How to Get Ink Stains Out of Clothes

Whether you are a student or a working person, you must have experienced getting your shirts or dresses stained due to ink spills. You might have been worrying that you won’t be able to wear your favorite cloth again due to that ink stain, but you have got our back! Here you will find various ways to remove those ink stains from your garments.

Various ink stains require different treatments to get removed, so first ensure that what type of ink stain is there on your cloth and depending on that, choose the right method.

How to get Ballpoint Pen Ink Stains Out of Clothes

Ballpoint pen inks are the quickest ink stains to remove. Simply follow the steps provided below, and you are good to go:

  • Firstly, keep a paper cloth or tissue under the ink stain.
  • Pour some rubbing alcohol on the stain if it is a small one. If the ink stain is large, take a bowl of alcohol and submerge the stained area. 
  • Soak it in the alcohol for at least 15 minutes and then sponge the area unless no ink is being released from the cloth.
  • Next, wash off the cloth in cold water. Also, apply some stain remover for extra assurance.
  • Lastly, dry it completely, and your cloth is again ready to be worn.

How to get Marker/ Felt-tip Pen Ink Stains Out of Clothes

These types of ink stains are comparatively hard to remove, but following these steps will help you:

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  • Immediately put the stained area under cold water to remove the excess ink as much as possible.
  • Now, take a bowl of hot water. Mix liquid detergent and a small amount of ammonia and stir it well. 
  • Put the cloth in the water mixture and blot the stain gently using your fingers.
  • Let the cloth soak for 30-60 minutes and if you notice the stain is still very harsh, let it soak overnight. Also, change the solution after now and then for more effective results.
  • Finally, rinse it with water and let it dry.

Various Other Methods To Remove Ink Stains

If the above-mentioned methods do not work, use the following other ways. One of them will definitely work for you:


Most hairsprays do not contain that much alcohol to remove the ink stain, but few of them can. Spray some hairspray on the freshly-inked area, and then wash the cloth with any liquid detergent. Note that this method does not work on old ink stains.

visual representation of hairspray


Apply toothpaste on the stained area and let it soak for 10-15 minutes. Rub the paste with your fingers softly and clean out the remaining paste from the cloth. Lastly, wash it in cold water.


Take a bowl and mix equal parts of cold water and white vinegar. Let the stained area soak for a minimum of 30 minutes. Dab the stain with cotton or a sponge now and then. Lastly, wash it with a liquid detergent and dry it.


Milk is only effective if it is combined with white vinegar. Take one part of vinegar and two parts of milk and soak the stained area in that mixture overnight. Then, wash it with normal water and let it dry.

visual representation of milk mixed with vinegar

Vinegar with cornstarch

First, soak the stained area in some vinegar. Then, make a paste of three parts cornstarch and two parts vinegar, and apply it to the stain. Let it sit and dry. Lastly, wash the stained portion with warm water and let it dry to wear again.

Baking soda

Take one part of water and two parts of baking soda, and mix them well. Next, apply it on the ink stain using a cotton ball and blot it. Clear the remaining paste with a soft towel and wash the cloth as usual.  


Firstly, soak the ink stain in cold water and then put a towel under the stained area. Put some glycerin on it, let it soak for at least ten minutes, and blot the area. Then, wash off with warm water.

Hand sanitizer 

Apply some sanitizer on the ink stain and blot it with a cotton ball. Let it soak for a few minutes, and then wash it in cold water.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to remove old ink stains?

It is best to use a strong stain remover in case you have noticed the ink stain lately, and it had dried up. But make sure to check the fabric label before you use it. After that, you can apply rubbing alcohol, hairspray, or hand sanitizer for better results.

How to remove printer ink stains from clothes?

Printer inks are very oily and concentrated, so rubbing alcohol or the hairspray method may work best. Then, simply wash off in cold water with some liquid detergent.

How to get ink stains out of leather?

Simply, take some rubbing alcohol in cotton or soft cloth and rub it on the stained area. The ink stain must go away easily. If not, use a commercial stain remover.

visual representation of ink removal from leather

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