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Ink Stains
How to Remove

Ink stains are some of the most common types of stains we get on our clothing -- and are among the most stubborn to remove. Like a lot of the stains mentioned here, ink can be tackled with three of our Fantastic Four items: salt, baking soda, and lemon juice.

Back in the day, we used to spray aerosol hair spray on our clothes to make ink stains dissolve. It was certainly a smelly option and probably not the best for our clothes (or, considering the fumes coming from the aerosol cans, ourselves). But there certainly are other home remedies to try. For one, sprinkle a fresh stain with salt and then soak the entire garment in milk; afterward, launder as usual.

Another method involves making a paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar. You should first test the fabric for colorfastness: Paint the mixture onto a hidden area of the fabric and let it sit for 20 minutes. If the color is fine, then it's full steam ahead! Cover the stain with the paste and again let it sit for 20 minutes. Then check that the stain is removed before laundering the item as usual. An alternative method would be to cover the stain with cream of tartar and drizzle a little lemon juice onto it. Rub the mixture in and let it sit for a minute or two, then brush off any excess cream of tartar. Launder the item as usual.

Here's a tip for removing ink from white fabric: Apply the cream of tartar and lemon juice paste and then lay the fabric flat outside in a sunny spot. The paste will remove the stain, and the sun will brighten the white fabric. Then, of course, wash as usual.

Say you're at a party, and you've managed to swipe your pen on your shirt. Since most people don't carry cream of tartar and lemon juice everywhere they go, here's a trick to use in a pinch: Plain club soda helps keep stains from setting. Dip the stained area into the club soda and then dab with a hand-kerchief or other lint-free cloth. If the stain is serious, follow the methods mentioned already, or just launder as normal.


the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.. "10 Green Tips for Removing Stains" 08 April 2009. 04 June 2011.

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