How to Remove Ink Tags From Clothes

A thin flat-head screwdriver can help remove an ink tag.
Image Credit: georgeclerk/iStock/GettyImages

You found a great dress and can't wait to put it on and head out with your friends on Saturday night. However, when you start to get dressed, you discover the sales clerk didn't remove the security ink tag. Ink tags are the tags stores put on clothing to prevent shoplifters from grabbing an expensive item and sneaking out the front door with it because the tag will set off an alarm. In the event a shoplifter does make it out the door, when he tries to get the tag off by himself, it will leak ink when the tag is broken, staining the item so it is unusable.

If you discover your clothing item still has the ink tag on it. you can return it to the store to have it removed provided you still have the receipt. This is the best approach.

However, if you find you need to remove the ink immediately, here are a few methods for taking off the tag yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Lighter

  • Knife

  • Thin-headed flat-head screwdriver

The Lighter Method

Step 1

Take a lighter, and melt the top part of the cone on the ink tag. It takes about 15 seconds.

Step 2

Scrape the melted part of the cone off with a knife.

Step 3

Take the knife, and pop the first ball bearing out.

Step 4

Carefully pop out the rest of the ball bearings. After the first one comes out, the others should easily pop out.

Step 5

Slide apart the two pieces of the security tag. Once the ball bearings are gone, the tag should come apart easily.

The Flat-Head Screwdriver Method

Step 1

Put the clothing on a table or the floor with the rectangular piece pointing up.

Step 2

Place a thin-headed flat-head screwdriver along the edge of the raised area of the rectangular piece of the security tag.

Step 3

Press down hard so you pierce the plastic where the head is located.

Step 4

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 all the way around the raised area of the rectangular piece of the security tag until you can remove it.

Step 5

Remove anything that is in between you and being able to see the metal plate inside.

Step 6

Using the screwdriver, lift up one of the metal arms that you can see keeping the pin in place.

Step 7

The pin should slide through the hole at this point, allowing you to safely pull apart the two pieces of the security tag.

Warning

Before doing the lighter method, freeze the ink cartridge. Otherwise there is still a possibility of the ink cartridge breaking and getting ink on your clothing item.

The Rubber Band Method

Step 1

Get a large rubber band, such as the kind used by the post office.

Step 2

Find where the pin is on the inside of your clothing next to the ink-cartridge part of the security tag.

Step 3

Wrap the rubber band around this pin several times until it is tight.

Step 4

Add a second rubber band if the first one doesn't pop the two pieces apart.

Step 5

The two pieces should automatically pop apart once there is enough pressure from the rubber bands.

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