How to Remove Ink Stains from Denim

Jeans with an ink stain.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20
What You'll Need
70 percent isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol
Soft clean cloth
Liquid detergent
Warm water
Brush (nylon brush or toothbrush)
Paper towel
Wet wipes

Ink stains on jeans can be as unsightly as they are common. To remove ink stains from your jeans is a pretty easy job, which requires some patience on your part. You can rescue your expensive jeans from the unsightly stains if you follow the steps outlined in this guide.

Step 1 - Blot Away

Immediately wipe fresh ink stains with a clean soft cloth or a paper towel. Make sure you have also placed a clean cloth on the underside of your jeans so as not to spread the stain to the other parts of the fabric. Blot and wipe the stain away until it is very light. Add some water to keep the ink wet, but do it gently and in small drops so you do not spread the ink further and make the stain bigger.

Step 2 - Wipe

If the ink is a little old, but not too old that it has already set, try blotting it with a wet tissue until the ink is lighter in appearance. Keep repeating the process until the stain is light.

Step 3 - Mix Vinegar with Cornstarch

Mix a tablespoon of vinegar and a teaspoonful of cornstarch with a spoon. Then gently drop a small amount of the soft mixture on top of the stain and brush it with a hard bristled nylon brush or an old toothbrush. Keep brushing until the stain is very light or until it is removed. If this process does not work, move to the next step.

Step 4 - Use Alcohol

Drop a small amount of isopropyl rubbing alcohol or denatured alcohol on the stain and scrub it gently with the brush. Keep brushing until there is no more visible stain.

Step 5 - Use Hairspray

Using hairspray with large alcohol content may help in removing the ink stain. The alcohol in the hairspray helps neutralize the ink and can help in removing ink stains fast, but be careful with this method since the jeans may bleach or fade in color. Use only in white or faded jeans.

Step 6 - Wash with Liquid Detergent

Once the ink is removed, wash the jeans with a non-bleaching liquid detergent. First, apply the liquid detergent on to the fabric with a bit of water and gently brush it with either the toothbrush or nylon brush. Rinse using warm water. Then put the jeans into the laundry machine and wash it thoroughly for 1 to 2 minutes. Dry the jeans using your machine’s spin dryer and remove it when it is about 80 percent dry. Hang them until they dry completely.

By following these steps, your jeans should no longer have an ink stain.