The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Ink Stains

Tomato sauce. Wine. Coffee. Ink. These are some of the toughest stains to deal with at home when it comes to furniture upholstery, porous surfaces, and clothing. Yet, they are quite common since they come from items we frequently use or come in contact with. From permanent markers to oil based stains, taking care of discolored blotches is a big part of maintaining the quality of your household items, and it's good to have the right hacks to make the process easier and more efficient. 

Whether you're writing with a pen or just happen to have one near your clothes, accidental ink stains are part of life, too. Sometimes they're more frustrating than other stains since they're persistent and usually need more elbow grease to tackle. Dayspring Pens explains that the reason ink is particularly tough to remove from clothes is due to the chemicals and dyes needed to make it stay on paper. But we've got you covered in this department; here are some of the best ways to get rid of ink stains.

The best methods

One important rule of thumb when dealing with ink stains on fabric is to address them before the clothing is laundered. A stain from a ballpoint pen is best removed by first flushing it with rubbing alcohol and then blotting or soaking the stain in the alcohol for 15 minutes. First Cry Parenting offers some other eco-friendly methods. You can dab a paste of baking soda and water onto the stain until it lifts. You can also soak your item in white vinegar and cold water, blotting the stain every few minutes or soaking the entire garment for 30 minutes or so. Cleverly adds that fresh milk can even come to the rescue as your item can be soaked and scrubbed with a toothbrush to release the stain. Just don't forget to rinse it well with water.

If you don't notice the ink stains until after the laundry has been done, there are still ways to get the blemish out. One of the methods recommended by Arch Ziner is to treat the stain with a stain remover and wait for 15 to 20 minutes. Then, hand wash the stained area with detergent and warm water, and dab it with a solution like nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol. Once the stain is out, you can rinse the item with cold water and launder it again.

What kind of stain is it?

Before you start to tackle an ink stain, you should know what exactly caused the stain as well as what kind of material you're dealing with. According to Grove Collaborative, inks can be water-based, dye-based, or permanent. Water-based inks, as in fountain and gel pens, are easy to remove because they don't stain badly and can be dissolved with hot water as soon as the accident happens. Dye-based ink, like ball-point pens, and permanent ink are thicker and, therefore, tougher to get out.

If your clothing is made from cotton, you can boil the material in a pot along with a commercial cleaner. For polyester, loosen the stain with hairspray and soak the item in warm water with dishwashing detergent and white vinegar for half an hour (via Love To Know). An ink stain on wool or silk should be blotted with cold water as much as possible. If that doesn't work, dip a toothbrush in an alcohol cleaner or vinegar mix and use that to gently scrub the material, advises Grove Collaborative.