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    Accidents happen, but when you don’t know how to remove ink stains it can be a frustrating and common problem – especially if you’ve got kids at school. But fear not, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to remove ink from clothes. Whether you’re wondering how to remove biro from fabric or how to get pen ink out of clothes – we've got you covered.  

    From assessing the stain to choosing the right cleaning agent, we'll go over everything you need to know as soon as the panic sets in. We've also got some prevention tips to help you avoid future mishaps. 

    So, if you're ready to get stuck into some ink stain removal, this one’s for you. Let's get started on the journey towards ink-free clothes! 

    Assess the stain

    First, take a close look at the affected area and determine the type of ink you're dealing with. Is it pen ink or biro? This will help you choose the most effective cleaning method.  

    If the ink stain is fresh, it should be easier to treat. However, if it's already dried, don't worry – we’ve got more specific guidance on how to remove pen stains and how to remove pen ink from clothes after drying further down. 

    Act quickly

    When it comes to ink stains on clothes, time is of the essence. Acting quickly can make a big difference, so as soon as you notice an ink stain, it's important to take immediate action. The longer the ink sits on the fabric, the more difficult it can be to remove. 

    If the ink stain is fresh, start by blotting the area gently with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb as much ink as possible. Avoid rubbing the stain, as this can spread the ink and make it worse.  

    Pre-treatment of ink stains

    Before diving into the cleaning process, it's essential to pre-treat the ink stain. This helps to loosen the ink and make it easier to remove. There are several pre-treatment options you can try, depending on the type of ink and fabric you're dealing with. You can use a liquid stain remover, create a paste with stain removal powder or use your detergent. We’ll go through these individually next so you can decide which one is best for your stain.  

    Remember to do this as soon as you can to tackle the stain before it settles deeper into the fabric. 

    Use the right cleaning agent correctly

    This is crucial – as different types of ink and fabrics may require different approaches. Remember to test your garment before treating the stain. Here are some options to consider: 

    • Stain remover powder: You can try a stain remover powder like Vanish Oxi Action Powder to pre-treat the stain. It has a formula specifically designed to act directly into the stains, even in cold water, and is safe to use on different types of fabrics like cotton and polyester. Simply mix 10g of powder with equal amounts of water, and stir for 30 seconds to create a paste. Then apply it directly to the stain and leave it for up to 10 minutes before following your usual wash routine. 
    • Stain remover gel: Vanish Oxi Action Liquid as it is easy to use and has a multi-power formula that safely removes stains. Simply pour a small amount directly onto the ink stain and gently rub. You can leave it directly on that stain for 10 minutes and then complete your washing as usual.  


    Remember, regardless of the cleaning agent you choose, always follow the washing instructions on the product label and test on your garment first. 

    Rinse and repeat

    After applying the cleaning agent and gently blotting the stain, it's time to rinse the garment. Follow these steps for optimal stain removal:  

    1. Rinse the stained area under cold running water. This will help flush out any remaining ink stains and cleaning agents from the fabric.
    2. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear and there are no visible traces of ink or cleaning agent.
    3. If the stain persists, repeat the previous steps. Apply the cleaning agent again, gently blot the stain and rinse thoroughly.

    Remember, patience is key. Usually, some old and dried ink stains may require additional steps to completely remove.  

    Wash your garments

    Once you’ve successfully treated the ink stain, you should wash the garment itself. Follow these steps for optimal results: 

    1. Check the care label on the garment to determine the appropriate washing method. Follow the instructions provided to avoid damaging the fabric.
    2. If the garment is machine washable, place it in the washing machine and add the recommended amount of laundry detergent and top it with stain remover to boost the detergent's performance in removing stains. Use cold water, as hot water can set the ink stain.
    3. If the garment is not machine washable or if the stain is particularly stubborn, consider hand washing. Fill a basin or sink with cold water and add a small amount of laundry detergent and top it with stain remover to boost the detergent's performance in removing stains. Gently agitate the garment in the water, focusing on the stained area.
    4. Rinse the garment thoroughly to remove any remaining detergent or ink residue.
    5. Finally, allow the garment to air dry. Avoid using a dryer, as heat can set the stain.

    Final inspection

    After successfully treating the ink stain and laundering the garment, it's time to dry and inspect it by following the steps below: 

    1. Gently squeeze out any excess water from the garment. Avoid wringing or twisting, as this can damage the fabric.
    2. Lay the garment flat on a clean towel or hang it up to air dry. Avoid using a dryer, as heat can set the stain.
    3. Once the garment is dry, inspect it closely. Check for any remaining traces of ink or discolouration. If the stain is still visible, repeat the previous steps or consider seeking professional help.
    4. If the stain is completely gone, you can proceed to wear or store the garment as usual.

    Seeking professional help

    If you’ve followed the previous steps and the ink stain is still stubborn, usually old and dried ones, it may be time to seek professional help. Professional cleaners have access to specialised products and techniques that can effectively remove even the toughest ink stains.  

    It's important to note that this should be a last resort, as it can be more costly and time-consuming. However, if the stain is valuable or if you have tried multiple methods without success, it may be your best option. 

    Remember to communicate the nature of the stain to the cleaner and provide any relevant information, such as the type of ink and fabric. This will help them determine the most appropriate treatment method. 

    Prevention tips

    Knowing how to remove ink from clothes is essential, but preventing stains in the first place is even better. Here are some prevention tips to help you avoid future ink stains: 

    1. Keep pens and markers securely capped when not in use. This will prevent accidental leaks or spills.
    2. Avoid placing pens or markers in pockets or near clothing items, especially when they’re uncapped. Keep them in a separate case or holder.
    3. Be cautious when using pens or markers around clothing and try to work on a stable surface to minimise the risk of accidental spills.
    4. If you have young children, consider using washable markers instead of permanent markers or pens. Washable markers are easier to remove from clothing.



    In summary, when considering how to remove ink from clothes, always remember to act quickly, pre-treat the stain, choose the right cleaning agent and follow our instructions for the best results. With these tips, you'll be able to say goodbye to ink stains and keep your clothes looking fresh and clean! We can also help to remove paint stains or make-up stains, too! 

    *Successful results are not guaranteed. Always check labels and follow product instructions.