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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Removing printer ink from clothing

By Dr. Laundry July 11, 2012

What is the best way to remove yellow printer ink from blue jeans?

Ink is an extremely difficult stain to remove given how concentrated printer ink is–but it’s still worth giving a little hand sanitizer a try to break up the stain so it will be easier to get it out. Also, a lot of denim can be safely laundered with Clorox® Regular-Bleach and not lose much color. If the jeans are no longer wearable anyways, it cannot hurt to try! Here’s how to proceed:

1. Apply alcohol-based hand sanitizer to the stain and let it soak in for a few minutes.

2. Wash in the hottest water allowed (check the care label) with detergent and ¾ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach.

3. Allow the shirt to air dry and check for success.

The biggest problem with a stain like this is that the ink is super concentrated and may require multiple treatments to get the stain out. Therefore, it’s really important to air dry the blue jeans following any repeated washing until the stain is gone. Also, you will know pretty quickly if the hand sanitizer is effective on printer ink, and if not, maybe you have a new pair of pants for painting and yard work.