How To Get Ink Out Of A Tshirt

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Dear Home Ec 101,
HELP! My husband put a pen in his pocket today and I forgot to check the jeans before I washed them, then I dried them unknowingly, along with the destroyed pen. Somewhat luckily, the clothes were mostly the kids comfy stay home play clothes and jammies, but one of my fave cotton t-shirts was in there too, with a couple of noticeable stains. First of all, is there ANY way to get the stains out of the clothes and inside of my dryer? And second of all, WHOSE fault is it?
The Cork Fell Out and You Stink

how to remove ink

Heather says:

Inside the dryer, try Goo Gone or WD-40. If you have a gas dryer, please turn off the gas before using WD40 as it is highly flammable. Wipe the drum of your dryer out with plain water after using either product. To be on the extra safe side, make sure the first load is rags or towels to prevent any damage to delicate clothing.

As far as your cotton blouse, try using rubbing alcohol on the stain. Blot with a paper towel and then gently rub more alcohol into the stain with an old toothbrush. Blot and treat with a stain remover such as Shout. Wash on a cold cycle, but don’t dry the shirt unless the stain is entirely gone. If some of the stain is still present, try soaking in an Oxiclean solution before laundering again.

how to remove stains from clothes
Click the picture for more tips!

In our house the blame would be shared. The clothing owner should as a courtesy empty their own pockets. As the washer I get to keep any change or paper money to add to my mad money stash. Obviously, this is our system and it may not work for others.

I wish you the best of luck.

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9 thoughts on “How To Get Ink Out Of A Tshirt”

  1. I made the same mistake washing my wife’s favorite pair of jeans with one of my pens. I got all of it out using q tips, a bunch of cotton balls and fingernail polish remover. Hold a cotton ball on the inside of the garment against the stain and rub the fingernail polish remover directly on the stain with a q tip. The cotton ball draws the fingernail polish remover and the ink out of the fabric. You have to switch the cotton ball often. It actually took 3 sessions of fingernail polish remover and 3 washes, but it all came out.

  2. I always have to check my husband’s pockets before washing his clothes…he never remembers to empty them.

    I, too, have the “I get to keep any change or paper money to add to my mad money stash” rule, only over the past couple of months, twice I’ve found the entire contents of my husband’s daily business cash receipts in his pocket – over $200 each time! I had to return those, and now I have to check his pockets for holes each time I wash them. He gets holes in his pockets frequently…and reminding him not to put that cash in his pocket is not going to work any better than asking him to remember to empty his pockets before putting the jeans in the wash…


  3. We have the if you wash it, dry it and are folding it rule then you get to keep the money.

    I admit (should I save this for Sunday?) that I have seeded the drier with money, had a kid fold clothes, just so they will be motivated to do a few more loads in hopes of finding more. It’s so worth the two bucks to see the motivation to try it again. 🙂 They’d never do laundry for $2 a load, but will do it for the possibility of $2. Go figure.

    As to the drier, if you wipe it down and let it dry, I haven’t had any issues with the blue coming off on clothes after it has dried.

    If you wash a cellphone, just make sure it’s off, and let it dry for several days and most of the time it will be fine. Just don’t try and use it until it has had time to totally dry out.

  4. When I check my husband’s pockets and find money, it goes into one of two piggy banks. One is smaller and has a plug in it and all the pennies, nickles and dimes go in it. Once it gets full the money goes towards our savings account for vacations. The other piggy bank is huge and is the old fashioned kind that has to be smashed to get the money out. All paper money and quarters go in it for somewhere in the way off future. I love the big piggy bank because it is inaccessible so hubby can’t try to sneak the money back out which is what he was doing before I started seperating it. 🙂

  5. I had a pen disaster recently, too. My son now wears that stained blue tshirt as an undershirt! Couldn’t get that particular ink out at all!
    Thanks for the tip on cleaning the dryer; mine is stained, though it has not transferred any of the ink to any other clothing. Wil try the WD40 today.
    re: Mom of 3’s question on why her sons are motivated by the possibility of finding money — intermittant reinforcement is much more powerful that every-time reinforcement. I guess as humans we love possibility more than repetitive-certainty!

  6. I’m just so excited that you girls used my question on your website, woo hoo!!
    Normally, I do check his pants for money, reciepts (I once found a receipt for a KitchenAid mixer from Costco, in November, my xmas gift from hubby and my mom, oops) etc, but he had only worn these for a few hours, and wanted them washed again for the next day for whatever reason. Note, there was not one iota of ink stain on HIS jeans after the fact, NONE!
    I usually pocket any paper $ and change I find too, unless it’s a significant amount of $. As to motivating the kids to do folding, I’m pretty sure they would just search the dryer and take the $ and run, there would be no folding involved, and the clothes would be strewn about my laundry room in the process! Not worth it. 🙂 Besides, I usually take my iPod down and dance away solo while doing laundry for a bit of me time.
    Thanks for the tips, I will attempt a couple of them asap!


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