How to get Tipp-Ex out of clothes

If your jumper looks like someone’s tried to erase it, here’s how to get Tipp-Ex out of clothes.

Updated

Close up on Tipp-Ex brush

Key steps

If you need to remove Tipp-Ex from clothing or carpets:

  1. If it’s still wet, use kitchen roll to get rid of as much as you can.
  2. Scrape away the rest of the correction fluid with fingernails when it’s dry.
  3. When you’ve removed as much as you can, apply rubbing alcohol if it’s suitable for the material.
  4. Rinse and dry.
  5. If in doubt, go to a dry cleaner.

Correction fluid’s an odd sort of substance, and it can be a pain when it gets on your sleeve. How do you get Tipp-Ex out of clothes or carpets? Don’t worry: you probably won’t have to Tipp-Ex the rest of your cardigan to make it match. Here’s what to do when you need to remove Tipp-Ex from clothing.

Gentle methods aren’t cutting it? For a more vigorous approach to how to get Tipp-Ex out of carpet, try gently scrubbing the stain with an old towel after applying rubbing alcohol.

How do you get Tipp-Ex off clothes?

Does Tipp-Ex wash out of clothes? Not on its own, unfortunately. Instead of shoving it straight in the washing machine, follow these steps to get out the white-out.

  1. If the correction fluid is still wet, gently blot away what you can with kitchen roll; don’t rub, and work inwards from the edge of the stain to avoid spreading it further. Leave the rest to dry before moving to the next step.
  2. When the correction fluid is dry, scrape away as much of it as you can, using a blunt edge: your fingernails, a butter knife or the edge of a plastic card, for example. Work gently to avoid pulling or damaging the fabric. If the fabric’s sturdy enough not to be damaged by it, you can go at it with a stiff brush after picking off as much as you can manage.
  3. At this point, if the item is only suitable for dry cleaning, take it to the dry cleaner and explain what’s happened. They’ll know how to get Tipp-Ex off clothes.
  4. If you’re prepared to try to remove Tipp-Ex from clothing at home, test a little rubbing alcohol on an inconspicuous area of the garment to make sure it doesn’t cause discolouration or damage.
  5. If you’re sure rubbing alcohol is safe to use on the article, dab it around the edges of the stain and then over the stain itself, using a cotton swab or a clean cloth. If the fabric is thin, do the same thing on the back of the stained fabric.
  6. After a few minutes (four is fine), rinse the stain thoroughly and let the garment dry.

If this isn’t enough, you may have more luck repeating steps 4 to 6, using a nail varnish remover that contains acetone in place of the rubbing alcohol. However, acetone will eat a hole in certain fabrics, such as modacrylic, acetate or triacetate. If in doubt, go to a dry cleaner.

Once you’ve got the Tipp-Ex out, give the article a normal wash and let it dry.

Do you use powder, capsules or liquid to wash your clothes?

How to get Tipp-Ex out of carpet

If you’re dealing with carpet, the method is very similar to the technique for how to get Tipp-Ex out of clothes outlined above, although the last few steps are slightly different. In summary:

  1. Blot away wet excess.
  2. Scrape away as much of the dry Tipp-Ex as you can.
  3. Test rubbing alcohol on an inconspicuous corner.
  4. If it’s safe, use a cloth to apply rubbing alcohol to the stain. Carpets tend to be sturdier than clothing, so you can usually rub a little harder on a carpet than you might be able to on, for example, a T-shirt.
  5. Leave the rubbing alcohol for four minutes or so.
  6. Rinse the rubbing alcohol away, but don’t saturate the carpet with water, because it’ll be a pain to dry. Use a sponge dipped in water to clean away the alcohol, rather than pouring it straight on.
  7. Blot up as much of the liquid as possible with towels or kitchen roll.
  8. Leave the damp area exposed to the air; don’t move furniture over it until it’s dry. We have an article on how to dry wet carpet if you’re having trouble.

Tipp-Ex stains tend to hit school uniforms most often, so, in addition to the above advice on how to get Tipp-Ex off a blazer, you may be interested in our article on how to clean school uniforms.

Originally published