How To Remove Ink Stains Quickly And Effectively

ink stain

What could be more frustrating than an ink stain on your brand new sofa or shirt? As you probably already know, ink is made to stain things. After all – it’s what we use to write with! At first, it might seem like you’ll never be able to remove an ink stain, but we’re here to tell you otherwise.

Before you can remove ink, you’ll need to know what material it has stained. Soft surfaces, washable fibers, non-washable fibers, stone surfaces, leather, suede and grout are some of the most common surfaces that get stained with ink.

In the home, spandex, polyester, olefin, nylon, modacrylic, linen, cotton and acrylic fabric are some of the most common materials that suffer ink stains.

The goal here is not to confuse you with 100 different ways to remove ink from 1,000 different types of materials. Who has time to read all of that anyway?

Most Common Ink Stain

The absolute most common type of ink stain comes from a ballpoint pen. What usually happens is the tip of the pen breaks, and the ink begins to seep out.

Sometimes this happens while the pen is in your pocket, or it might happen when the pen is on a sofa or another piece of furniture. The reason why ink stains things is because it has several different chemicals inside of it. Ink can have lubricants, solvents, dyes, pigments and other chemicals inside of it.

You’ll commonly find it in the form of liquid, aqueous, paste or powder.  The types of inks that you’ll find in grass, food and juice are considered to be organic ink stains, and they’re usually easier to remove.

The inorganic stains, such as those from ink, dyes and paint, can be harder to remove. The three major types of inks are ballpoint ink, permanent ink and water-based ink. Let’s jump into a basic but effective method to remove each of these types of ink.

Get Rid Of Permanent Ink

These stains can be quite difficult to get rid of. Regardless of how you try to remove it, this type of stain might leave residue behind.

To remove this stain, you’ll want to grab a cotton swab and apply some rubbing alcohol. This works well for fabrics. Just continue pressing the alcohol-soaked cotton swab into the stain.

If you find that this method isn’t removing the stain, you can try the same method with acetone or nail polish remover. The success that you get from this method depends on the size of the stain and how long it’s been given to dry.

Get Rid Of Water-based Ink

Out of all of the different stains, water-based ink is easily the easiest to get rid of. These stains are made from t-shirt prints and washable markers. A number of water-based inks are also friendly for the environment.

When removing it from fabric, just use the same method as mentioned above. Add some rubbing alcohol to a cotton swab and apply it to the fabric. Continue this procedure until all of the stain is removed.

Get Rid Of Ballpoint Ink

Fortunately, the ink from these pens isn’t nearly as difficult to remove as permanent ink. It’s made up of dyes and pigments, which give it color. You can use the same technique as used above to remove this type of stain.

Rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs work well. If these techniques don’t work well for the stain you’re dealing with, feel free to also try some hair spray. Just spray the stain with the hair spray, and it should come right off of your clothes.

Simple Tips

Remember that ink is a lot like many other substances that cause stains. It’s best to attack the stain while it’s still fresh. The longer you allow it to sit the harder it will be to remove.

Also, make sure you never wipe or rub an ink stain because these motions will just push the stain deeper into the material you’re trying to remove it from.

Blotting the stain with the cleaning agent of your choosing is the best way to go. Some techniques actually work best when given some time, so make sure you know if the technique you’re using should be allowed to sit for a few minutes or wiped up immediately.