How to Get Pen Stains Out of Clothing After It Is Washed & Dried

Washing pen-stained clothing is fine, but the heat from a dryer may set in the stain.
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A pen stain on clothing isn't too hard to remove, but after washing and drying the garment, stain removal becomes much more difficult. You don't have to turn your favorite T-shirt into rags or wear a sweatshirt over it to cover up the stain. Pen-stained clothing that has been washed and dried isn’t doomed forever. With the right products and stain removal methods, there is still hope to salvage your pen-stained clothing.

Lay a white rag on the countertop or other flat surface. Place the ink-stained part of the clothing face up on the rag.

Pour rubbing alcohol onto the spot or spray the ink stain with hairspray. Leave the garment on the counter to soak for 10 minutes.

Blot the pen stain with a clean white rag to absorb the alcohol or hairspray. Keep blotting until the ink is no longer lifting from the fabric.

Wash the clothing in cold water. Add chlorine bleach to the washer if the garment is white or all-fabric bleach if it is colored. Refer to the bleach container for the specific amount to use according the load size. Let the garment air-dry after washing.

Lay the garment onto a white towel and dab glycerin onto any remaining ink. Rub the glycerin in gently with a cotton swab.

Mix ¼ cup of cold water and three to five drops of laundry detergent into a bowl. Dab the soapy water solution onto the stain, using a cotton swab. Rub the fabric together to form a lather. Wash the clothing in cold water with laundry detergent and chlorine or all-fabric bleach. Let the garment air-dry.

Apply nail polish remover to a stubborn ink stain as a last resort. Test the nail polish remover on an inconspicuous area of the fabric first to check for any color changes or damage. Dab the nail polish remover onto the ink stain, using a cotton swab. Put a drop or two of dish washing liquid onto the spot and rub the fabric together. Rinse well, then wash the garment in cold water with laundry detergent and chlorine or all-fabric bleach.

  • Chlorine bleach isn't safe for all fabrics, even if the clothing is white. Check the care label and test on a hidden spot first before washing the garment with chlorine bleach.
  • You can buy glycerin at most pharmacies or drug stores.

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.