Ink Pen Stain Removal

Ink stains are annoying, but common. Whether a leaky pen has stained a favorite shirt, or an unexpected burst has stained a blanket, there are several stain removal techniques that can be used. Removing an ink stain can usually be accomplished with simple household items that you may already have on hand.


Hairspray is a classic stain remover for ink. Begin by placing a rag between any layers of the garment or other material that you are cleaning. This will keep the ink from seeping into other parts of the material as you clean it. Blot at the stain with a cloth soaked in water until it is damp. Spray the ink stain with hairspray and continue to blot. You should see some of the stain coming up immediately. When you are not able to blot any more of the ink out of the material, apply a small amount of liquid laundry detergent. Gently rub the fabric together to create a lather. Wash the item in the washer on a cold setting. Check to make sure that the ink stain is gone before drying it, as this will set the stain. If the ink stain remains after a trip through the wash, you can reapply the hairspray or try another method.

Natural Methods

On white cotton fabrics, remove ink stains with a little salt and half of a lemon. Sprinkle the salt over the ink stain. Then, rub the stain with the lemon. Finally, rinse the item and wash as usual.

If the stained fabric is colored, remove the ink stain with milk. Warm a cup of milk in the microwave for a few seconds. The milk should be warm, but not hot. Soak the stained area of the fabric in the milk for several minutes, or until the stain begins to fade. Remove the item from the milk, rinse, and wash as usual. If a faint stain remains after either treatment, do not dry the item. Try another stain-removal technique first, to avoid setting the stain in the dryer.