Home Care

How-To: Removing Ink Stains

You can do away with stains the easy way

Photography: the littlest apartment and Clinipedia (Main Photo)

Whether you're an aspiring calligrapher, an artist or just someone who likes to carry a pen around, you've probably experienced the horror of having a leaky ballpoint or marker leak on your clothes. For most people, it would be time to retire the shirt and forget about it—however, we think you shouldn't give up that easy. 

Did you know that a long soak in a bowl of milk and vinegar can get ink right out of any fabric? Both ingredients have properties that break down tough substances therefore saving your clothes. If you're excited to try it, here is our step-by-step guide:

What you need:

  • 2 parts whole milk
  • 1 part white distilled vinegar
  • a large bowl


  1. Combine milk and vinegar in the bowl. Try to maintain a 1:2 ratio of vinegar to milk to avoid discoloration—you want just enough to cover your item of clothing.
  2. Soak your t-shirt or jeans into the bowl and allow it to be covered completely. Leave it overnight to ensure the solution has enough time to work. 
  3. Remove the garment from the mixture and squeeze off the excess liquid. If you see a trace of the ink stain, rub the fabric with your finger until it dissolves. 
  4. Toss the garment in the wash to get rid of the sour scent from the vinegar and you're good to go!

PHOTOS and SOURCES: the littlest apartment and Clinipedia (Main) | | Apartment Therapy | lifehacker

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