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How to remove tattoo ink stains out of clothing

Updated February 21, 2017

Tattoos are administered by injecting ink under the surface of the skin. Even though the ink begins under the skin's surface, it usually bleeds out for several days as the skin is healing. If your clothing brushes against the tattooed area during this time, it most likely will pick up stains from the ink. Luckily, you can remove some tattoo ink stains on fabrics if you treat them quickly and with the right cleaning techniques.

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  1. Place a clean cloth that you don't mind getting stained under the stain on the fabric to prevent the ink from seeping through the material and onto other parts of the clothing or onto your work surface.

  2. Moisten a cotton swab or cotton ball with hairspray and dab the stain with it.

  3. Rub the moistened fabric together gently.

  4. Apply a prewash stain remover to the ink stain. Rub the fabric together again and let it sit for 20 minutes.

  5. Launder the clothing with a washing powder that contains enzymes. Add bleach to the wash if the item can be bleached.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Hairspray
  • Cotton swab or ball
  • Prewash stain remover
  • Washing powder

About the Author

Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.

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