How Do I Get Gel Pen Stains Out of Laundry?

I have a laundry emergency. I washed a load of my husband's work clothes and found when putting them in the dryer that there was a black gel ink pen in one of his pockets. It's all over his light tan pants. They have not been dried yet, but I have a front loader washer, so I don't think I can soak them like in a regular washer. I am desperate for help. Thanks.


By sskaufdog from Centerton, AR

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May 6, 20100 found this helpful

Try hairspray. Saturate it with hairspray. I am not sure why this works but when I went to beauty school I learned this.

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May 7, 20100 found this helpful

I had this happen a few months ago.My son left a gel pen in his pocket & my grandson's brand new light blue flannel pjs with darker blue & red design (gift from other grandma!)got a golf ball size ink spot on the sleeve. It took awhile, but I got it all out-here's what I did.

First,if you don't have a full bottle of rubbing alcohol,get one,I used nearly a whole bottle. You won't believe how much ink will come out of that spot at 1st! I would pour some alcohol on the spot & the ink immmediatly begins to dissolve-it makes a BIG mess at 1st,so I held it over the sink to do this! Then ran warm water over it until no more came out,then put more alcohol on the stain & repeated.I also usesd a toothbrush to gently scrub the alcohol saturated stain from the BACK of the fabric. Eventually the ink quit running so freely when I put the alcohol on it & I was left with the stain.I still used the alcohol but added a little liquid laudry soap(would have used all-fabric bleach if I'd had it) & scrubbed some more with the toothbrush, then rinsed again.


Eventually,I got out most of what was there & was left with a dark but faded ink blot.At this point,with nothing to lose,I mixed a weak solution of bleach & water.I put the bleach on the stain,rubbed it in,let it sit 10-20 min then repeated.When it still didn't come out,I added a little more bleach to the solutiion(think I ended up with 50/50) & repeated. Whenthe stain was barely visible, I threw the pjs in the washer with a load of stuff I had to bleach anyway (3/4C bleach in the full washer) & added a little extra laundry soap. When it came out of the wash, the only thing that could bee seen was the spot where the stain had been on the darker design was just a tiny bit lighter than the rest of it,but the difference was so small that you had to really look hard to see it-the other grandma never noticed it!


That being said,you have to decide if you want to go to the hassle of this.And be careful,choose carefully where you do it. I used the top of my white washer & discovered the ink actually stained the porcelain! I had to use bleach,soap & baking soda & scrub the heck out of it to get rid of it! I then put a thick towel rag under what I was working on. It also stained the sink,but baking soda got rid of it. Also, you could still end up ruining the pants by bleaching them too much or leving a worn spot on the fabric from rubbing. I have had a lot of succes with washing light tan or khaki pants in the washer with bleach to get the stains out & it doesn't seem to mess with the color(except maybe a shade lighter)-but you are going to have to decide if you wnat to take the chance.In my opinion,when I've had to do something like that,I figure I'm going to have to throw it away anyway if it doesn't get the stain out.

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May 12, 20100 found this helpful

From Haley's Cleaning Hints:

Place paper towel or a large rag you don't care about under the garment. Douse ink stain with hairspray. Then rub with a bar of soap. Rinse in cold water.


Any ink residue leftover? Set the garment on paper towel or rag again and pour rubbing alcohol over the ink stain. Rinse in cold water.

Any ink residue still leftover? Mix up a paste of cream of tarter and lemon juice. Smear over the stain. Let sit for an hour or so. Then wash in the machine on cold water setting.

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