I get asked all the time how I’m able to continually come up with ideas for new blog posts. And while it is true that my mind is typically a swirling chaos of thoughts and ideas, I also get a LOT of ideas from you, the readers! I receive emails every day from readers who have questions about the topics that I typically post about here on the blog, like essential oils, homemade beauty products, DIYs, and so on. Today’s post is no different!
A while back, I received quite a few emails from different readers asking how to solve one particularly vexing laundry issue – removing those dreaded ink stains. While I have personally witnessed many ink stains over the years (thanks to a husband who tends to forget to check his pockets before putting things in the wash,) I had always assumed that ink stains were just there for good. But after receiving several of those reader emails asking how to get ink out of clothes, I was determined to figure it out, even if I had to sacrifice a few towels in the process.
What I discovered was that not only is it possible to remove ink stains, but it’s actually really easy, too! But don’t go around telling people that part, alright? It’s more fun to just nod sagely at your friends and family, and say, “Yes, I really am a laundry wizard.”
How to Remove Ink from Clothing
The big secret to removing ink stains from clothing is alcohol! Saturate the ink stain with simple pump hairspray, or massage hand sanitizer into the fabric. Then toss the item into a normal washing machine cycle, and voila!
Pretty simple, right? I decided to try out these two alcohol-based products for my ink stain tests based on my research: non-aerosol hairspray, and good old hand sanitizer. Both products contain alcohol – ethanol if you want to be specific – which acts as a powerful solvent. (Perhaps you may recall a recent post about removing paint stains, where hand sanitizer was also our secret weapon? I think I’m just going to leave a bottle in my laundry room cupboard from now on.) :-)
Armed with my bottles of hairspray and hand sanitizer, I set up the following incredibly scientific test. ;-) I cut up a flour sack cloth into a couple of different pieces, and wrote on both of them with one of my favorite gel roller pens.
Then I applied the solvents, spraying the hairspray liberally on one stain until it was totally saturated, and massaging the hand sanitizer into the other.
I let the products soak into the stains for about 10 minutes or so, then tossed them into the wash on a regular wash cycle. No muss, no fuss.
When I pulled my ink-stained cloths out of the wash, they were completely clean. Not even a hint remained of the pen scribbles they had once been covered in. Granted, they were relatively mild ink stains, but I’m sure the process would work similarly even for larger, more severe stains. (For a large stain, I would probably let the hairspray or hand sanitizer soak into the fabric longer, and then soak the item in hot water for an hour or two before washing.)
I never would have guessed that removing ink stains would end up being so simple! I hope that all the readers who emailed me about ink stains are reading this post, and that they are all as satisfied with these solutions as I was. Have a question or quandary of your own? My inbox is always open! :-)