The Non-Alcohol-Based Hack To Remove Pesky Ink Stains

After accidentally dropping a pen onto a light-colored rug, drawing on clothes, or leaving a marker open to leak onto upholstery, most people immediately reach for their bottle of rubbing alcohol, as blotting the area with this liquid can effectively remove stains. Other alcohol-based solutions that could remove ink stains include hairspray and hand sanitizer. However, some may not be able to use an alcohol-based product, either because they're allergic or want to use a less harsh and more natural product. Further, maybe you have rubbing alcohol, but it's dyed or contains bleach, which could ruin fabric. Others may simply not have any of these things on hand, and by the time you rush to the store to pick one of them up, the stain may begin to set.

If any of these scenarios are the case for you, you may be searching for a more natural solution. If so, you're in luck, as you'll find exactly what you're looking for below. Further, this hack only contains items that you probably already have on hand, which could save you money and a trip to the store.

Mix lemon juice and salt

Some believe that just lemon juice and salt, two commonly used household ingredients, can remove ink stains, as lemons are acidic and salt soaks up moisture. To effectively use this method, begin by blotting the stain with a dry cloth, then use a wet cloth to remove as much ink as possible. However, if you notice that the ink is spreading, only use a dry cloth. Squeeze lemon juice from a fresh lemon or a bottle onto the affected area, then rub table salt into it with your fingers or a soft toothbrush.

After letting the area sit for 15 minutes, rinse with cold water right under the faucet or with a soaked rag. If you can, throw the material into the washing machine and check to see if the stain is gone before moving it to the dryer. If you're working with something like a rug, carpet, or piece of furniture that cannot be placed in the washer, scrub it with dish soap, then rinse again with a wet cloth.

An alternative natural method

Some believe the above method will remove any type of ink stain from clothing or other fabrics. However, if you find that it doesn't work, there's another mixture you could test out that involves a few more ingredients. Mixing together laundry detergent, baking soda, toothpaste (that doesn't contain alcohol), and your trusty lemon will provide you with a paste that you can scrub into the area with a toothbrush.

To see how well this natural solution can work when removing ink stains, Andrea Jean Cleaning tested it against alcohol-based materials like hairspray and hand sanitizer, as well as other common household cleaners via YouTube. She applied the materials to separate ink stains made from a pen on a rag. While white distilled vinegar and the Goo Gone spray didn't work at all, the alcohol-based cleaners and the natural mixture worked. Further, after putting the fabric through a wash cycle, the natural cleaner actually looked the best, though it did require more scrubbing at first.