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

  • ink-stained garment
    clean cloth
    cotton swab
    mild laundry detergent
Follow These Four Easy 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.

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