LEAVING a pen in your pocket is a small oversight that can ruin an entire load of laundry if you're not careful.

Unfortunately, there isn't a universal solution to this pesky problem as it all depends on the material of your clothes.

Don't worry though, the experts at Better Homes & Gardens have been doing their research on ink stains and have gathered a list of easy tips for all your laundry needs.

Ink stains can set quickly and are easily aggravated, so follow these cleaning hacks to save your clothes.


This cleaning method involves rubbing alcohol, so you will want to test a dab of this on an inconspicuous part of the fabric.

Place the stained area over the top of a jar or glass, holding taut to prevent the stain from spreading.

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Carefully drip rubbing alcohol through the fabric.

The alcohol will pull the ink through the fabric to the jar below.

Rinse thoroughly and air-dry before washing as normal.


Mix 1/2 teaspoon clear dish soap, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 1 quart warm water together.

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Leave the stained item of clothing to soak in this solution for 30 minutes.

Rinse and air-dry.

If the stain remains, use the above method of dabbing with rubbing alcohol, after carrying out a dab test first.


Using hairspray, lightly spritz the material to loosen the ink stain.

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Then, using the same solution as above, soak the garment for 30 minutes.

Rinse with water and hang it out to dry.


If the stain persists, dab the damaged area with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol.

If you find your denim jacket or favorite pair of jeans have fallen victim to the dreaded ink stain, don't fret.

You will want to act as quickly as possible by blotting excess ink with a paper towel or cloth.

If the stain occurs while you are out and about, treat the dried ink with a few drops of water before blotting.

Place a clean cloth or some paper towels under your jeans and apply a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the stain.

Gently scrub the stain with a cotton swab or a toothbrush before rinsing in cold water.

Wash your jeans on a cold cycle and air-dry once clean.


Ink can also be removed from polyester and nylon using the rubbing alcohol method.

Once dry, wash the garment, and if necessary and recommended on the label, use a color-safe bleach.

Air-dry again and make sure the ink is gone before tossing it in a machine dryer.


Using paper towel, blot the ink stain with cold water as soon as possible.

If the stain doesn't lift, spray with hairspray and continue blotting with warm water until the stain is removed.

You can also scrub with a toothbrush in a solution of 50-50 water and white vinegar.

Dab with cold water and blot dry.


While you should make sure to read the garment’s cleaning instructions first, ink can be removed with a solution of clear dish soap, white vinegar, and warm water.

Soak for 30 minutes, rinse, and hang to dry – and go at any remaining stains with a dab of rubbing alcohol before another rinse.

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