Ink Pen vs. Laundry

I have made it a habit to check all my husband’s clothes (especially his work uniforms) for items in the pockets.  But today, the ink pen won.  It escaped my detection and made it into the washing machine.  Then, the sneaky little bugger made it into the dryer…twice! (We bought our dryer off Craigslist for $50 so it’s not the most efficient and usually has to be run twice before a full load of clothes is completely dry.)

So the entire load of clothes was covered in black ink…which when it gets wet starts to look blue.  It’s everywhere, but of course, it is mainly on my clothing and not so much on my husband’s clothes.  Even the uniform that the pen was in escaped fairly clean except for a few minor spots in areas that will get tucked in anyways.  The only other clothes of his in that load were white cotton undershirts.  They took on a good bit of ink but they are cheap and are meant to be worn under other clothing so really it’s not that big of a deal.  My clothes on the other hand do get worn fairly often and were covered in ink in very conspicuous areas where I can’t wear them again unless I figure out how to remove the stains.  I’m thinking it’s going to be pretty tough to remove ink in the first place and my clothes have not only been covered in ink, they have gone through the dryer TWICE!  I’m pretty sure those stains are set in but I’m going to try to remove them anyway.

I Googled “how to remove ink stains from clothes after going through the dryer” and read several forums where people said hairspray would get ink stains out.  There was even a helpful YouTube tutorial video on exactly how to do it.  So I found the tiny bottle of hairspray that I had in my bathroom (I don’t use a lot of hair products so the fact that I had hairspray on hand was kind of a lucky break.)  I doused my clothes first, of course, and it seemed to be working.  At least, the ink stains were starting to bleed which I thought was a good sign that they weren’t completely set in.  And then I ran out of hairspray in the tiny little bottle so I had to run to the store and let the stains sit just a little bit longer.  I bought the biggest bottle of hairspray I could find and also some OxiClean powder.  I finished spraying all the stains with hairspray (I used the entire bottle!), let them soak in OxiClean and water mixture in my sink for about 30 minutes and then threw them back into the washer for another cycle of detergent + OxiClean.

They are in the washer now and I am praying that they come out fairly clean.  The clothes in the load are not expensive and most are old and beginning to get worn out but they still have a few good months left.  When we are trying to save as much money as possible, buying new clothes is not in the immediate plan.  So I’m really hoping that I can save this load of clothes for the $6 I spent on hairspray and OxiClean instead of having to replace them all.

I would love to hear your tips and tricks for stain removal.  What has worked for you?


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