How to Remove Ink Stains from Different Materials

Ink Stains

Don't let exploding pens cause you to erupt into a pit of anger and frustration. Fortunately, ink stains don't have to permanently mar your favorite items. With a little patience and some elbow grease you can make use of dozens of simple and effective ways to erase unsightly ink stains from a variety of fabrics.

Instructions to Remove Ink Stains from Five Materials

Ink stains do not discriminate. Rather, they target all types of materials, from cotton to wool, polyester, leather and suede. The key to removing these ugly blots is to act quickly. The faster you treat an ink stain the better the chances of it being completely erased. The following cleaning tips will help you remove ink stains from five popular fabrics.

1. Wool

The next time a pen leaks on your wool coat or pants follow these simple steps:

  1. Moisten a clean sponge or cloth and dab at the wet stain.
  2. Add a few drops of white vinegar to the stain and work outward from the center of the stain.
  3. If the stain persists, add a few squirts of hair spray and allow to sit for 30 minutes, blotting every five minutes or so with a moistened sponge.
  4. When 30 minutes has elapsed, lightly rinse the affected area with clean water, and then allow to dry.

2. Polyester

Polyester is a durable fabric that can withstand vigorous elbow grease. However, you should still be mindful when applying this ink stain removal technique:

  1. Apply a liberal amount of hair spray on ink to loosen stain.
  2. Mix together a solution of one-quart warm water, 1/2 teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent (such as Dawn), and 1 tablespoon white vinegar.
  3. Soak stained fabric in solution for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove and rinse garment with clean water, then launder per usual.

3. Suede

Typically ink and suede translate into a recipe for disaster. However, if you are able to treat the stain immediately, then you might be able to salvage your suede item.

  1. Apply dry-cleaning solvent to the stain and gingerly dab at it with a clean cloth.
  2. If the stain does not lift, use fine grain sandpaper, and very lightly buff the stain.
  3. Dip an old toothbrush in white vinegar and gently scrub the stain
  4. Allow the area to dry completely.
  5. Use a suede brush to roughen up the nap.

4. Cotton

Ink stains are never a pleasure to deal with. However, if your pen is going to break on any type of fabric, let it be cotton. There are a number of commercial cleaners that effectively remove ink stains from clothing. These steps show you how it's done:

  1. Add one-cup of Biz Stain Fighter to two gallons of water and bring to a boil in a large stainless steel pot.
  2. When the Biz has completely dissolved, add the ink stained garment to the simmering pot.
  3. Stir the pot so that the stain is completely saturated by the Biz mixture.
  4. Remove and launder per normal.

5. Synthetic Carpet

If your carpet is made from synthetic fibers, then you might find success applying these steps to remove ink stains:

  1. Mix corn starch with milk to make a paste.
  2. Apply the paste on the ink stain and let it dry
  3. Wait 30 minutes and then vacuum up the dried paste.
  4. If the stain persists, repeat the process.

Cleaning Tips

The most effective means of removing ink from any type of fabric is to treat it as quickly as possible. You want don't want the ink to absorb into the fibers of the fabric. If you are prone to ink stains, then consider toting a product like Tide Bleach Pen Gel stick with you. Otherwise, be prepared to experiment with a variety of ink stain removal remedies. Just remember it's a good idea to test an inconspicuous area of a particular fabric for colorfastness before treating the exposed area with a stain removal technique.

How to Remove Ink Stains from Different Materials