How to Remove Ink Stains: 12 Household Solutions

Simple at-home tips to deal with ink stain removal.

From Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things (Reader's Digest Association Books)
  • Loading
    iStockphoto/Thinkstock

    Cornstarch

    Ink on the carpet! In this case a little spilt milk might save you from crying. Mix the milk with cornstarch to make a paste, and apply the paste to the ink stain to remove it. Allow the concoction to dry on the carpet for a few hours, then brush off the dried residue and vacuum it up.

    iStock/Thinkstock

    Milk

    To remove ink stains from colored clothes, an overnight milk bath will often do the trick. Just soak the affected garment in milk overnight and launder as usual the next day.

    iStockphoto/Thinkstock

    Salt

    Pour salt on an ink stain that’s still wet, gently dab with a wet paper towel, and then remove and brush off the salt. Repeat until the stain has completely lifted. 

    iStock/Thinkstock

    Cream of Tartar

    Pen burst on your shirt? Make a paste by mixing 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Cover the ink stain with the paste for 3 to 4 hours, then brush off the paste and wash the shirt.

    iStock/Thinkstock

    Hair Spray

    Your toddler just went wild with a ballpoint pen on your new white coat. Squirt the stain with hair spray and the pen marks should come right off.

    Hemera/Thinkstock

    Nail Polish Remover

    If the ink stains on your skin won’t come off with soap and water, they are probably not water-soluble. Try using nail polish remover instead. Take a cotton ball and wipe the affected areas with the solution. Once the ink stains are gone, wash skin with soap and water. Nail polish remover can also eliminate ink stains on the drum of your clothes dryer.

    Hemera/Thinkstock

    Toothpaste

    This may or may not work, depending on the fabric and the ink, but put non-gel toothpaste on the stain and rub the fabric vigorously together. Rinse with water. Were you able to remove some of the ink? Great! Repeat the process a few more times until you get rid of all the ink. Note: The same process works for lipstick.

    iStock/Thinkstock

    Butter

    One of the kids use a pen to draw a new smile on that favorite doll’s face? Try eliminating the kiddie graffiti by rubbing butter on it and leaving the doll face-up in the sun for a few days. Wash it off with soap and water.

    iStock/Thinkstock

    Rubbing Alcohol

    Did you get ink on your favorite shirt or dress? Try soaking the spot in rubbing alcohol for a few minutes to remove the ink, before putting the garment in the wash.

    iStockphoto/Thinkstock

    Vinegar

    Treat an ink stain on a shirt by first wetting it with some white vinegar, then rub in a paste of 2 parts vinegar to 3 parts cornstarch. Let the paste thoroughly dry before washing the item.

    iStock/Thinkstock

    Sandpaper

    A little fine-grit sandpaper and a gentle touch is great for removing or at least minimizing an ink stain or small scuff mark on suede clothing or shoes. Afterward, bring up the nap with a toothbrush or nailbrush. You might avoid an expensive trip to the dry cleaner.

    iStock/Thinkstock

    Shortening

    Next time a leaky pen leaves your hands full of ink, reach for a can of shortening. To remove ink stains from your hands and also from vinyl surfaces, rub on a dollop of shortening and wipe the stains away with a rag or paper towel.

    Your Comments