Hairspray helps get ink stains out? How?

See queries. Someone just told me it works, for some definition of work, perhaps.

My puppy discovered Bic makes chew sticks that have a tasty surprise on the inside, and his place for serious chewing is on top of our white coverlet.

I think it is the alcohol component. I have had good results on ink stain removal with hand sanitizer and/or rubbing alcohol. Sometimes it takes more than one application, just don’t dry in a dryer between attempts. Wash after using the alcohol types.

I tried using hairspray to remove ink from a shirt. I ended up with a hairspray stain surrounding the ink stain.

Have you taken the pup to a vet? Sure hope the wee one hasn’t swallowed any plastic shards.

It’s the CFCs, they fix everything. We need to use more of them.

Many years ago, when my brand new pale blue ski jacket met my habit of experimenting with ink pens (giving the appearance that I had suffered a major trauma, seeing as it was red ink, and I don’t know what my mother was thinking buying me a coat that was pale blue) and hair spray resulted in merely spreading the stain around, my very competent great-aunt told her to soak the stain in milk. I have no idea if it was the milk itself or just the act of being soaked for two days, but it worked. So, if your coverlet happens to be made of nylon ski jacket material, you could be in luck. (Actually, you can find ink remover in the laundry aisle. That might be better.)

It depends on the “type” of hairspray but most of the aerosol types you will see “Alcohol Denat.” as one of the first few ingredients along with water.

The consumer/office grade Sharpie markers use Alcohol as a solvent and even rubbing alcohol works fine.

I am not aware of anything that cleans off the industrial version outside of mechanical methods.

(Don’t store the two types together, I learned that the hard way when I assumed rubbing alcohol would work with both)

You’re not far wrong, but it’s all about solvents. Alcohol is a good solvent, and it’s the alcohol that’s what enables the sticky chemicals in hairspray to stick to the hair and not themselves.

But there’s another solvent in play here. The propellant. The stuff that gets all the other stuff out of the can in the first place. One of the most common ones is dimethyl ether. That stuff is a great solvent. Of course, it may dissolve the dyes in the fabric too. And it’s not a very nice chemical, exactly, but none of the propellants used in aerosol cans are.

So, I don’t recommend you washing your clothes with it, but that’s what you’re seeing when the stain goes away. An industrial grade organic solvent used as a propellant. Don’t panic about that though. It’s not really toxic. It can be, but only in the same way that some addled humans huff paint or ScotchGuard.

It only takes a small amount of sticky stuff to affect the hair. Most of the liquid in the can is solvent so to create enough drops to get a good spray pattern and to wet the hair … so the sticky thickening stuff spreads around.
You can of course buy a can of stain remover… That uses safer solvents and leave no residue.

CFCs have been banned in aerosol sprays since 1978 (at least in the US.) what was the point of this comment?

This has also happened to me, but usually a rewashing removes the ring.


Are the dust ruffles and pillow shams ok?


I think the point was that the comment was hilarious. Thanks for the laugh, Atamasama!


OP here. Thanks. Will pass on practical info to my wife.

The thing is cotton, and all other bed accoutrements were spared. Good thing I don’t sleep in silk sheets. But even there blood from horse’s heads is probably easier than ink to remove.

Why is that? * off to Wiki “dyes” *

Apparently I’ve sought help on this topic, in a general way, before. A Google search just found the thread Is plain water and a quick scrub the simplest/best thing to get dried semen out of cotton?

Leo I think you need to invest in spill-proof implements. :wink:

Wouldn’t it vaporize immediately upon exiting the nozzle? The purpose of the propellant is to vaporize in the can and provide pressure, so it must have a very low boiling point. Dimethyl ether has a boiling point of -24C (-11F).

Isn’t this being discussed at this very moment in a thread on sticking your hand in boiling things?

You can get some liquid propellant out of an aerosol can. The best example is “canned air” where it’s all propellant. Shake it, turn it upside down. You can get a liquid that will freeze things very quickly. Do NOT do this without full skin and eye protection. It is incredibly dangerous for something you can easily buy.

But it evaporates very quickly. I don’t think it lasts long enough to do any good in stain removal. (And freezing the stain is probably not a good idea either.)

It’s basically the alcohol. Just use drugstore isopropyl, preferably 90%. (Never use “rubbing alcohol” for anything.)

Yes, the ink will run if you’re not careful.

FWIW: Here’s a link to the classic Cornell stain removal guide.