If you’ve ever had to change printer cartridges, chances are you’ve spilled toner or ink on yourself or your clothing. When this happens there’s that sense of panic that sweeps over you. What are you going to do now? Did you ruin your clothes? Are you going to be able to get this stuff off? Here are some tips from some pros to getting those toner or ink stains out of your clothes.
The first thing you will want to do before attempting to remove any stains is read the clothing label to determine the garment’s fiber content. This is usually listed on the tag on the garment. Test any chemicals in a small inconspicuous on a seam allowance or inside or the hem to be sure the material can handle it. Rayon, or acetate, for instance, are sensitive to rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover.
How to remove TONER on your clothes:
- Vacuum the affected area then take the garment off.
- Vigorously shake the remaining toner out of your clothing.
- Gently brush as much of the stain off the clothing as possible using a soft bristled brush. DO NOT rub the stain. This will only force the powder further down into the fabric making it more difficult to clean.
- If you do not have a soft bristled brush, use a dry cloth, such as a towel, in a brushing motion on the stain. (Please note that this cloth will most likely become stained, so use something you do not mind getting soiled.)
- Dampen a dry, absorbent cloth with rubbing alcohol and then blog it on the toner stain. (Please note that the toner will likely stain this cloth.)
- Spray the stain with hairspray, blot with towels on BOTH sides of the fabric and wash in COLD water in the washing machine. Make sure the stain is completely gone before placing the item in the dryer as it is the heat the fuses the toner dust and makes the stain permanent.
How to remove FRESH INK stains from your clothes:
- Dab the stain with a clean, damp towel or sponge until no more ink will lift from the affected area.
- Let the stain air dry.
- Spray the stain with hairspray or dab with alcohol.
- Put the stained fabric between two paper towels.
- Blot the back side of the stained fabric. This will force the stain out of the fabric and into the other paper towel.
- As you continue to press, the stain will transfer to the other paper towel. Move the paper towel so the clean segment of the towel lifts the stain. Continue pressing and moving the paper towel so the stain does not re-transfer back into the fabric after you’ve gotten it into the towel. If you need to use a new paper towel, do so. When the stain is completely lifted, you are done.
How to remove SET-IN INK stains from your clothes.
Removing a set-in stain requires a bit more effort so let’s get started.
- First you want to use a bit of liquid laundry detergent on the stain.
- Gently scrub the spot with a toothbrush. You should see the stain begin to lift.
- If the stain does not lift, mix 1 part bleach and 1 part water in a cup, dip the brush into the cup and continue gently brushing the stain. This should definitely lift the printer ink from the affected area. (Be sure to read the label on your garment to ensure you can use bleach)
- Immediately wash the garment. Do NOT allow to dry between scrubbing and washing, otherwise the ink you loosened from the fabric will just set back into the fabric.
- Hang dry or dry flat. Do not use the dryer, as any remaining ink residue will permanently set into the fabric. If you find any residual ink stains – repeat the process.