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How to Get Ink Out of Clothes With Hairspray

Establish whether your leather is finished or naked

Naked leather is highly absorbent and basically untouched. This means that it can be difficult to clean without professional help. To test your leather, you will need to pour a drop of water on the surface of the leather fabric you intend to remove the ink stain from. If water soaks in the item, then the leather is unfinished and you might require professional help to get rid of the stain. If it doesn’t soak, the leather is finished and you can try removing the ink stain on your own. NOTE: Unfinished leather is extremely hard to remove ink stains even for the professionals. Trying to remove the stain at home may cost you more time than its necessary and even then, you may not succeed in removing it.


Does rubbing alcohol stain clothes?

First, rubbing alcohol is not pure isopropyl alcohol; it contains other ingredients, including dye, which can leave a dye stain on fabric. The other way that rubbing alcohol can leave stains is that it acts as a mild bleach, as do other forms of alcohol such as vodka or isopropyl alcohol.

What to Know About Removing Ink Stains From Clothing

Before we get started, here are some basics for removing ink stains. These apply, no matter what method you choose:

Ink Stain Removal Basics

Tackle ink stains as soon as you notice them. Keep the stain isolated. Don’t soak the entire garment, or the ink stain could bleed. Dab and blot at the stain first. You can scrub once the stain is lifted, but initially, dab or blot to lift the stain.

Water-Based Ink vs Oil-Based Ink

Water-based ink is typically found in washable markers and roller ball pens. It’s the easiest ink stain to remove and can usually be done with a bit of water and detergent. However, all our tips should work for water-based ink stains.

Oil-based ink, on the other hand, dries fast and is difficult to remove. It’s commonly found in ballpoint pens. The best way to remove oil-based ink stains is with an alcohol or glycerin-based product.

Take Note

Always note the type of ink stain you have before working to remove it. This will help with the effectiveness.

Removing Ink Stains From Different Fabrics

It matters whether you’re dealing with cotton, linen, wool or synthetic materials. For each fabric, you might have to adjust your method slightly.

First, always read the care label to see the recommended water temperature and if it can be washed at home. If it says dry clean only, it’s best to take it to the dry cleaners.

Next, you should always use a method that is safe for that garment. For example, don’t use a normal detergent on a wool item. You should use a special wool-safe detergent, or switch to a more gentle method.

Lastly, always test your chosen solution in an inconspicuous area of the garment before removing the ink stain. This allows you to ensure there is no damage to the fabric or the colors.

How to Get Printer Ink Out of Clothes

Printer ink is super concentrated and oil-based. So it’s best to use our rubbing alcohol or hairspray tip.

If that doesn’t work, try the dish soap and detergent soap in combination with an alcohol-based product. Then wash in cold water with detergent once the stain is mostly removed. Never dry until the stain is completely removed.

7 Needle Threader

One way to use hairspray that not many people are aware of is a needle threader! I like to sew occasionally, but I despise threading needles. One trick that has made my life so much easier is to spray the thread with a little hairspray before I start to thread the needle. This stiffens up the thread and aids me in getting it through that small hole!

What will dissolve printer ink?

Using Isopropyl Alcohol to Dissolve Dry Ink

On one end, most ink cartridges have sponge which is responsible for delivery if ink to paper.

Spritz with Spray

A pump, rather than aerosol, version of hair spray is preferable. Pump once or twice to saturate a cotton ball with the hairspray and press against the stain.

Spot test a given area before trying any of these methods

Choose a small spot of the leather in a hidden corner. With the solution you intend to use, apply it on the leather and be on the lookout for any signs of discoloration or damage. Here you will be checking whether the solution will ruin your leather. If the solution doesn’t affect your leather garment in any way, then proceed. However, if you realize any changes on your fabric, then you should stop at that and try another method of getting rid of ink stain on leather.

Grandma’s Secret For Removing Ink: Milk

by Donna Dockendorf (N. St. Paul, MN)

This is an old secret my mother and her mother used to remove any kind of ink from any type of fabric. It’s quite easy, just soak the stain in milk! The darker the stain the longer the soak. Simply rinse with clear, cool water once the stain is gone. I have always used whole milk. Works on everything from dress shirts to faux fur coats. To use a clean white dish towel or wash cloth, dip in milk then blot repeating until ink is gone. Use water to rinse milk out.

Taylor says:

Thanks so much for this tip!I’d love to hear from others sharing whether this worked for them as well.Plus, remember that normally milk doesn’t stain much, but if it does for you, you can use these milk stain removal instructions to get the spots out.***Update: I’ve gotten a similar comment from Cath, who also uses milk for removing ink stains. She says: “I was going to say ‘milk’ and then I saw someone got there before me! That’s what my mother always used to use when I came home with ink on my white school blouse. Which was quite frequently.” ***End UpdateYou might be surprised to hear that there are lots of unusual uses of milk around your home. Click the link to find more that I’ve added to the site, or to share your own with me as well!Photo courtesy of NickPiggott

What Takes Ink Out of Clothes?

Here are a few laundry hacks you can use to remove ink stains from clothing with household products.

Aside from the materials used in the above steps, you can use some baby wipes, a cotton swab, nail polish remover, or anything you can see that contains solvents.

Luckily, water-based inks don’t generally require these and just blotting the stain before washing can be enough to remove them. One thing to be cautious of is the type of material, so you do need to test a small area. Be sure not to use bleach on colored fabric, or you can ruin your clothes.

Nail Polish Remover

It can work very effectively, yet it is one which can damage some fabrics. To use, follow the same blotting method as above and then wash in the washing machine following the care label. Keep the area ventilated, as this may smell.


If you have a delicate fabric and you are not sure whether to use chemicals with solvents, you can try soaking your stain in milk overnight. Once you take it out, wash in a regular manner, and check if the stain has gone.

Vinegar & Cornstarch

Begin by wetting the stain with vinegar. While it soaks, make a paste with two parts of vinegar and three parts of cornstarch. Work this into the fabric. Once you have covered all the stain, let it air dry, and then you can proceed with washing the item.

While all the above are great ways how to get ink out of clothes or fabrics, it doesn’t mean all of them can delete ink stains. However, one thing never to do is dry your clothing in the dryer when it shows signs of an ink stain.

Doing this can set them permanently, and none of the ways above can remove the ink stains.

Read more Cleaning Guides

4 Keep Static at Bay

Winter is fast approaching and if there’s one thing about winter that I truly hate, it’s static! However, I’ve found that one of the creatives ways to use hairspray is to ward off static! Spraying blouses, skirts, pantyhose, hats or coats with it will instantly stop static in it’s tracks! I carry a small bottle with me for static-on-the-go as well. Just be cautious-if your clothing item is made of silk or another delicate fabric, the hairspray may cause a stain.

Reader Success Stories

  • Earl C.

Jul 23, 2019

    Earl C. Jul 23, 2019

    “No matter how careful I am, I will get something on a new shirt every time. Thank you so much, this was very easy to do with little effort and great results. 91% alcohol did the trick, and my wife doesn’t need to know about the stain on the t-top she purchased for me. “…” more

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