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How to Get Ink and Marker Stains Out of Your Clothing!

November 11, 2014 3 min read

Article adapted from Cleanepedia. When I was nursing, I would carry pens and markers around with me on a daily basis and, on occasion, one would burst or I would forget to recap it in my hectic schedule. The result? A lovely black stain on my white nursing uniform. "Shit." Ink stains are bound to happen whether its from your pen that you carry around daily for work or your toddler has gone crazy with the permanent marker. We have a solution to remove both stains without harming your clothing! 888377-001 Before treating your stain, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
  • Treating the ink stains as soon as possible. The fresher the stain, 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 rubbing or wiping 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.
If the ink stain was made by a water-based pen:
  • Use a washable microfibre cloth for removing ink stains that have pooled on a garment. Don’t be tempted to wipe or scrub, instead simply blot the stain using the cloth, until the ink dries and stops transferring off.
  • If the stain is very big, use a water-based stain remover to help break down the ink stains, before your washing machine takes over. Leave for 10 minutes, or follow the instructions on the product.
  • Pick up the cloth again to blot your stain. You should find that you are able to remove even more of the stain now that the pre-treatment has had time to work.
  • Place the garment in the washing machine, preferably by itself. Remember: tackle water-based stains with water. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to boil your clothes, just use the same temperature you usually would for that garment.
  • Ensure that the ink stains are gone before drying. If remnants of the stain remain, blot, treat, and wash once more.
If the stain was made by a permanent marker:
  • 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 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.
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