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How to Remove Ink Stains

Got a minor ink disaster on your hands? There's no need to panic -- you just have to act fast. Whether you're writing the next Great American Novel or simply jotting down your weekly grocery list, you'll be back at it in no time with our best stain solutions.

What to Know

When your pen bleeds onto your new blouse, your first action might not be to think about what type of ink you're dealing with. But we think it should be. Here's why: If the ink is water-soluble (like the ink in a felt-tip pen, for instance), it may "explode" and spread upon contact with water, whereas an oil-soluble stain (like the ink in a ballpoint pen) is less likely to run. Because of this, different inks require different removal methods. Remember -- if you choose the wrong technique, you may end up doing more harm than good.

 

It's also important to note that "tamping," the process described in the above video, is the proper way to seal in any chemicals or solvents used to dispel the stain. The up-and-down pouncing motion of this technique will be far more effective than rubbing or any back-and-forth movements.

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What to Do

For Felt-Tip Ink:

1. First, build a “dam” around the stain with mineral oil or petroleum jelly; work within the confines of the “dam.”

2. Test the ink with a cotton swab saturated with water and another one saturated with isopropyl alcohol. If isopropyl alcohol pulls more pigment out of the stain, follow the steps for ballpoint ink stains below. If water is more effective, spray the stain with diluted dishwashing-soap solution, then flush with cold water.

 

For Permanent Marker:

1. Apply Amodex Ink & Stain Remover to the stained area.

2. Gently rub with a brush, then rinse or launder.

 

For Ballpoint Ink:

1. Build a “dam” around the stain with mineral oil or petroleum jelly. Always work within the confines of the dam. Apply isopropyl alcohol using an eyedropper.

2. Remove any remaining pigment with a dry solvent in a well-ventilated room; let dry.

3. Rinse with diluted dishwashing-soap solution, then wash with an enzyme detergent in warm water.

 

Check Out Our Printable Stain Removal List for More Helpful Tips

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