How to Remove Ink From a Sweater


Ink spills on clothing, such as a favorite sweater, may feel like an immediate fashion disaster. Ink penetrates quickly into fabric threads, staining and discoloring material. Simple washing cannot remove the ink. Special techniques are needed to release the ink from the fabric. Ink stains may seem permanent, but with certain products and tools, ink marks become only temporary blemishes.

Things You'll Need

  • White paper towels Dry-cleaning solvent Rag Hairspray Mild liquid detergent
  • Blot excess ink from the sweater with a white paper towel. Blot the area gently to avoid smearing the ink.

  • Pour 2 tablespoons of dry-cleaning solvent onto a rag. Dab at the ink with the solvent, allowing the ink to transfer to the rag. Fold the rag to expose a clean area and pour additional solvent onto it. Continue dabbing at the ink stain until it stops transferring from the sweater.

  • Hold the stain under a cool stream of water and rinse out the solvent.

  • Place two white paper towels on the back side of the fabric, under the ink stain. Spray hairspray containing alcohol onto the remaining ink stain, soaking the material.

  • Blot at the ink with a white paper towel. The alcohol loosens the ink to transfer from the front and the back of the material to the paper towels.

  • Launder the sweater with a mild liquid detergent and cool water. Inspect the stain after removing from the washer. If the ink stain remains, repeat the stain-removal process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the care label on the sweater. If the care label recommends dry clean only, allow the dry-cleaner to remove the stain from the sweater. Work on removing ink stains as soon as possible. Allowing the stain to remain for several days could result in permanent staining.

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  • Photo Credit signature image by Allyson Ricketts from
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