Monday, May 11, 2015

Cheap and Easy Ink Stain Removal

Rubbing Alcohol
Warmer weather has arrived and as I resume wearing khaki colored slacks to work, I am reminded of the best ink stain remover. Before you spend a fistful of dollars on special stain removal formulas and chemicals, I hope you'll take a peek at my ink stain removal review.

The Skepticism

Time and time again I tell people about the easy way I remove ink stains and time and time again, they go out and purchase the pre-treats-this and the oxy-cleaner-thats.  And report back that they still have a ruined piece of clothing from an ink stain.

I am sure that the items found in the cleaning section of the grocery store are good for removing a variety of stains. But, I have had amazingly good results with a simple bottle of rubbing alcohol.

Rubbing Alcohol Removes Ink Stains

I rely on rubbing alcohol to remove ink stains. Because I wear khaki colored slacks to work during warm weather, and because I am clearly an extremely clumsy person, I have to remove self-inflicted ink stains on a regular basis.  It is cheap, easy, and best of all - reliable.

While I've used this technique on a large variety of clothing items and materials, I am going to discuss my slacks - since my slacks are most often the ink victim.

These are the steps I take:

  • lay the slacks flat, with the ink stain up.
  • place a dry, white wash cloth under the stain (and over the next layer of slacks in order to protect the unstained section)
  • pour a bit of rubbing alcohol on the stain
  • press (or blot) with another dry white, washcloth
  • add more rubbing alcohol and continue pressing until the stain is gone
  • launder slacks as usual
For visual proof, here is a video of a woman treating an ink stain on her sofa cushion

The only differences are
  • obviously, it didn't matter that she could not place a washcloth underneath. If the stain ran, it would only stain the cushion stuffing which is unseen
  • she rubs, I blot.  I blot because on finer materials, you can damage the material from the rubbing motion
One additional note.  The experts advise that stains should be treated prior to washing and drying the item, as the drying process sets the stain.  I agree.  However, I have had success at removing ink stains from my khaki pants after they've been washed and dried.  I try to always remember to remove stains before laundering, but even if you don't catch an ink stain prior to going through the laundry, you might want to still give the rubbing alcohol a try. 

I have saved much money by rescuing clothing from ink stains. A bottle of rubbing alcohol is far less expensive than replacing an article of clothing. I hope this tip is helpful to you too.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Great tip, Dawn! I used to use hairspray (back in the 80s) and always had good luck. I'm going to give your tip a try! (You're not the only clutz around here!)

  2. What an awesome tip! I can't believe I have never heard to use alcohol to remove ink before. I certainly appreciate you sharing your insight. Ink has always been my greatest challenge when washing clothes.

  3. Great tip Dawn, I had no idea - I'll remember that - It makes sense though because in the 1970's my then baby brother had ink/paint all over the rug in his bedroom and if you can believe I used a face cleansing product called Ten-O-Six and it removed much of it! lol!!

  4. I will have many occasions to try this. My husband keeps putting his pens in his shirt pocket and I hadn't known how to get those stains out. It's probably too late for most of them, but I can't lose anything by trying.

  5. I use alcohol too. easy and cheap.

  6. Always good to have a helpful stain-removal hint, and one as inexpensive as this. Thanks, Dawn.


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