Removing Ink Stains Made by Permanent Marker Pens: a 4-Step Guide
Wondering how to get ink out of clothes if it hasn’t come from a water-based pen? This is a little trickier, but it’s not impossible. Permanent markers and similar pens use oil-based inks, which means water and detergent won’t do much to remove them. What you need is an ink remover that can break down the oils in the ink stains, making them easier to lift off.
- Once again, begin by blotting the stain and removing any excess liquid. It’s important to use a microfibre cloth rather than paper towels, as small bits of paper could become caught in the garment’s fabric.
- Apply rubbing alcohol, or an aerosol hairspray, directly to the stain. The alcohol in these products is an excellent ink remover because it’s very effective at breaking down the oils in permanent markers. Some people also find that an antibacterial hand wash is a good alternative. Always wear protective clothing when handling these substances and use them in a well-ventilated room.
- While the rubbing alcohol, hairspray, or hand wash is still wet, place your garment in the washing machine, and wash it at the usual temperature with your regular laundry detergent. Again, wash the item separately from other clothes if possible, to avoid colour transfer.
- Ensure the stain has been removed before drying. Air-dry if possible for optimal results.
How to Remove Ink from Clothes after Drying
One of the most important things to remember when removing ink stains is that heat can actually set the stain, making it far more difficult to remove. This is why it’s vital to always check that the stain has been completely removed from the garment before it dries.
Accidents can happen, though, and stained clothes sometimes get put through the dryer. If this is the case, use a good quality stain remover from the supermarket to tackle the stain. You can apply it as a pre-treatment, and add some to your wash too. It might take a few tries to get it all out, but it will happen if you persevere!
Cleaning Ink Stains – Three Top Tips
Make removing ink stains easier by following these steps:
- Treating the ink stains as soon as possible. Like with any tough stain – such as blood or oil – the fresher it is, the easier it will be to remove. It’s when the ink stains dry and become ground into the fabric that removing them becomes more of a challenge.
- Never rub or wipe an ink stain. Rather than removing it, you’ll simply spread it around the garment, soiling more of the material. Blotting is the best way, as it removes the stain, while protecting the rest of the clothing.
- Slowing down the process. Apart from alcohol-based solutions that should be put through the wash while they’re still wet, other types of ink remover actually need time to work. Always read the instructions on the packaging, and leave the solution on the stain for the correct amount of time.
With your ink stain easily removed, and disaster swiftly averted, you can breathe a sigh of relief. So relax the next time a pen leaks or a felt tip smudges: with these quick tips, you have it sorted.