How to Remove Ink Stains From Clothes?

How to Remove Ink Stains From Clothes

Cleaning stains from your clothes is never fun; it’s especially a pain when you can clean ink stains. If you are a student or someone who writes a lot with pens, then you know the struggle.

We heard your requests about going over the best ways to clean ink stains from clothes, so we are writing this article.

Today, we will first go over the common types of ink stains you might see. Afterward, we will go over the five methods on how to remove ink stains from clothes. Each of the methods we will discuss is tested for their efficiency.

Now, let’s go over how to keep your clothes fresh and ink-free!

Common Types of Ink Stains

Before you start teaching yourself how to remove ink stains from clothes, you need to know what type of stains you need to clean; while our methods will help you clean most kinds of stains, some need extra touch.

Here are the five most common types of ink stains you will need to clean:

Ballpoint Pen Ink

Ballpoint pen ink is one of the most frequent culprits for stains on clothing. Its oil-based composition makes it stubborn, often requiring immediate attention for effective removal.

Fountain Pen Ink

Fountain pen ink, known for its vibrant colors, can be water-based or pigmented. Water-based stains are relatively easier to tackle, while pigmented inks may pose a more significant challenge.

Permanent Marker Stains

Permanent markers, designed to be long-lasting, can leave indelible marks on fabrics. The permanence of these inks demands specific stain-removal techniques for successful results.

Gel Pen Ink

Gel pens have gained popularity for their smooth writing, but their ink can be tricky to remove. The gel-based nature of the ink may require a different approach than traditional ballpoint pens.

Inkjet Printer Ink

Inkjet printer ink is water-based and can be found in black and color cartridges. While water-based, it’s essential to address these stains instantly to prevent them from setting into the fabric.

How to Remove Ink Stains from Clothes?

We will review the five methods on how to remove ink stains from clothes. Some of these methods are applied by the best clothing manufacturers in Bangladesh and worldwide. Each of these methods has been tried and tested, so you can be sure they will work.

Milk Method

It’s our weirdest method on how to remove ink stains from clothes, but it gets the job done.

  • Materials: Cotton ball, milk

Soak the cotton ball in milk

Take a cotton ball and put it in a small bowl of milk. Make sure the cotton ball is wet but not dripping with milk.

Dab the stain gently

Use the milk-soaked cotton ball to tap on the stained spot gently. Press softly, almost like you’re giving it a little pat, so you don’t spread the ink around.

Let the milk sit for 30 minutes

Leave the stained area alone for at least 30 minutes. The milk seeps into the fabric during this time, and its special proteins start working on the ink.

Wait for the magic to happen

The proteins in the milk act like little cleaners, breaking down the ink. The longer you wait, the more time they have to do their magic on the stain.

Wash your clothes as you normally do

After waiting patiently, toss your clothes into the washing machine as usual. This ensures that any remaining ink or milk gets washed away.

Read Also: How to Care for and Extend the Life of Your Clothing

Salt and Lemon Juice

It’s a school method for how to remove ink stains from clothes, but it is one you can trust.

  • Materials: Salt, lemon juice

Make salt and lemon juice paste

Mix the same amount of salt and lemon juice in a bowl. You want it to be like a paste, not too runny.

Use the paste on the ink stain

Please take some paste and put it directly on the ink stain. Make sure to cover the whole stained area.

Let it sit for 15 minutes

Leave the paste on the stain for about 15 minutes. This gives it time to work its magic on the ink.

Rinse the fabric under cold water

After 15 minutes, rinse the fabric under cold water. This helps wash away the paste and any ink that’s been broken down.

Wash your clothes as usual

Finally, throw your clothes into the washing machine and wash them normally. This ensures that any remaining bits of ink and the paste are gone.

Rubbing Alcohol

This is the best method if you are wondering how to remove ink stains from clothes and the one we recommend.

  • Materials: Cotton swab, rubbing alcohol

Wet a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol

Get a cotton swab and lightly soak it in rubbing alcohol. Make sure it’s wet but not dripping.

Gently blot the ink stain

Carefully tap or blot the stained area with the alcohol-soaked cotton swab. Don’t rub too hard; lightly press. This helps avoid spreading the ink around.

Let the alcohol do its job

The alcohol is like a superhero here. It acts as a powerful cleaner, dissolving and lifting the ink from the fabric. Trust it to work its magic!

Wash the garment following care instructions

After treating the stain, throw your garment in the wash. Follow the instructions on the label to ensure you’re washing it correctly.

Perfect for fresh ink stains

This method works wonders, especially for those pesky fresh ink stains. The rubbing alcohol quickly tackles the ink, making your clothes look as good as new.

Hairspray Method

We tested one of the newer methods to remove ink stains from clothes. We are happy to tell you it works quite well.

  • Materials: Non-oily hairspray

Pick a non-oily hairspray

Choose a hairspray that’s not oily. This is important because oily ones might worsen things by leaving more stains.

Spray generously on the stain

Spray a good amount of hairspray on the stained area. Cover it well; you want the hairspray to do its job.

Wait for 10 minutes

Give it some time. Let the hairspray soak into the stain for about 10 minutes. This allows the alcohol in the hairspray to start breaking down the ink.

Blot with a clean cloth

Take a clean cloth and gently tap or blot the stain. This helps lift the ink that the hairspray has dissolved from the fabric.

Wash your garment normally

After treating the stain, toss your garment into the washing machine and wash it as you usually would. This ensures any remaining residue is washed away.

Great for all kinds of fabrics

This method works well on different fabrics. So, this hairspray trick can help remove those ink stains, whether it’s cotton or something more delicate.

Dish Soap and Vinegar

The most common method for how to remove ink stains from clothes. We read and heard about this method the most, so you can be sure it’s well-tested and works well.

  • Materials: Dish soap, white vinegar

Mix dish soap and white vinegar

Take dish soap and white vinegar in equal parts and mix them. It’s like making a little cleaning solution.

Apply the solution to the stain

Put the solution directly on the ink stain. Cover the whole stained area so it can do its job.

Let it sit for 20 minutes

Leave it alone for about 20 minutes. This gives the dish soap time to break down the ink, and the vinegar helps lift the stain.

Rinse under cold water

After waiting, rinse the fabric well under cold water. This helps wash away the solution and any ink particles it broke down.

Wash following care instructions

Now, toss your garment into the washing machine like you usually do. Follow the care instructions on the label.

Good for both fresh and set-in stains

This method works really well for fresh stains that have been around for a while. The dish soap acts like a grease-fighter, breaking down the ink, and the vinegar helps lift it.

You Can Also Read: How to Care for Your Clothing


No matter how new your pens are or how you use them, there is always a chance that you might get ink stains on your clothes. So, you must know how to remove them before they become permanent.

The five methods we went over on how to remove ink stains from clothes will help you clean your clothes really well. While a few of them are weird, we tested and compared them to ensure they work well.


Q. Can I use regular soap to remove ink stains?

Regular soap may not be sufficient for ink stain removal. It’s recommended to use specialized stain removers for better results.

Q. Is it advisable to rub the stain vigorously?

Vigorous rubbing can spread the ink and damage the fabric. Gently blotting or dabbing is a more effective approach.

Q. Can old ink stains be removed?

While challenging, old ink stains can still be treated. However, success depends on the fabric type and the ink’s composition.

Q. Are all fabrics equally prone to ink stains?

No, different fabrics have varying levels of susceptibility to ink stains. Delicate fabrics like silk require extra caution.

Q. Is it necessary to consult professionals for ink stain removal?

Consulting professionals is advisable for stubborn stains or delicate fabrics. They have the experience to handle complex cases.