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How to Get Ink Stains Out of Polyester Fabric

Jennifer L. Betts
Man looking at ink stain on shirt

Polyester is a durable material used for everything from clothing to tablecloths. Learn how to get ink out of polyester using several products you have on hand like rubbing alcohol, borax, hairspray, Dawn, and nail polish remover. Get tips for getting ink out of nylon jackets and coats.

How to Get Ink Out of Polyester Fabric

There is nothing worse than opening the dryer and realizing one of your family members or you yourself left a pen in your pocket. Now all your clothes are covered in a set-in inky mess. Rather than grabbing the trash can, reach for:

Hooray for Hairspray on Ink Stains

If you leave a pen in your pocket or accidentally spill it on your polyester shirt, take it off immediately. Before you do anything else, try to blot up as much ink as possible. This keeps the ink from settling into the fibers. After blotting, follow these steps:

  1. Spray the stain with hairspray.
  2. Mix:
    • 4 cups of warm water
    • 1 teaspoon of Dawn
    • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  3. Soak the stained area in the mixture for 30 minutes to an hour.
  4. Rinse and repeat, as necessary.
  5. After all traces of the ink are gone, launder as normal.
Spraying aerosol

Blast the Ink With Borax

Let a little borax do the ink blasting for you. Especially if you have a ballpoint pen stain on your pants. To get blasting, grab your borax and give this method a go.

  1. Add ½ cup of borax to a container, less if you just have a small stain.
  2. Mix in enough water to create a paste.
  3. Put the paste on the stain, and let it sit for 30-45 minutes.
  4. Rinse with cool water.
  5. Add a drop of Dawn to the fabric and rub the stain with your fingers.
  6. Rinse again.
  7. Launder the item as you normally do.

How to Get Pen Out of Polyester With Dawn

Dawn can work alone too. Especially if you have the powerful Dawn original. This is a stain-fighting master for all fabrics.

  1. Add a drop of Dawn to the fabric.
  2. Rub the area gently with your fingers.
  3. If this doesn't work, try rubbing the fabric against itself.
  4. Allow the soapy mixture to sit on the stain for 10 or so minutes.
  5. Run cold water through the stain for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Repeat as needed.
  7. Launder as normal after the stain is removed.

Remove Ink From Clothing Made From Polyester Blends

While those methods will work for most polyester fabric, it's important to check the label. Polyester blends like your nylon jacket or polyester coat take a different approach.

How to Remove Ballpoint Pen From Nylon Jackets

It happens to everyone. You might have a pen explode in your pocket or forget about it when throwing it in the wash. Either way, you are left with an inky mess on your yellow nylon spring jacket. Don't despair! Instead, grab for the rubbing alcohol.

  1. Soak an old cloth in rubbing alcohol.
  2. Put a towel under the stained area so it can't soak threw.
  3. Blot at the ink stain on your blend jacket until it lifts completely.
  4. Rinse the fabric with cool water.
  5. If the stain remains, take a drop of Dawn, and rub the area between your fingers.
  6. Rinse and repeat as necessary.
  7. Launder as usual.
Rubbing alcohol

Removing Ink From a Faux Suede Coat

Faux suede is made of 100% polyester. Therefore, it makes a great coat. However, getting an ink stain out can be a little tricky. This is especially true on your lighter colors. To save your coat, grab a little nail polish remover.

  1. After blotting up as much of the stain as possible, grab an eraser.
  2. Rub at the stain.
  3. With the remaining stain, soak a cloth in nail polish remover.
  4. Dab at the stain until it lifts completely.
  5. Use a scrub brush to brush the faux suede.
  6. If machine washable, launder as normal.

Removing Ink Stains From Polyester

Got an ink stain, it's not even an issue anymore. With your stain-fighting knowhow, you're ready to tackle any inky mess that comes your way.

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How to Get Ink Stains Out of Polyester Fabric