how to remove ink stains

Normally, I’m fairly careful with pens and markers, mostly because I don’t like trying to get out ink stains. It probably has something to do with the fact that when my husband was in graduate school, he got ink all over a nice, white sweater. At the time, I didn’t know how to remove ink stains from fabric.

I tried every stain-fighting tip I had ever heard of, including spraying the sweater with hair spray and applying bleach, but I just couldn’t get that stain out. (I ended up burning a hole in the sleeve with the bleach!) Needless to say, money was a little tight, and I felt sick that I had ruined such a nice sweater, all because I didn’t know how to remove ink stains from fabric.

how to remove ink stains

Ever since then, ink stains have been my mortal enemy, hence my careful attention to pens and markers. Every once in awhile, however, I get in a hurry, and then I get in trouble! Take the other day, for example, when I was rushing to fill out a form for my kids to join a new club. Since we’ve moved into the “not the dream-house” home, my office is now in the bedroom. I grabbed a pen to sign my name on the form and ended up writing on my beautiful, white duvet cover. Ugh!

Instead of doing any extra research on how to remove ink stains from fabric, I decided to try out the steps I have used to remove art pastel stains from clothing. Sure enough, this stain-removal technique removed all traces of the ink stain. So in case you’ve ever had trouble getting out these troublesome marks, here’s how to remove ink stains from fabric.

how to remove ink stains

Step 1: Blot the fabric with rubbing alcohol. Note: If you are working with multiple layers of fabric…say, a duvet and a duvet cover, try to isolate the layer that has the stain. Since I never listen to my own advice (yeesh!), I ended up transferring the ink to the duvet as well as the duvet cover. Of course, this meant that I needed to remove ink from both the duvet and the cover, giving me plenty of practice blotting ink stains with alcohol!

how to remove ink stains

Step 2: Pour some Dawn dishwashing liquid on the stain. Rub it in and let it set for about 30 minutes.

Step 3: Launder as usual. Be sure to check for traces of the stain before you put the fabric in the dryer. If you find some remnants of the stain, repeat the process until the garment is completely clean.

stain-free duvet

I’m really excited that this stain-fighting tip worked to remove the ink stain. Duvet (and cover) saved! (By the way, my sister has used this same technique with permanent marker on a comforter, and the rubbing alcohol and dishwashing liquid removed the permanent marker as well!)

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