As a person who loves pens, fountain pens and all sorts of art supplies, there have been many occasions when I’ve needed to remove ink stains from different types of cloth and other surfaces. I’m happy to report that I’ve had success most of the time with my ink removal efforts.
I’m not a stain-removal expert, but here are some of the things I’ve learned from my own experiences: I’ve found that the sooner you can try removing the ink stain the better the results will be. Testing the stain removal method you’re going to use in an inconspicuous place before tackling the problem is important too. Once or twice I’ve ended up with a noticeable faded spot on a garment when I didn’t take the time to do this kind of test first. Be sure not to put any garment in a clothes dryer if the ink stain hasn’t been completely removed from the fabric. The heat from the dryer can permanently set the stain. I always allow a garment to air-dry first before I determine whether or not my stain removal was successful. If the garment needs a second treatment and another wash cycle the stain often comes out the second time around.
The effectiveness of each method of stain removal will vary depending on what type of ink created the stain. When I’ve tried to remove ballpoint ink and permanent ink, I’ve had the most success when using alcohol based stain removal methods. Once I used hairspray to remove a bunch of ballpoint ink from the cloth upholstery in my car. Water-based ink, including many types of fountain pen ink, is so much easier to remove, especially if you work on it right away.
What ink stain experiences have you had? I haven’t tried the milk or glycerin stain removal methods yet. Please share some of your favorite methods!
Here are some websites with plenty of instructions on how to remove ink stains:
- How To Remove Ink Stains – from How Stuff Works (all sorts of materials and surfaces are mentioned here!)
- Removing Ink Spots – from Coit Cleaning
- How Can I Get Ink Stains Out of Clothing – from Cleanipedia
- How To Remove Ink From Clothes – from Wikihow
- How To Remove An Ink Stain – from Martha Stewart