How to Remove Embroidery Ink

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Things You'll Need

  • Color-safe embroidery thread

  • Mild laundry detergent

  • Color-safe bleach

  • Dishwasher detergent

  • Hairspray

  • Cotton swabs

Embroidery ink is commonly used to create patterns on material that the seamstress then will embroider over. However, once you have finished your embroidery, some of the ink may still show through. You will need to wash the materials very carefully in order to remove the ink without damaging your delicate work.


Step 1

Test your cleaning materials on samples of your thread. If the samples bleed onto the material around them, your thread cannot withstand the cleaning regimen.

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Step 2

Check the directions on the embroidery ink, if possible. Generally, these inks are designed for easy removal with a mild laundry detergent in room temperature water. Hand wash to keep the embroidery in tact.

Step 3

If you have been unable to remove the ink using conventional methods, wash your work in hot water with color-safe bleach and dish detergent. Use a gallon of hot water, 1/4 cup of bleach and 1 cup of dish detergent. Let the fabric soak in the mixture for 30 minutes, then rinse the fabric out thoroughly with cool water to remove all the bleach and detergent.


Step 4

Spot treat embroidery ink with hairspray or another acetone product. Use a cotton swab to gently rub the visible areas of ink with the hairspray or acetone product, then use a small dab of water to remove it.


To ensure that you will be able to get embroidery ink out of a finished product, embroider with thread that can be safely washed.

If you cannot get the ink out, add something to the pattern that will cover any extra ink.


Resist the temptation to wash your work before it's completed, as you run the risk of setting the ink permanently.


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