How to Remove Ink On Dry Clean Only Clothes

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Ink is the enemy!
Ink is the enemy! (Image: Morguefile.com)

Stains happen to the best of us, and it always seems to happen on something that is not very easy to clean, such as dry clean only clothes. Ink is something that is typically a nightmare to remove and you must be especially careful when treating clothes that have special washing instructions. If you have an ink stain on your favorite suit or tie, then here are some tips for washing that stain right out.

Things You'll Need

  • Home dry cleaning kit
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hairspray

When you go to remove any stain from your dry clean only clothes, the very first thing you will want to do before starting is to do a spot test. Turn the hem of your pants, dress or garment up and use the cleaner you want to use on a spot that is not visible. If you find that it does not discolor the fabric or cause damage, then you can proceed.

Of course, getting to the stain immediately is the best way to remove an ink spot from your clothes. Take the garment off right away, while the ink is still wet and go about the treatment. If you are unable to treat the stain immediately, then try to keep the spot wet until you can.

Both rubbing alcohol and hairspray are excellent for removing ink spots from clothing and fabrics. If you use hairspray, make sure it is plain hairspray with no added colors. Simply spray a small dot of the spray on the stain and then take the garment to the cleaners when you have the time. In most cases, hairspray will make ink magically disappear.

If this does not work, then you might want to try clear rubbing alcohol. Pour a very small amount in a small bowl or cup (or in the cap) and use a cotton swab to dab the alcohol on the stain. When your swab gets too "inky," replace with a new swab and continue until the stain is gone. After you are done, use another cotton swab dipped in cold water to clean the alcohol. Allow the garment to dry.

If you find that the ink still does not want to budge, then there are several other products that you can try to use, especially if the spot is small. It is important to test these in an inconspicuous area first to make sure they do not leave marks or discoloration. Acetone often works for ink stains, but may leave washed out spots on dark clothes. Dry erase marker cleaner may also work well on some fabrics. Goof Off and OxyClean are also popular products, but may discolor your clothing.

Of course, if all else fails, then your garment will be due for a trip to the dry cleaners. They are experts in getting these stains out for you, and may actually cost less than some of the remedies mentioned above.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try to remove the ink stain right away.

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