Using Hairspray for Ink Stains


1 Pet Hair Removal

We all love our sweet pups and adorable kitties but what we DON’T love is the hair they leave behind on our furniture and clothing. Next time you need to clean up pet hair, try this nifty way to use hairspray: Spray a tissue with aerosol hairspray and run it over the offending areas. Pet hair sticks right to the tissue and your problem is taken care of!


How do you get gel ink out of clothes after they have been washed and dried?

Removing Gel Pen Ink
  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 Bleach2. Allow the shirt to air dry and check for success.

6 Flame Thrower

Obviously, this tip should be used only by an adult or with adult supervision and with caution. If you find yourself in need of a flamethrower, use hairspray! Hairspray is flammable, so proceed with caution. Hold a lighter in front of the nozzle and flick it. Then shoot a steady stream of hairspray into the flame, pointing away from yourself and any objects nearby.

Some Words of Caution

Unfortunately, there is no one ‘fix’ that will work with all types of fabric and in all locations. Please keep in mind that some of the products recommended should not be used in closed spaces or on delicate synthetic fabrics. Before choosing a method of removing ink stains from fabric, consider the following:

  • Only use industrial solvents in well ventilated areas
  • Never use alcohol based products on triacetate, acetate or rayon
  • Never use the clothes dryer before the entire stain is removed
  • Body heat sets the stain – remove clothing as soon as you notice the stain
  • Avoid rubbing the stain removal treatment into the fabric – it rubs the ink in as well
  • Use cool to cold water to flush the cleaning treatment away and also for laundering
  • Water based ink is easier to remove than permanent ink – check the pen

You will often read advice that tells you to launder in warm water. Don’t do it! Warm water is great for removing grease but will unfortunately set the ink stain even deeper. Of course if you have removed the entire stain then there is no reason why you shouldn’t launder as normal. However, if there is the tiniest bit of stain remaining, you don’t stand a prayer of getting it out if you use warm to hot water. And remember, if one technique doesn’t work, try another – just do so before you launder the garment. Good Luck!

Does rubbing alcohol stain clothes?

First, rubbing alcohol is not pure isopropyl alcohol; it contains other ingredients, including dye, which can leave a dye stain on fabric. The other way that rubbing alcohol can leave stains is that it acts as a mild bleach, as do other forms of alcohol such as vodka or isopropyl alcohol.

WD-40 or Spray Carpet Cleaner for Large Areas

While these may not be the ideal treatments for delicate fabric, if you want to know how to get ink stains out of fabric in large areas, you need an industrial strength solvent. WD-40 is an extremely potent blend of solvents such as mineral spirits, liquefied petroleum and mineral oil with some inert ingredients (10%) thrown into the blend. It is not only a simple lubricator like everyone assumes but great at cleaning grease, grime, dirt, paint and yes, even ink!

In fact there is now a handy little pen that you can keep handy in your purse or glove box for those tiny ink splotches that you encounter hours before you know you will be returning home. And those little pens aren’t supposed to have the odor that the spray would provide. And when all else fails, try some spray-on carpet cleaner that also is formulated with powerful solvents. The key is to treat the area before it gets a chance to set completely if at all possible!

Spritz with Spray

A pump, rather than aerosol, version of hair spray is preferable. Pump once or twice to saturate a cotton ball with the hairspray and press against the stain.

Nonwashable Garments

For dry-clean-only garments, proceed with caution. Test a small squirt of the hairspray on an inside hem before applying to the stain to ensure it won’t cause an additional stain. If you aren’t sure how the clothing will react to the hairspray, you’re best off bringing the garment to a professional dry cleaner who may have more experience with stain removal.