How to Remove Ink Stains

A few weeks ago Matt built a fort for Malea out of one of our large sheets.  Malea had a friend over and unfortunately she found a red marker that had been left out.  Oops.
There was marker all over the white sheet, the guest room bedspread and Malea’s teddy bear.  Malea kept saying that Teddy was bleeding. :)
Her friend’s mom felt so bad but I reassured her that it was an easy fix.
As with all my random cleaning solutions, I’m not sure where I learned this but I’ve been doing it for at least 10+ years and it works every time!
The answer is hairspray.
Yep.  Hairspray.
I’ve tried this with every type of ink pen (except a permanent marker).  To remove the ink spray the colored-on area with hairspray (doesn’t matter what kind), let it set for a few minutes, and then toss it in the washing machine.  Wash the colored-on garment or linen just like you normally would.  Check to make sure the stain came out before throwing it in the dryer.  If the ink is still there repeat the process (I’ve never had to do that).
After a quick wash and dry my sheet is back to normal!
About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

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  1. Hi from your latest follower. I found you blog hopping. Love this tip. Will definitly be back to find more out. Thank you for sharing your tips. Be sure to check out me out at Sarah

  2. I am your newest follower. Love hairspray for removing ink. Just bought my daughter a new skirt and the first day it got covered in ink! Hair spray came to the rescue again!

  3. Hairspray? Wow! I'm hopping from the Totally Tuesday Blog Hop and I'm following you now. You can visit me at and I host a hop every Wednesday. I love the concept of your blog. Great work on all the cleaning help.

  4. Does this work on ink stains that have been present for awhile? My husband left a pen in his pants pocket and it made a mess when his pants went into the dryer. :(

  5. I almost don't believe this one. Wow! I have tossed lots of things that have ink on them. Reading this almost made me want to go and mark something up, just to try the trick. But with 4 kids, I am sure I don't have too long to wait… thanks, Anna for the tip!

  6. Thanks for the amazing tip. I'll have to remember this. I'm a new follower. Hope to see you at

  7. FYI: If you ever get permanent marker on the inside of the dryer, insect repellent works like magic!

  8. this does not work on gel pens. i had been using hairspray on ink since the 70's. then we got hooked on gel pens. it just does not work. i haven't found anything to get that ink out.

  9. Does this work on dry erase markers at all? My son got a hold of a red dry erase marker a few months back and it ended up all over his bedspread. I’ve tried everything to get it out, but to no avail. It’s been washed and dried dozens of times since then, so I’m up for trying anything at this point!

    • I think I remember it working. I’ll let you know though because recently a friend’s daughter did the same thing to our bedspread. I need to try and wash it this week, so I’ll let you know. :)

  10. Oh my good! You just saved my life!
    I’ve a white expensive dress and it had a black large ink stain, and then thank god I found your blog.
    I’m totally loving your blog.

  11. Marisol Braga says:

    is there a specific kind of Hairspray or do you use whatever is on hand?