Removing a Ballpoint Pen Stain From Wool

A ballpoint pen stain can ruin a fine wool suit or sweater. The secret to removing ink stains is to work quickly to keep the stain from setting. Follow these tips for stain removal of such stubborn fluids as ballpoint pen ink.

Test and Apply Suitable Cleaning Fluid

Test the cleaning fluid on an inconspicuous area, like a hem or inside facing. If it does not remove color or cause other damage, apply it to the stained area from the outer edge to the center. Use a cotton swab to dab it on a little at a time to avoid soaking the fabric and spreading the stain. Use a white cloth or tissue to blot up the stain. The recommended cleaning fluid for wool is methylated spirits, used by dry cleaners to remove stains.

Rinse and Check the Stained Area

On tightly woven wool, like gabardine or flannel, rinse the stained area when it seems the stain has been lifted. Use clear, cold water on wool to prevent matting and shrinking of the fibers. On wool knits and jerseys, wash the garment with cold water and a mild detergent to remove all the cleaning fluid. Rinse in cold water, then squeeze out the garment rolled in a towel.