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How to get biro out of clothes

Accidentally scribbled on your favourite top? No problem! Learn how to remove biro from fabric with a few different methods.


Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Cleanipedia Team

clean clothes after getting biro off fabric
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Key steps

  • Test your chosen method on an inconspicuous area.

  • Place a towel under the fabric.

  • Use commercial products as per manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Other methods include using rubbing alcohol, hand sanitiser, or butter on the stain.

  • Wash your clothes as normal.

  • Check the stain is gone before drying.

  • Air dry your clothing.

Whether it was an exploded pen or an artistic mishap, finding ballpoint pen stains on your clothes can be a heart-sink moment. But with a choice of methods using the supplies you have to hand, this guide will show you how to get biro out of clothes easil and make them as good as new again!

Whichever method you choose to get biro out of clothes, follow up by washing your clothes as normal with a good-quality detergent to get them back to their best.

 How to remove biro from clothes: quick and easy steps to follow

Here’s everything you need to know about how to get biro off clothes:

  1. Always test any of your chosen stain removal products on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric and look out for signs of discolouration or other reactions.

  2. Place a towel underneath the stained area of the fabric before applying any cleaning solution. This will prevent the biro from soaking through and staining more areas.

  3. Apply a commercial stain removal if possible, following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t have one to hand, you could try out some household alternatives like hand sanitiser or even butter! Find out how these work below.

  4. Check the care label and wash your clothing on the hottest setting you can use without damaging the item, with a quality detergent such as Persil.

  5. Avoid washing with any other items to prevent ink transfer.

  6. Check that the stain has disappeared before drying, and avoid using a tumble dryer. Let the garment air-dry instead; if there are any remaining biro marks once it's dried, repeat the steps above.

  7. For other ink removal tips, check out our articles on getting ink out of clothes or how to get biro out of leather.

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Alternative methods to remove biro from clothes

Rubbing alcohol or hand sanitiser can work as household alternatives to commercial stain removers.

  1. Apply the solution to the biro stain.

  2. Allow it to soak for 10 minutes.

  3. Apply a liquid detergent such as Persil to the stained area.

  4. Rub the detergent into the stain with your fingers.

  5. Skip to step 6.

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You can even use butter to remove biro from clothes using the following steps:

  1. Rub salted butter into the stain using a soft cloth. Take care to focus on the stain only, and not to spread butter anywhere else on your clothes.

  2. Always rub the stain in a circular motion, working from the outside in.

  3. Leave the item in direct sunlight for 1–2 days.

With our tips on how to remove biro from fabric and clothing, you can be sure to clear up any mishaps and get your clothing ready to wear in no time.

Originally published