How To Get Ink Out Of A Dress Shirt

How To Get Ink Out Of A Dress Shirt

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How To Get Ink Out Of A Dress ShirtInk stains on a dress shirt can be a fashion disaster, but they don't have to be permanent. Whether you're a professional, a student, or simply someone who loves to dress well, learning how to remove ink stains from your dress shirt is a valuable skill. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various methods and techniques to effectively get rid of ink stains and salvage your favorite dress shirts.

Understanding the Nature of Ink Stains

Ink stains can be particularly challenging to remove because ink is designed to be permanent. However, there are different types of ink, and the method you use to remove the stain will depend on the type of ink involved:

  • Water-Based Ink: Common in most ballpoint pens, water-based ink stains are typically easier to remove.
  • Permanent Ink: Typically found in markers and fountain pens, permanent ink can be more stubborn but is still removable.
  • Gel Ink: Gel ink pens contain pigments that can be tricky to remove and may require additional effort.

Now, let's delve into the methods and techniques to tackle these stubborn stains.

Method 1: Act Quickly

The key to successfully removing ink stains is to act quickly. The fresher the stain, the easier it is to remove. As soon as you notice the ink stain, remove the dress shirt and proceed with the following methods.

Method 2: Blot, Don't Rub

Never rub the stain, as it can spread the ink and make the situation worse. Instead, gently blot the stain with a clean, white cloth or paper towel to absorb as much ink as possible.

Method 3: Test on an Inconspicuous Area

Before applying any stain-removing solution, it's wise to test it on an inconspicuous area of the shirt to ensure it won't damage the fabric or alter the color. Wait for a few minutes to see if there is any adverse reaction.

Method 4: Use Rubbing Alcohol 

For water-based ink stains, rubbing alcohol is an effective solution. Follow these steps:

  •  Place a clean cloth or paper towel underneath the stained area to prevent the ink from spreading to other parts of the shirt.
  •  Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the ink stain.
  •  Gently blot the stain with another clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Rinse the shirt with cold water to remove any remaining alcohol.

Method 5: Hairspray

Hairspray can be surprisingly effective at removing ink stains. Follow these steps:

  •  Spray a small amount of hairspray onto the ink stain.
  •  Allow it to sit for a few minutes.
  • Blot the stain with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  •  Rinse the shirt with cold water.

Method 6: Milk and Vinegar

For more stubborn ink stains, a mixture of milk and vinegar can work wonders. Follow these steps:

  •  Mix equal parts milk and white vinegar in a bowl.
  •  Soak the stained area in the mixture for a few hours or overnight.
  •  Rinse the shirt with cold water and launder as usual.

Method 7: Commercial Stain Removers

Commercial stain removers designed for ink stains are available and can be quite effective. Follow the product's instructions carefully.

Method 8: Professional Dry Cleaning

If you're hesitant to tackle the stain yourself or if the shirt is of high value, consider taking it to a professional dry cleaner. They have the expertise and specialized solutions to remove ink stains.


Ink stains on a dress shirt can be distressing, but with the right approach and a little patience, you can successfully remove them. Whether it's water-based, permanent, or gel ink, acting swiftly and using the appropriate method can save your dress shirts and keep you looking sharp.

Remember, the key to success is to treat the stain promptly and avoid rubbing, as this can worsen the situation. With these methods at your disposal, you can confidently address ink stains and extend the life of your dress shirts.

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