How to Remove Ink Stains

The pen is mightier than the sword, but a sword doesn’t leave ink stains all over your clothes!

There is no need to admit defeat if you follow these simple steps. Tide can help you tackle stubborn ink stains with ease.

A person rinsing a denim jacket in cold water
Step 1

Remove Excess

Blot excess ink with a paper towel. Place the paper towel underneath the stain, then pour rubbing alcohol or hairspray directly onto the stain. Rinse off with cold water.

Step 1

Remove Excess

Blot excess ink with a paper towel. Place the paper towel underneath the stain, then pour rubbing alcohol or hairspray directly onto the stain. Rinse off with cold water.

A person pretreating a denim jacket with Tide liquid laundry detergent and a toothbrush
Step 2

Pre-Treat

Apply Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid directly onto the stain. Use either a soft-bristled toothbrush or rub the fabric together gently to spread the detergent into the fibers of the garment and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Step 2

Pre-Treat

Apply Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid directly onto the stain. Use either a soft-bristled toothbrush or rub the fabric together gently to spread the detergent into the fibers of the garment and let it sit for 5 minutes.

A person pouring Tide liquid detergent into the detergent dispenser
Step 3

Dose

Use the cap to ensure you use the right amount of detergent, and pour it into the detergent dispenser if you have an HE machine, or directly into the drum before loading the clothes if you have a non-HE machine.

Step 3

Dose

Use the cap to ensure you use the right amount of detergent, and pour it into the detergent dispenser if you have an HE machine, or directly into the drum before loading the clothes if you have a non-HE machine.

A person placing a denim jacket into the drum of a washing machine
Step 4

Load

Without rinsing off the detergent, place the garment into the washer with any other items. Leaving the detergent on the stain will give your wash that extra boost of cleaning power.

Step 4

Load

Without rinsing off the detergent, place the garment into the washer with any other items. Leaving the detergent on the stain will give your wash that extra boost of cleaning power.

Select the wash cycle and water temperature on your washing machine
Step 5

Wash

Wash on the usual cycle, on the hottest wash temperature indicated. Always check the instructions on the garment’s care label.

Step 5

Wash

Wash on the usual cycle, on the hottest wash temperature indicated. Always check the instructions on the garment’s care label.

A laundry basket full of neatly folded, colored gaments
Step 6

Unload

When the cycle is complete, unload the garments immediately.

If the ink stain persists after washing, repeat the previous steps before tossing in the dryer, as drying will set the stain.

Step 6

Unload

When the cycle is complete, unload the garments immediately.

If the ink stain persists after washing, repeat the previous steps before tossing in the dryer, as drying will set the stain.

For alternative steps and extra tips on how to remove ink stains, watch the video below.