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A fountain pen and bottle of ink.

Removing Ink stains

girl with ink stains

Ink stains are incredibly common on clothing. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, these stains just somehow seem to make an appearance! With bold colours that show up easily on your clothing, it’s also one of the most frustrating stains to get. You could be getting your pen out of your handbag, not realising that it’s open, and accidentally get a bit of the ink on your clothes.

Kids are also likely to come home with ink stains after a school day. The good news is that it is possible to remove these ink stains from your clothes. All that you will need to use are a few different methods and a few specific products depending on the type of ink stain present.

Treating Water-Based Ink Stains

Luckily, most of the common writing pens and the pens that kids use at school are water-based.  These ink marks are the easiest to remove because they respond well to water. Follow these fabric care tips to learn how to effortlessly flush out the stain:

  1. Depending on how big the stain is, it is a good idea to pre-treat it before putting the item of clothing into the washing machine. Use a damp cloth to blot the stain, but take care never to rub or scrub the affected area. Doing this will spread the stain further and set it into the fabric, making it very difficult to remove even when using the best stain removal products on the market. Instead, when blotting the mark, the ink should be transferring from the fabric onto the cloth.
  2. Try to get as much of the stain out as possible by continuing with step 1. When you feel like you cannot get any more out, apply some OMO Liquid Detergent or a solution of water and OMO automatic washing powder to the stain. Let it soak for a minute or two. This will soften the stain and allow for it to be easily removed.
  3. Once again, use the cloth to blot out as much as possible. After this step is complete, insert your clothing into the washing machine along with your usual OMO laundry detergent. Check your clothing label to see what water temperature is suitable and wash the clothing in as hot a cycle as possible.

Removing Ink Stains Image


Treating Permanent Marker Stains

These stains tend to be more difficult to remove, that’s why we advise that you generally try to keep permanent markers away from kids!. Because they are oil based, the usual cleaning power of water does not work well to remove these stains. The trick to treating this stain is to tackle it with an acid based product as soon as possible. Try using ‘Rubbing alcohol’ or nail polish remover - as this may be more easily found around the house.

  1. Blot the stain using a dry cloth (because the use of water won’t do anything here). Next, apply the acidic product onto the stain and let it soak for a minute or two. Before you add this product to the stain, try testing it in an area of the garment that will not be seen first and allow it to dry in order to make sure that there is no discolouration to the fabric.
  2. Blot the acidic product off of the fabric with the dry cloth and put it into the washing machine using your regular OMO laundry detergent. Wash in a warm or hot cycle and, once complete, the stain should be gone!