login ask-a-question questions unanswered tags faq

What is the best way to get ballpoint ink out of my clothes? gel pen ink? fountain pen ink?

asked Sep 11 '11 at 16:59

Eliot%20Gelwan's gravatar image

Eliot Gelwan

Me, I just rub some Dawn dishwashing liquid on it, soak it for a day, and then wash it with Tide and Clorox 2. Sometimes it works.

According to Laundry: The Home Comforts Book of Caring for Clothes & Linens by Cheryl Mendelson (my go-to book for this sort of thing)

"test stain with water or dry-cleaning solvent by placing a drop of each on stain. Use method that removes more of the ink. Ballpoint ink stains can be placed stain face down on white paper towels. Sponge with rubbing or denatured alcohol or dry-cleaning solvent, or rub detergent into stained area. Repeat if some stain remains. Rinse; launder.

Drawing ink usually cannot be removed. Try flushing with cold water until pigments are removed; rub liquid detergetn into stain; rinse. Repeat process. Soak in warm sudsy water to which 1 to 4 tablespoons of household ammonia per quart of water have been added. Rinse thoroughly. Launder in hottest water safe for that fabric, with bleach safe for the fabric.

Felt tip or India ink---Usually cannot be removed. Try pouring water through the stain before it dries, until pigments are removed. Allow to dry. If you notice some reduction in stain, sponge with dry-cleaning solvent. Allow to dry. Rub liquid household cleaner into stain. Rinse. Soak stain (possibly overnight) in warm water to which 1 to 4 tablespoons of household ammonia have been added. Rinse and repeat treatment if necessary; launder."


answered Sep 13 '11 at 15:53

Courtney%20Ostaff's gravatar image

Courtney Ostaff

Hairspray. Spray hairspray on it & then wash. Check before putting it in the dryer, but that should take care of it!


answered Sep 18 '11 at 21:48

Ctug's gravatar image


If it's ballpoint or most other pen inks, try spraying it with hairspray and scrubbing it out—then you can treat with other stain removers and detergent. That's always worked for me, surprisingly enough.


answered Sep 18 '11 at 21:48

bradykent's gravatar image


Soak the ink with hairspray. Cheap, stinky hairspray. Wash as usual. If it doesn't work the first time, repeat, but it will take the ink out.


answered Sep 18 '11 at 22:17

patb's gravatar image


Two words "rubbing alcohol". That's why "hair spray" works, it's actually the alcohol.

Had a nearly new dress shirt that went through the wash (and the dryer) with a ball point pen. I thought the shirt was ruined.

After soaking it in rubbing alcohol (admittedly for several days), the spot was completely gone

If you have a severe set in ink stain (like I had), you may need to add rubbing alcohol several times as it (of course) will evaporate


answered Oct 27 '11 at 19:04

CMAM's gravatar image


I've had good luck on ballpoint ink stains with Inknix, which comes in a 2.5 inch applicator tube. The garment must be washed or dry-cleaned soon thereafter. It isn't sold on Amazon.

Instead, what's sold is Amodex, which is claimed to remove all ink stains. $6.35 + $5.09 shipping. Costly--but not if it works.



answered Apr 11 '14 at 23:35

Roger%20Knights's gravatar image

Roger Knights

Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or __italic__
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported


Asked: Sep 11 '11 at 16:59

Seen: 17,349 times

Last updated: Apr 11 '14 at 23:35

powered by OSQA