Cleaning Center

How to Remove Ink From Clothes

How to Remove Ink From Clothes

Did your favorite pen explode in your pocket? We’ll show you how to remove ink from clothes and bid farewell to those stubborn stains for good!

Ah, the frustration of finding an ink stain on your favorite shirt or pair of pants! What do those pens have against our wardrobe? Not to worry–whether you left a pen in your pocket or your child tried to “decorate” your garments, we’ll show you how to remove ink from clothes so you’ll never know it was there in the first place.

What causes ink stains?

You're happily doodling or jotting down important notes when, oops, a wild ink stain appears on your clothes! But how does this inky mess happen? Ink is made up of pigments and solvents. Pigments are tiny particles of color that make ink dark and vibrant, while solvents help it glide smoothly on paper. When ink lands on your clothes, the solvents penetrate the fabric while the pigments color your clothing. This adhesive combination makes removing ink from fabric a tricky matter–but not impossible! We’ll show you how to remove ink from clothes so you can bid farewell to those stains once and for all.

How to Remove Ink From Clothes

What you’ll need: Ultra Concentrated Laundry Detergent, Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent Pods, Oxi Booster Pods

Step 1: Flush Out Stain

Place the stain wrong side up under your faucet and flush it out with cold water. Be sure to run the cold water through the back of the stain to help push the ink out of the fibers, rather than further in. This will get out as much of the ink stain as possible before moving on to treat it.

Step 2: Spot Clean the Stain

Use one pump of Dropps Ultra Concentrated Laundry Detergent as a spot treatment. Gently dab the stain with the detergent and allow it to sit. Our Ultra Concentrated Stain & Odor Detergent contains enzymes designed to break down stain causing culprits like fats, proteins, and sugars. You should see the stain begin to lift and remove ink from clothes in real time as our Ultra Concentrated Detergent works its magic. Rinse the stain in a basin or under running water and watch as the coffee washes away. Depending on the material and severity of the stain, you may want to repeat this process or allow the detergent to sit for a longer period of time.

Step 3: Wash

When you are satisfied with the spot treatment, wash the item in the warmest water suggested by the garment’s care label with a Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent Pod. You can also add an Oxi Booster Pod to the wash for extra brightening and whitening! Our Oxi Booster Pods are a chlorine-free bleach alternative that tackle stubborn stains and odors without bleaching your clothes or adding harsh chemicals to your washing routine.

Step 4: Dry

When the wash is done and the stain is gone, dry the item as usual according to the care label. Be sure the stain is fully lifted before putting the garment in the dryer, as the heat from a dryer can cause any remaining stains to set further and be more difficult to remove in the future. Once the stain is fully gone, you can dry the item worry-free!

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions about how to get pen ink out of clothes? We’re here to help answer all of your questions about how to remove ink from clothes.

How can I remove ballpoint pen stains?

Ballpoint pen stains are one of the most common ink stains you may encounter. Luckily, getting pen out of fabric is easy! Follow the above steps to banish that stain for good. Try to treat the stain as quickly as possible, as the longer a stain sits, the more difficult it is to remove.

Will vinegar remove ink from clothes?

Vinegar is a great natural product for treating stains, and ink stains are no exception! Mix equal parts water and white vinegar to create a stain fighting solution. Soak the ink stain for half an hour, dabbing at the stain intermittently. Rinse with cool water, then wash as normal.

How do you get ink out of fabric?

Follow our above guide to remove ink from clothes quickly and easily! Be sure to act quickly, as the sooner you treat a stain, the easier it will be to remove it. Depending on the age of the stain, you may need to repeat the stain removal process until the ink is completely gone.

What is the best ink remover from clothes?

What takes ink out of clothes? There are many products that can assist in removing ink stains! Here are a few of our favorites.

Are pen ink stains permanent?

Does pen ink come out of clothes? It depends! Pen ink stains are not necessarily permanent, but their removability depends on various factors such as the type of ink, the fabric, and how long the stain has been set. It's important to act quickly and treat the stain as soon as possible to increase the chances of removing ink from fabric.

How do you get dried pen ink out of clothes?

Removing dried pen ink stains from clothes can be a bit more challenging than tackling fresh stains. You can use a variety of products to treat ink stains–we are particularly fond of Oxi Booster Pods and Stain & Odor Laundry detergent–but the key in this situation is patience. If the stain has dried, it has likely settled deep into the fibers of your clothing, and will need several spot treatments to be fully removed. In most cases, the stain can be removed with some gentle persistence!