How to Remove an Ink Stain From a Shirt

Ink stains on your shirt can happen easily with the accidental swipe of a pen.

When pens are kept in your shirt pocket you may end up with ink stains.When pens are kept in your shirt pocket you may end up with ink stains.
Most inks contain a permanent pigment that helps keep the ink on the surface where it's applied. While this is helpful on documents and papers, the last thing you want is a permanent ink stain on your shirt. To successfully remove an ink stain from your shirt, act fast and avoid rubbing and scrubbing, which will only spread the ink stain on your shirt.

Place your ink-stained shirt on a work surface with the ink stain facing up. Mix 1 tbsp. each of isopropyl alcohol and white vinegar in a bowl.

Cotton swabs are the perfect-sized tool to tackle ink stains.

Dip a cotton swab into the vinegar mixture. Swipe the solution onto the ink stain on your shirt. Dip a clean cotton swab into the vinegar solution and add more of it to the ink stain on your shirt, then allow the solution to sit on the ink stain for a couple of minutes.

Sprinkle table salt all over the ink stain and vinegar solution. Gently rub the salt and solution into the ink stain on your shirt with your fingertip. Flush the site of the ink stain on your shirt with warm water, ensuring you rinse the vinegar and salt solution completely from your shirt.

Pour a small amount of liquid laundry detergent onto the site of any remaining ink stain on your shirt. Rub the detergent into the fibers of the shirt, then launder according to directions. Make sure the ink stain has been completely removed before placing your shirt in the dryer.

Things You Will Need

  • Bowl
  • 1 tbsp. isopropyl alcohol
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • Cotton swabs
  • Table salt
  • Liquid laundry detergent

Tip

  • When an ink stain on your shirt occurs while you're out or at the office, wipe it with an alcohol-based wet wipe to lift and remove the ink stain.

Warning

  • Bring dry clean-only shirts to the dry cleaners right away for ink stain removal.

About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.