Pen stains on clothes are a common and frustrating problem. Whether it’s from a leaky pen in your pocket or accidental doodling on your shirt, ink stains can ruin an outfit. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to remove pen stains from clothes with things you may already have around the house.
Before we dive in, it’s important to know that there are different types of ink, and some may be more challenging to remove than others. Permanent ink, for example, is designed to last, making it harder to get out of fabric. Regardless of the type of ink, it’s essential to treat the stain as soon as possible to increase your chances of success.
Ten Surprisingly Easy Ways to Remove Pen Stains from Clothes
- Rubbing Alcohol: Place the stained fabric on a clean cloth and dab it with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. Repeat until the stain is lifted, wash the clothing and air dry it.
- Vinegar and Cornstarch: Mix a paste of vinegar and cornstarch and spread it over the stain. Leave it to dry completely, then brush it off with a soft-bristled brush. Repeat until the stain is lifted, then wash and air dry.
- Hairspray: Spray the stain with hairspray and let it sit for a few minutes. Blot the stain gently and place it in the washing machine as usual.
- Baking Soda and Water: Mix a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the stain. Leave it for 30 minutes, then rinse it with cold water. Wash the clothing as usual.
- Window Cleaner: Spray the stain with window cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes. Blot the stain gently, then wash the clothing as usual.
- Milk: Soak the stained fabric in milk for a few hours, then rinse and wash the clothing as usual.
- Lemon Juice: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse the stain with water and wash the clothing as usual.
- Acetone or Nail Polish Remover: Soak the stained fabric in acetone or nail polish remover for a few minutes, then wash the clothing as usual.
- Salt and Dish Soap: Mix salt and dish soap into a paste and rub it over the stain. Rinse the stain with water and wash the clothing as usual.
- Toothpaste: Apply a small amount of toothpaste over the stain and rub it in gently. Rinse the stain with water and wash the clothing as usual.
What to Do If the Stain Is Stubborn
If the stain is stubborn and not coming out easily, do not dry the clothing as it will only set the stain further.
Instead, consider taking the fabric to a professional dry cleaner. They have access to specialty cleaning products and can remove more challenging stains. Be sure to let them know that the stain is from ink, so they can use the appropriate method to remove it.
Pen stains on clothing can be frustrating, but there are many ways to remove them. Remember to act quickly, as this will increase your chances of success. When trying out any of the methods above, be sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the garment first to ensure it does not ruin it. And finally, to prevent future ink stains, consider writing with ballpoint pens rather than using a fountain pen, and store your pens upright to prevent any leaks.