How to Get Pen Off a Jersey

Ink stains that occur on jerseys, shirts and other clothing are removable.
Ink stains that occur on jerseys, shirts and other clothing are removable. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Get pen stains off a jersey and other articles of clothing by reacting as quickly as possible when the stain occurs. You'll have to exercise patience, follow through on some simple guidelines and dedicate some time to restore your jersey to its pre-stain condition. You can remove most pen stains, other than India ink or permanent markers, as long as the stain is not too deep. Pen stains are combination stains that require removing both the oily portion of the stain and the dye itself.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Towel
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Heavy-duty detergent
  • Laundry brush or toothbrush
  • All-fabric bleach

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Place the jersey face down on a flat surface. Slide a square of cardboard under the pen-stained part of the jersey so the treatment does not bleed through to the other side of the garment. Place a heavy, absorbent material, such as a cloth towel or several paper towels, on top of the cardboard under the pen stain. The material absorbs the pen stain as it is treated from the other side.

Sponge the pen stain by using a small, absorbent piece of cloth dampened with a dry-cleaning solvent containing perchloroethylene or trichloroethylene, according to package directions. Do not rub the pen stain. Use the sponging cloth to blot the stain from the outside toward the center so it does not spread. Repeat the process, moving the jersey to a clean spot on the absorbent material underneath the stain as necessary, until the pen stain is removed.

Rub heavy-duty detergent over the pen stain and use a laundry brush or toothbrush to scrub it with hot water.

Wash the jersey by itself in a washer cycle with all-fabric, color fast bleach, according to package directions. Depending on the material, chlorine bleach is used remove stubborn pen stains.

Tips & Warnings

  • Blot as much liquid as possible as soon as the stain occurs.
  • Read the label on the clothing before attempting to clean any pen stain.
  • Do not machine-dry or iron the garment if the stain is present. This sets the stain permanently.
  • Never use bar soap on a stain; bar soap sets it.
  • Always test an inconspicuous part of the jersey with the stain-removal treatment to verify it does not harm the jersey.

References

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