11 Ways to Get ink Stain Out of Clothes

Whether you’re a creative person or not, you have probably experienced getting ink on your hands. This issue is usually easy to solve.

It is a different story when you get ink on clothes. So, today, we’ll be answering a common concern in the laundry room. How to get ink out of clothes?


As with other stains, time plays an important role. The faster you act, the higher the chances of getting rid of the ink stain. Treat the affected clothes as soon as possible.


getting ink out of clothes

First, you want to reduce as much ink from the clothes before any treatment or before washing. For this step, paper towels are the go-to’s. However, you can also use cotton balls or cotton buds. Some also find old rags and towels useful.

You don’t want to get ink on the other side of the clothes. Place your palm behind the affected area before you start. For a little more flexibility, you might want to place some cardboard or old rags behind the affected area instead.

Gently start dabbing on the affected area. Make sure to go underneath the affected area as well. It would help with getting out as much ink from the clothes as possible. Repeat until no ink is coming off anymore.

Keep in mind that you should not rub or scrub. Rubbing or scrubbing might make the problem worse. Not only could it spread the ink to unaffected areas, but it could also help the ink set in.

Blotting Aids

You might notice that there is still an awful lot of stain left on your clothes. In that case, you might also want to use one or two of the following.

1. Salt

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If the ink stain is still fresh, salt is a blotting aid recommended by many.

Pour a generous amount on the stain and let it sit for some time. Carefully remove after a few minutes. If the stain still looks wet from the ink, you might want to repeat this step until the salt no longer absorbs any ink.

2. Rubbing Alcohol

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Another popular blotting aid recommendation is rubbing alcohol.

Rubbing alcohol is great if you’re out and can’t immediately take care of the stain.

With this one, you want to soak the blotting material you’ve chosen and gently dab on the affected area.

If you’re out and you don’t have rubbing alcohol with you, hand sanitizer could also do the trick. Just make sure you’re using the clear kind. If not, then you might have to deal with a different stain later.

4. Hairspray

Some would recommend you use hairspray. Others would strongly suggest against it. So, which is it?

Well, hairspray could help with removing ink stains. It’s just that not all types of hairsprays will work. If you want to go for this blotting aid, you want to go for those with high alcohol content. Otherwise, it might not be helpful.

5. Glycerin

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Glycerin is another blotting aid you can use. You can use it on the affected area how you would use rubbing alcohol.

6. Toothpaste

ink out of clothes

When using toothpaste as a blotting aid, you’d want to make sure you go for the white one. White toothpaste seems to work best.

Don’t go for charcoal toothpaste! Charcoal may be known to be a great cleanser in many areas, but charcoal toothpaste could stain your clothes!

7. Water

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With some ink stains, water might help. If no other blotting aid is around, you might want to try it.

When using water, make sure you only put a few drops. Don’t drench the apparel. Alternate putting a few drops of water and blotting with a paper towel or rag.

Keep in mind to try out these different blotting aids in an inconspicuous area before proceeding. Some of these things might accidentally ruin your clothes.

Tough Stains

Now, if you’ve tried all the blotting aids above and the ink stain is still very visible, then you might want to proceed with one of these treatments.

8. Detergent

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Get a basin or a bucket, add some water and detergent. Depending on the material of the clothes in question, then you might want to use a gentle detergent.

If the stain is awful and we’re talking about your favorite shirt, then you might also have to add some bleach.

9. Baking Soda

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On the other hand, you might also want to use baking soda.

Mix some baking soda with some warm water until it becomes something like paste. Spread this paste on the stain and leave it for a few hours or even overnight.

10. Glycerin and Dish Soap

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Since you already have glycerin, then you might want to proceed with this step.

Mix your glycerin and dish soap. Spread it on the affected area and continue blotting. After you’ve taken a good amount of ink out, then let the solution sit in the garment for a few minutes. Blot again.

There are many different dish soaps out there, but it seems Dawn is the crowd favorite when it comes to different kinds of stains. If you don’t want to use Dawn, try to opt for something that won’t leave any residue or a whole new problem.

11. Vinegar and Cornstarch

how to get ink out of clothing

Similar to the baking soda method, you want to make vinegar and cornstarch paste. Spread it on the affected area and leave for a few hours or even overnight.

If there is still some ink left in the clothes, then you can try blotting them out again. However, an old rag or towel might prove to be better than paper towels and the likes for this one.

Things to Consider

We’ve shown you some of the best tools and methods to get ink out of your clothes, but there are other things you would need to consider before you take on that ink-stained apparel.

A Good Wash

If we’re dealing with a small stain, then you might not even have to do any of these things. A good wash with a great detergent might be enough.

Dry Cleaners

If we’re dealing with suits and the likes, then it would be best to leave the stain removal to the experts. Bring the ink-stained clothes to the dry cleaners as soon as possible.

how to get ink stains out of clothing

Type of Ink

It is important to know what type of ink you’re dealing with when trying to get rid of an ink stain. This information will help you better deal with it.

There are three main types of inks, water-based, oil-based, and alcohol-based.

Generally, water-based inks are easier to remove than the other two.

You’re probably dealing with water-based ink if you’ve gotten the stain from washable markers.

On the other hand, oil-based inks could be a little more challenging, but it is still easier to remove than alcohol-based ink. This one is commonly found in ballpoint pens.

The hardest one to remove would be alcohol-based inks. If you see the word permanent in any writing instrument, it probably uses alcohol-based ink.

As you would expect, some of the things above would work better for some types of inks. On the other hand, some won’t be much effective.

Earlier, we mentioned that you can use water for some ink stains. Oil is hydrophobic. If you’re dealing with oil-based ink stains, then water is undoubtedly not the best blotting aid to use on the list.

Type of Material

can you get ink out of clothing

When dealing with stains, knowing the material is also important.

Some of the things we mentioned above will not be good for some materials. Some of it might even ruin some types of fabrics.

To add, knowing the material of the affected clothes would also give you an idea of how to handle them. For example, you could use a little more elbow grease with some cotton compared to silk.

Sometimes, there are only specific products to be used for some materials. If we’re talking about leather, it would be best to use cleaning products specific to this type of material. If it doesn’t work, it might be best to bring it to an expert.


You want to make sure that there is no stain left before you dry the clothes. If you dry the clothes in the dryer and there are still some stains, you might have a hard time removing them. Not impossible, but it will be difficult.

If you’re not sure the stain is gone, it might be a good idea to air dry the affected clothes instead. The sun is a great gentle stain remover too!

If you’re worried about bird poop and the likes, there are dozens of ways to prevent that. Don’t deprive yourself and your clothes off this natural stain remover.


Ink is a useful substance. However, not when it is on clothes.

Getting it out of your clothes could be difficult, and you might end up scratching your head asking, how to get ink out of clothes?

Well, you don’t need to ask anymore. Today, we’ve shown you the many different ways how you can rid your clothes of ink stains. You can now get back to your work or art without fearing the ink!

how to get ink stains out of clothes

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