How to Get Gel Pen Ink Out of Laundered Clothes

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Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels

  • Hair spray

  • Ammonia

  • Powdered laundry detergent

  • Toothbrush

  • Stain remover

It is upsetting to find an ink stain on clothing. Gel pen ink stains are even worse because gel ink, a synthetic ink pigment suspended in a water-based gel, is made to be even more permanent than other kinds of ink. It is best to treat a gel pen stain as soon as possible. Always test the various items you use to remove stains in an inconspicuous area of the clothing to make sure it won't discolor the fabric.


Step 1

Soak the stain in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. Gently blot the stain with paper towels.

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Step 2

Set the clothing on a table and sandwich the stained area of fabric between several paper towels. Place something heavy on top to weigh down the stained area and let it sit for about five minutes.

Step 3

Spray the stain generously with an alcohol-based hairspray. The hairspray will break up and loosen the pigment. Gently blot the stain with paper towels. Sandwich the stained area of fabric between fresh paper towels and weigh down the stained area for five more minutes. Rinse with cold water and repeat if necessary.


Step 4

Examine the stained area to see whether any faint traces of the ink are left. If so, mix equal parts of ammonia, water and powdered detergent to make a paste. Gently work the area using a toothbrush. If the stain is completely gone, you can skip the next step.

Step 5

Spray again with hairspray and apply a commercial stain remover such as OxiClean, Zep or Amodex. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application procedures.

Step 6

Rinse thoroughly with warm water once the stain has disappeared.