If you make frequent use of ink pens, ballpoints or markers, as most of us usually do, you may have found ink stains getting on to your clothing, skin and other surfaces around you. While ink splotches may make for interesting art, it is quite annoying when the stains mark you clothes or skin, especially when you're at work. There are ways to remove ink stains from a variety of surfaces including your skin and what method you use will depend on the type of ink in the stain. Different types of ink stains and the ways to remove then are discussed further below in this article.
Water-based ink stains. It is easier to remove stains of inks which are water-based. Therefore, before you start cleaning, it is important to know whether the ink is water-based or not. Some examples of water-based inks are inks in fountain pens, most color sketch pens, etc. To clean such stains, place the area with the stain on top of a clean white towel. Apply water and blot using another piece of clean, dry, white cloth or towel. The stain should begin to fade as you do this. Next, apply liquid cleaning detergent which you usually use for washing your clothes and allow it to soak into the fabric for about five minutes. Then wash the stained fabric in lots of warm water. If the stain has not come off, repeat the first two steps a few more times until the ink has finally come off. If the stain is on your skin, use lots of soap and warm water to remove the stains.
Ballpoint ink stains. As in step one, place the stained area over a dry white towel. Apply some rubbing alcohol over the stain and keep blotting it with another piece of cloth until the stain begins to come out. Rinse the garment well with lots of water to remove all traces of the rubbing alcohol. Then apply the liquid detergent as in the previous step, allow it to settle in for about 5 minutes, and then wash with warm water.
Permanent ink stains. Stains from permanent ink pens or markers can be quite difficult to move and you may need to use more than one ingredient in the cleaning process. For starters, you can try rubbing alcohol to blot out the stain. When the stained area is placed over a white towel and rubbing alcohol applied, the towel below will begin to absorb the ink stain and become colored. Therefore, it is important to keep the fabric moving over to a clean spot on the towel as you continue blotting. Once done, rinse the area thoroughly to remove the rubbing alcohol.
Fingernail polish. This is another remedy for hard-to-remove permanent ink stains. Apply nail polish remover and blot the stain out in the same manner as you would with the rubbing alcohol.
Acetone and baking soda. Use acetone on the stain in the same way as the two previous steps and rinse thoroughly. Take some baking soda and mix it with some water. Use this solution to cover the stained area completely, allow some time to pass and then rinse again. Thirdly, apply any regular stain remover in spray, gel, powder or stick form and wash the fabric normally. Should the stain persist, repeat the baking soda treatment a few more times till you can see the stain disappearing.
Removing permanent ink stains from skin. Use diluted bleach to remove permanent ink stains from your skin and then wash with lots of soap and warm water. Other methods of removal include using wet baby wipes, grape jelly (!!), waterless hand sanitizers, hair spray, nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, toothpaste, olive oil, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, etc.
With these handy stain removal suggestions, you should be able to remove all kinds of ink stains from your clothes and skin. When using chemicals or formulations with chemicals, dilute them first as also when you use bleach on your skin.