How To Remove Ink and Other Pesky Stains

I’d like to say I can blame all my clothing stains on the fact that I have 3 kids running around, but the awful truth is that I’m clumsy.  I mean, since childhood, I’ve always been the one to drop my plate on myself, spray my fizzy can of soda all over my clothes or knock a gallon of milk onto my lap.  It’s a wonder my parents kept me indoors.

Yes, I’m much older now and I seem to have gotten a control of my clumsiness for the most part, however, there are still times when I drop an uncapped pen into my lap, or the coffee that I’m guzzling in the car decides to pull a fast one and jump out of my cup and into my top (true story).  Alas, while my clumsiness can take the blame for the stains that mysteriously appear on my clothes, it can’t take the blame for the stains on the clothes on the other beings in house. some of them are kind of normal, like antiperspirant, sweat…chocolate.  Regardless, of the when, why and how, I think we can all agree that life would be much happier if we could just banish stains from existence, but until Apple creates an app for that, here’s a list of some of the common clothing stain removing secrets.


HOW TO REMOVE GUM:  Gum and ice don’t mix.  In fact, when you apply ice to gum and freeze it, the gum will crack and can be gently pulled away from clothing.  If the garment is leather and small enough to fit in the freezer, stick it in an airtight bag and place it in the freezer for an hour.  The ice should chip off once you take it out.  If the item is too big for the freezer, place an ice pack on the item and let it sit for an hour until the gum hardens enough to chip away.  The key, let it freeze!  Gum and ice don’t mix and neither does heat.  Submerge the garment in very hot water and let it soak for a few minutes.  While holding the garment under water, gently brush the gum off using a toothbrush or sharp knife to scrape the gum off.  This option is not best for delicate or expensive garments.


HOW TO REMOVE CHOCOLATE STAINS:  If you can, turn the garment inside out and wash it with cold water.  You can also try removing chocolate stains using a toothbrush and baby powder or corn starch to work into the stain.  Depending on how delicate your garment is you can also try using rubbing alcohol to remove chocolate stains.  Use a clean cloth and a dab of alcohol to blot the stain out.

FASHION DU JOUR DAILY | how to remove coffee stains

HOW TO REMOVE COFFEE STAINS:  Here are 3 ways you can clean up your garment. (1) You’ll need to mix a solution of 1/2 tsp white vinegar to 2 cups of cold water.  Mix it good.  Once mixed grab a clean, preferably new, sponge and dab the solution onto the fabric.  You will see the stain slowly begin to fade.  Do not rinse garment, allow to air dry.  (2) Here’s another option.  Soak the stain in a solution of 1 quart warm water and 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing detergent for 15 minutes.  Be sure and check the care instructions of the garment first to make sure bleach will not harm the garment.  Many dishwashing detergents have measurements of bleach. You might also treat an inconspicuous area of the garment first.  Rinse garment with water.  Next, sponge the stain with rubbing alcohol.  Allow the garment to air dry. (3)  Stretch the stained area over a bowl and secure with a rubber band.  Pour boiling water through the stain.  Be careful, it’s boiling water.  Although cotton and linen can stand boiling water, some of the finishes and colors used on the fabrics might be damaged by such harsh treatment so again, make sure to test this option in an inconspicuous are of the garment if your unsure.

FASHION DU JOUR DAILY | How to remove ink stains

HOW TO REMOVE INK STAINS:  Here are 3 ways to remove ink stains.  (1) You’ll need a can of aerosol hairspray.  Nothing fancy. Something simply like Aquanet will do the trick.  Spray the garment enough to dampen it.  Do not over-saturate.  Then, massage some spray into the stain. Run it under cold water and allow it to airdry.  (2) Apply rubbing alcohol to the stain and cover with a cotton pad.  Just like when you to the nail salon and the nail lady sometimes leaves a cotton swab soaked in nail polish remover on your nail; like that.  You’ll notice the stain begin to lift into the pad; change pad immediately. Keep both the stain and pad moist with alcohol. Flush with alcohol and allow to dry.  (3) Last option is to soak in a solution of 1 quart warm water, 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing detergent, and 1 tablespoon ammonia for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water and allow to dry.

FASHION DU JOUR DAILY | How to remove sweat stains

HOW TO REMOVE SWEAT STAINS:  Here are a few tricks you can try. (1) Apply a mixture of equal parts water and baking soda to the stain and allow to dry. Rinse the garment.  (2) Allow the garment to soak in salt water for 30 minutes.  And a couple tips.  Never iron over sweat stains. This will seal the stain into the garment.  To prevent stains you attach a single thin pantyliner to the each armpit of a tighter fitting garment.

Special thanks to my buddy Eboni, for allowing me to guest blog for her today.  She’s a super fashion foward sweetheart living in Atlanta with her husband. Look her up!



2 thoughts on “How To Remove Ink and Other Pesky Stains

  1. These are all such great tips! And to think I’ve disposed of so many pieces because I had no clue i could get rid of these types of stains. I’m taking notes and pinning now!

    And I would have never thought to use a pantyliner in the armpit area. Genius!

  2. Hi Leslie,

    Thank you for this post. Great to know that you can save some of your clothing after staining them with some basic household things, hair spray etc. Over the years, I had to get rid off some white clothing especially because of ink stains, my clumsiness there and grape juice…. lol. We been spending a lot on spray ‘n wash, but it works on “dad’s white shirt collars”… oh ok mine too. Anyway, thanks again. This will save me some $$! 🙂

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