ballpoint ink stains on shirt--How to remove

I have a few dress shirts which have been spoiled by spots from ink that has leaked from ballpoint pens I kept in the pocket. One shirt is white; others are not. What’s the best way to get the stains out?

Try Goop or Go-Jo, mechanic’s hand cleaner. Rub it in, let it sit a while, and launder as usual. You can also wash the stuff out by hand under the tap if you want to see results faster. If it doesn’t get it all out the first time, let the shirt air-dry before you try it again or use another method that others will tell you.

Thanks. :slight_smile: I have a jar of GOJO.

Hair spray in a spray bottle not aerosol works great.

Hair spray, for reals. Also works on leather, though it might need to have the color touched up after.

Also, on this general subject, I got some latex wall paint on a nice sweater and didn’t notice it was there until it had dried. My handyman told me to rub Vaseline into it. I was afraid it would stain the sweater but it didn’t. The paint melted after a couple of hours and I was able to launder it back to like-new.

My mom always had to deal with us having our Bic pens leak all over our shirt pockets.

Can of Aqua Net. I have no idea why UCBearcats thinks aerosol has to be excluded.

There is a stain remover called Amodex that does a bangup job.

The active ingredient, stain removal-wise, in hair spray is alcohol.

My experience with alcohol-based ink stain removal is that it does indeed loosen up a lot (but not all) of the stain. But some of it just spreads out further from the original blot.

Not once have I been successful in this area.

Oblig. link to the classic Cornell stain removal guide (pdf).

I agree with ftg here.

But if you can remove part of the stain, or get it to spread out further, it may be diluted enough that you can then dye that once-white dress shirt to an acceptable blue or charcoal grey shirt.

Hand sanitizer gel works great, or just use plain rubbing alcohol out of the bottle.

I worked as a painter one summer, for the state highway department. I got all manner of vehicle paint on me. The thing that dissolved all the paint so I could wash it off in the shower was baby oil.

If the solvents don’t work all the way, you can try good ol’ H2O2 - hydrogen peroxide. It may be able to break down the dye in the ink when dissolving it away doesn’t.

Test it on the shirttail or other area of the fabric first.

Here are some instructions: