How to Remove an Ink Stain on a Suit

Updated April 17, 2017

Ink stains are a common and unwelcome cause of many articles of clothing being thrown away. If you stain a suit, however, you may not be able to just throw it away, as suits are often expensive and tailor-made. You can save your suit after it receives an ink stain, regardless of whether it is machine washable or dry-clean only. Avoid washing or treating the ink with any other cleaners before using this method, as most stain removers will only cause the stain to settle.

Place a piece of cardboard underneath the ink stain and spread the suit out flat on a table.

Spray the stain with an aerosol can of hairspray until the stain is thoroughly soaked.

Let the hairspray rest on the stain for a few minutes, but don't let the suit dry.

Dab the ink stain with a clean cloth to soak up the hairspray. Press the cloth into the stain until you have removed as much liquid as possible. Use a daubing motion, not a wiping motion.

Apply more hairspray onto the stain if any ink remains after blotting the first layer. Keep spraying and drying the stain until you can't see it anymore.

Wash or dry-clean the suit as you would for any other dirt. This will remove the water stains left behind from the hairspray.


Treat ink stains as soon as they appear to remove the stains as easily as possible.


Do not use aerosol sprays near open flames, as they are highly flammable.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Aerosol can of hairspray
  • Cloth
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About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Robert Raphael has been writing health and technology articles since 1993. His work has appeared in “Natural Living” magazine and “Extreme PC” magazine. Raphael received the Jonathan Melman Literary Award in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brandeis University.