purchased a guarantee from Sears when he bought it and they sent a professional cleaner out to the house. The cleaner had all the ball-point ink out of the easy chair & looking like new in 15 minutes! I asked him what he used and he showed me a bottle of commercial cleaner that cleans ball-point ink etc.

*Always try these cleaners in a place you don't see first, like on the hem in the back or on the facing of the garment.

*Never iron or put a stained item in a dryer or hot water. Heat only sets the stain in. Use cold water & hang dry until the stain is totally removed. (05/15/2009)

By Cyinda

RE: Removing Ink From Clothing

I also had a pen left in the dryer. The hairspray has to be aerosol (like Aqua Net). You will see the ink actually dissolve when the hairspray hits it! (07/07/2009)

By dddimensions

Archive: Removing Ink From Clothing

My husband's work jacket had a blue ink pen in it. He forgot to take it out. I never checked and now I need to find out how I can get his jacket ink free.

Evelynn H.

Archive: Removing Ink From Clothing

How do I remove an ink pen stain from a white garment?

By Hannah from Cook Islands

RE: Removing Ink From Clothing

Spray ink with hair spray, the cheaper the better. Rub vigorously and if needs be repeat process. Put washing soap onto patch and wash as normal in cold water. My son comes home at least once a fortnight with a large ink stain on his uniform. I have yet to have any left after the 'hairspray' treatment. It works on other fabrics as well and walls after tiny tots create their famous art works. (03/30/2010)

By Nerdette

Archive: Removing Ink From Clothing

How do I get Biro marks off my cotton shirt?

By Bev from Mid Glam

RE: Removing Ink From Clothing

Use cheap hairspray on the stain and then wash in cold water. Check stain after washing, repeat if needed before drying. Good hairspray does not work as well so use up the can on the back of the shelf! (05/19/2010)

By Scooter's Pumpkin