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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Removing Ink Stains

Caligraphy pen. These pens can easily leave ink stains.

I literally have bad luck with pens. Seriously, I can put a pen down, come back later, pick it up, and the darn thing has exploded, leaked, whatever they do when this happens.

Sometimes it’s minor and I don’t notice until I see the stain on my clothes, face, or fingers. Maybe it’s Murphy’s Law, maybe it’s the brand I buy?

If this happens to you, don’t replace the item that’s ink stained, try removing it first, there should be a cleaning solution below that will work for you.

Remove an Ink Stain from Washable Clothing

Here is a list of materials that can be cleaned with this method. And remember to check the tag and make sure it’s washable.

• Acrylic
• Cotton
• Linen
• Nylon
• Olefin
• Polyester

Back in the 80s, I had “big hair” (remember your big hair days!) and I used a lot of hairspray. Well, hairspray is good for more than just your hair; it can help to get rid of an ink stain too.

Spray the ink stain with hairspray and then set it aside to sit for a few minutes while you gather up and mix the following ingredients.

• 1 quart warm water
• 1 tablespoon vinegar
• 1/4 teaspoon liquid dish detergent

Now that you have your soaking solution, put the ink stained area in the mix and let it soak for about 30 minutes.

Rinse with clean water and let air dry. This should remove the stain. But, if there is any remaining you can repeat the process. If you repeat the process with the recipe above, on the second pass, I have used a soft bristled toothbrush and very gently brushed the stained area while in the solution. I also make another batch just in case the water has cooled.

Or you can do the following to help remove the remaining ink stain.

Rubbing Alcohol

To remove the remaining ink stain with rubbing alcohol, place a clean towel under the stained area. So if it’s a shirt, place the towel in between the front and back to keep from transferring.

Pour a little rubbing alcohol on the stain then blot with a cotton towel that is clean. Keep the stained area moist until you have removed the stain.

Flush with alcohol and let air dry. When you are sure the stain is gone then you can wash as usual.

Remove an Ink Stain from Non-Washable Items:

Here is a list of items that shouldn’t be washed and will most likely state it on the manufacturers tag (if there is a tag).

• Acetate (do not use rubbing alcohol)
• Burlap
• Carpeting
• Fiberglass
• Rayon (do not use rubbing alcohol)
• Silk
• Triacetate (do not use rubbing alcohol)
• Wool

Mix the following ingredients together:

• 1 tablespoon vinegar
• One part glycerin (you should be able to find this at most drug stores)
• One part dishwashing liquid
• Eight parts water

First spray a little hairspray on the stain to loosen the ink. Then dampen a sponge in the mix and blot the area. You don’t want to spread it so don’t rub, just blot.

Continue to dampen the sponge and wet the area to remove the stain.

When you’ve finished, use plain old clean water to remove any residue from the mixture. I take an extra step and cover the area with a clean dry towel (if on carpeting) so no one walks on it.

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