How to Remove Ink Stains

An ink stain from a broken or leaky pen doesn't have to spell the end of your garment. This video shows simple tricks to remove an ink stain―even if it's dry.

What You Need

  1. Check ink-stained garment
  2. Check clean cloth
  3. Check glycerin
  4. Check cotton swab
  5. Check water
  6. Check mild laundry detergent
  7. Check bowl

Follow These Steps

  1. Buffer with clean fabric

    Place a clean cloth underneath the stain so that it doesn’t seep through to any other layers.

  2. Dab glycerin on the stain with a cotton swab

    Using a cotton swab, apply glycerin (available at most pharmacies) to the stain, gently rubbing it in. If you can’t find glycerin, hair spray also does the trick.

  3. Apply a gentle detergent

    In a bowl, mix a small amount of water with a few drops of gentle laundry detergent. Apply to stain with a cotton swab, and rub fabric to gently lather.

  4. Machine wash the item in cold water

    Toss your stained garment in the wash on a cold water cycle using an enzyme-based laundry soap (most standard detergents are enzyme-based).

    Tip: Make sure the garment is stain-free before you transfer it to the dryer; heat will set the stain.

    Tip: For dry-clean-only garments, apply glycerin but skip the soap; dab some water on the stain instead, and take the item to the dry cleaner.