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How to Get Ink Stains Out of Your T-Shirt

An ink stain is immediately noticeable on most colors of t-shirts. It can ruin the look of a t-shirt, but regular laundry detergent may not get the ink stain out of the fabric. And if it does, it may only fade the stain instead of getting rid of it completely. There are other ways that ink stains can be removed from a shirt without causing any damage to the t-shirt and without leaving any of the unsightly ink behind.

One of the tricks that many women use for removing ink from fabric is to use hairspray. This is a simple technique that can be used by anyone- male or female. To use this method, lay the t-shirt flat and spray the hairspray generously on the ink spot. Let the hairspray soak into the fabric for a few moments. If the stain is large or the ink has been particularly stubborn, let it soak for several minutes.

Once the hairspray has had soaking time, run the ink stain under cold water. Rub the fabric back and forth under the water and you should see the ink come right out of the fabric. If the stain is large, put the shirt in the laundry instead of running it under the sink. The ink should come out without leaving a trace behind. If you tend to get ink stains on your clothing, keep a little hairspray in the house even if you don’t use it on your hair.

If you don’t have hairspray on hand or you have a very stubborn ink stain, there are alternatives. Some inks, such as from permanent pens and markers, won’t respond as well to the hairspray treatment. If the t-shirt is white, there are several methods that can be tried. A bleach pen can be used to treat the stained area with a small, concentrated dose of bleach.

To use one of these, place the t-shirt flat against a hard surface that can’t be stained by the bleach. The end of the bleach pen is that dabbed along the ink stain to release drops of bleach directly onto the stain. The bleach should be left to soak into the fabric for at least 10 minutes. After that, either rinse the t-shirt thoroughly in the sink or put it into a washing machine and wash normally. If you use a washing machine, however, only wash the shirt with other white clothing or you will ruin the other items in the load.

If you don’t have a bleach pen or the stain has resisted all other treatments, you can also try washing the t-shirt with bleach in the wash. This, like the bleach pen, only works with white t-shirts. To do this, use a small amount of bleach in the washing machine and put the t-shirt in along with any other stained white articles of clothing. This should pull any other type of color, including the ink, out of the shirt. After running the load, however, run a quick empty load to wash away any remaining bleach from the machine before washing colored clothing again.

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  1. brianna coppinger · February 25, 2009

    this is really helpful. thanks!!!!! oh sup hommies:)

  2. dee dee · April 24, 2009

    thanks so much for the removal of ink stain ideas. I knew about the hairspray trick and of course that did not work this time on my daughters new band shirt the bleach and vinegar combo was a blessing.

  3. Jen · October 10, 2009

    Omigod! Thank you for this helpful information! I am doing a science fair experiment on how to get ink stains out of t-shirts and this is a perfect article to get some variables Thank you sooooo much

  4. Tommy · January 22, 2010

    This worked wonders:D

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