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Cleaning Ink Stains on Laundered Clothing

Stains can be more difficult to remove once the clothing has been through the wash. This is a guide about cleaning ink stains on laundered clothing.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
April 19, 2011

When I was doing laundry, I discovered that my husband left an ink pen in his pocket. I have a knit top that I tried using Spray and Wash, Shout, and Oxiclean on and have washed 4 times, but nothing has worked. Is there anything that might work after all of this?

By Mary Beth from OH


April 19, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try oven cleaner, it will get nearly everything out of anything. I've used it on my kids uniforms for a variety of stains and it works well. Just don't spray a whole lot of it.

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April 21, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'd use hairspray. Spray it, rinse it with cold water, continue until it all comes out. I've had tremendously good luck with this in the past! I've even had it work on something that's been washed and dried.

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June 6, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

Saved! A twice laundered dark tan uniform shirt with large blue pen ink stain. I tried oxyclean, WD-40, stain stick, dish soap, hair spray, nail polish remover, and Goo Gone. Nothing touched it. Shirt can't be used with stain, so last ditch effort I dipped a Q-tip in bleach and dabbed it on the stain.


In seconds, the stain faded to nothing! I quickly slathered it with soap and ran a ton of water over it to remove bleach. Shirt is good as new! I thought bleach would remove all color and leave a white spot but it didn't. Bleach wasn't as scary of an idea as I thought it would be!.

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October 20, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

I used the spray stain remover by the dirty jobs guy! I drenched the stain in it let it dry on the shirt then washed it

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 19, 20090 found this helpful

I have a sweatshirt that went through the wash with a pen. There are about 5 pen stains on the sweatshirt. How do I remove them?

By Nadine Schaller from Endicott, NY



Ink Stain on Laundered Clothing

Hairspray will work, any kind. Spray it on ink stain then blot it off with a old cotton cloth or towel. Good luck. (10/18/2009)

By Elaine McDonald

Ink Stain on Laundered Clothing

You know, I used to use hairspray, but a couple of years ago it wasn't working, and I did some internet research. I found on the "Heloise" website (don't know if you're too young to remember Heloise) that rubbing alcohol works better on today's inks and fabrics. I have had good success with it. I put some on before washing, let it sit for a minute or so, then just throw it in with the other clothes. Check to see that the stain is entirely gone before putting in the dryer. Good luck. (10/19/2009)

By Ms. Wagg

Ink Stain on Laundered Clothing

If you are still looking, there is a product called Goo Gone you can get from any Wal-Mart that works really well on any stain. Just found that out today. (10/20/2009)


By Ann Winberg

Ink Stain on Laundered Clothing

Goop is the most amazing spot remover ever. (10/22/2009)

By anne

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October 17, 20090 found this helpful

I left a gel ink pen in the laundry and dried a stain on a green polo cotton shirt. I tried the Oxi Clean solution and the ink stain is still there. What should I try next? I love that shirt.

Chris W. from Savannah, GA


Ink Stain On Laundered Clothing

I just tried the rubbing alcohol suggestion, and it worked perfectly. Try it, it works. Don't waste your money on expensive stain removal products like I almost did today. Good luck. (07/11/2007)

By By Amy

Ink Stain On Laundered Clothing

If your fabric isn't delicate, use nail polish remover. Blot with a paper towel. I tried it on my son's camouflage denim shorts then soaked in Oxiclean. They are wearable again though you can still see a small dark spot where the most saturated ink spot was. (09/05/2007)


By Jennifer

Ink Stain On Laundered Clothing

I had an blue ink spot on a polyester dress shirt. I used a bar of white soap (Dial) the stain came out. It worked wonders. (02/09/2008)

By Jennifer

Ink Stain On Laundered Clothing

My husband left gel ink pens on his work uniform and then dried them with ink all over them. I tried hairspray, alcohol, OxiClean, nothing worked. Then I tried Goo Gone and put an old white towel underneath and I immediately began seeing it come out. (05/11/2008)

By Ashton T.

Ink Stain On Laundered Clothing

I just tried the hairspray combined with the bar of soap on a shirt with a ink stain from a year ago, got it out without a hassle, it was incredible. Please give it a go. (11/28/2008)

By Matt

Ink Stain On Laundered Clothing

My mom told my dad she's not going to try to get out any ink stains from his shirts anymore so now he brings them to me to do. Well, I can see now why my mom is through messing with it, that's for sure.


So far I have tried the following: powdered Tide, liquid Tide, Oxi powder, Oxi spray, Spray n Wash, Lift Off spray, WD40, hydrogen peroxide, 409, rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, and hairspray. None got the stain completely out.

Depending on the stain, the products would make the stain lighter to a degree, but nothing ever took the stain away completely. That is until today. I was looking in the cabinets for something new that I hadn't tried before and there it was. A gallon jug of distilled vinegar. I thought what the heck, I'll try it. I poured about a capful onto the stain and proceeded to scrub the stain with a toothbrush and you know what? I didn't have to even scrub that hard at all and the stain was completely gone.

Word to the wise: Use distilled vinegar to get out ink stains. (02/23/2009)

By Gail

Ink Stain On Laundered Clothing

Gel ink is easily removed in clothing with"Spot Shot" Instant Carpet Stain Remover sold in an orange and blue can. I had tried everything and it came out instantly. It also works incredibly on carpet stains. It is inexpensive and one of the best finds I have ever used next to Awesome grease cleaner. (04/30/2009)

By Sharon

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May 6, 20050 found this helpful

I need to know how to get out an ink stain from my pants. I want to use hairspray. I already washed them once. Can I still get stain out?

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