How To Get Tattoo Ink Out Of Clothes
Home » Clean Clothes » Stains Clothes » How To Get Tattoo Ink Out Of Clothes

How To Get Tattoo Ink Out Of Clothes

How to get tattoo ink out of clothes is an issue that concerns many people. I know you are worried when the shirt you just bought is stained with tattoo ink – an ink type that is considered to be permanent on the skin.

However, if you can remove tattoos from your skins with specialized methods, you can still remove tattoo ink from clothes with a few tips below.

The important thing in the tattoo removal process is that you have to take the time. The quicker, the better – it’s always easier to deal with wet stains than with old ones.

But if you have old and dry tattoo ink stains, do not worry because everything can still be solved without too much effort. To avoid wasting your time, quickly move to the next section to capture the perfect stain removal tip.

Tattoo Ink Clothes
Time is the critical point in the process of removing tattoo ink from clothes.

Is Tattoo Ink Permanent On Clothes?

Tattoos are one of the art forms with a long history dating to between 3370 and 3100 BC (1) . Tattoos on the skin are masterpieces – bringing a unique mark for the person who wears them.

However, when tattoo ink gets on clothes, it is a disaster and a challenge that makes laundry workers feel uncomfortable. When tattooed on the skin, the ink is permanently attached, and only a few special tools can remove the tattoo. So is it permanent on clothes?.

Tattoo ink is considered one of the most stubborn stains when they get on clothes. Therefore, if you wash clothes in the usual way without removing the stains before washing and drying, they are at risk of permanent damage to your clothes.

Tattoo Ink
Tattoo ink will last forever on fabric if you handle it properly.

Then the process of removing them will become much more complex and challenging. However, you can avoid this situation if you follow my instructions because tattoo ink is washable if you handle it properly.

Do not worry; the materials for this ink stain removal process are not out of your reach.

Checklist 4 Keywords Of Tattoo Removal

Before you start removing stubborn stains, it is essential to understand the critical elements of the process. Catching these keywords will make it easier for you to eliminate them.

Care Label
Care label instructions are critical in the process of removing stains and cleaning clothes
  • Check Care Label Instructions:

You need to know the material of your fabric and the instructions for proper pre-treating and washing. Avoid the use of unsuitable products that damage the fabric

  • Use Hot Water

If your fabric is washable in hot water, do it right away. Note that the high temperature of the water should be adjusted only during the wash cycle, not when you are pre-treating it.

  • Act Quickly

Act quickly as soon as the ink stain is still new; the longer the time, the more stubborn the stain. However, if you can’t get rid of them right away, don’t worry. You can still easily remove dry stains by following the instructions below.

  • Check Before Drying

It is also an important step to complete the tattoo stain removal process. After washing is complete, ensure your fabric is free of stains before putting it in the dryer.

Here’s how to read all the symbols on your care labels.

Watch this video: How To Read The Care Label - Care Label Symbols Explained

7 Proven Methods To Make Removing Tattoo Ink Effortless

When starting to clean, make sure you have completed the first keyword – check care label instructions. It is one of the vital factors to protect your fabric in the best way.

Option 1: Rubbing Alcohol

Alcohol is considered one of the effective stain removers, including tattoo ink stains. Ink stains are easily dissolved in alcohol, so you can rest assured when choosing this method. However, you should not apply alcohol to acetate, silk, wool, and silk fabrics.

Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol can help you easily remove stubborn stains like tattoo ink.


  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Clean cloth
  • Cotton ball


Step 1: The first thing is to immediately absorb the ink stains on your shirt, preferably while they are still wet. Use a white cloth to absorb as much ink as possible. Remember that you only blot, not rub, to avoid spreading the ink stain on the fabric.

Step 2: Using a cotton ball soaked with alcohol, dab the cotton ball directly on the stain. Gently rub the stained area.

Step 3: Let it rest for 3-5 minutes so that the alcohol can dissolve the ink stains.

Step 4: After the stain has been removed, rinse the stain with water

Step 5: Wash clothes as usual. You should adjust the highest temperature (following the label instructions) on the fabric during the washing process for better stain removal.

Step 6: After washing, recheck the stain. Repeat the process for the remaining stain. You can dry as usual once the stain has been removed.

Option 2: Hairspray

Hairspray not only helps you style, hold, and create volume for your hair, but it also plays a role in treating stains for fabrics, especially tattoo ink. Therefore, you can take advantage of hairspray’s many magical functions.

Hair Spray
If you have a hairspray, you can both style your hair and remove stains like tattoo ink.

However, you should note that only hairspray with alcohol content can work effectively. This method can be used on fabrics, including silk and satin. You can test in a small hidden corner for more sure results.


  • Hairspray
  • Paper towels
  • Clean cloth


Step 1: Remember to place a paper towel on the back of the stain. Use talcum powder or cornflour to absorb the excess ink on the cloth. After that, shake the powder in the trash. Repeat the process until the ink stains no longer transfer.

Step 2: Spray the hairspray onto the stain. Then, the pigment will dissolve and begin to soak into the pre-lined paper towel below.

Step 3: Rinse off ink residue with cold water.

Step 4: Wash the garment as usual, setting the highest temperature (following the label instructions) on the fabric to remove stains.

Step 5: Check the fabric after washing. Repeat the process if needed.

Option 3: Vinegar & Cornstarch

Cornstarch is not only a common ingredient in your kitchen, but it can also contribute to the cleaning process of stains, especially tattoo stains. In addition, combining cornstarch with vinegar will increase the ability to clean clothes.

Starch Corn Cob
Besides being active in the kitchen, cornstarch can also invade the field of stain cleaning.


  • Cornstarch
  • Vinegar
  • A bowl


Step 1: Mix the vinegar and cornstarch mixture in a bowl in a ratio of 2:3- two parts vinegar and three parts cornstarch. Stir the mixture to form a thick solution.

Step 2: Place the mixture directly on the stain, covering the entire area with ink stains.

Step 3: Let it rest on the fabric until the mixture is dry.

Step 4: Use warm water to rinse the fabric.

Step 5: Wash the clothes with detergent as usual. Adjust the washing machine to the hottest water temperature for better removal (following care label).

Step 6: The process can be repeated if the stain remains.

Vinegar is a powerful cleaner that you need to have in your home. You can see this video to know more:

Watch this video: 7 Things That Will Happen When You Add Vinegar To Your Laundry!

Option 4: Oxygenated Cleaner

Oxygenated Cleaners, which have ingredients like sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide, work wonders at removing stains. Oxygen bleach works by releasing oxygen when it works with water, helping you to remove stubborn stains like tattoos.

Oxygen Cleaners
Stubborn stains are easily removed by sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide

Never use oxygen cleaners with silk, wool or leather fabrics.


  • Clean cloth
  • Cotton ball
  • Oxygenated cleaner


Step 1: Soak up the ink stain on the clothes with a clean cloth. Absorbing the ink will make it easier to remove. Note that you only absorb it, not rub it.

Step 2: Place the cleaner directly on the stain, rubbing it to cover the entire stain

Step 3: Let it rest for about 5-10 minutes so that the solution can dissolve the ink stains.

Step 4: Run cool or lukewarm water on the fabric to remove ink residue

Step 5:Wash off the cloth as usual, add both laundry detergent and all-fabric bleach. Using hot water during the wash will make stain removal easier (consistent with the care label).

Step 6: Check for stains after washing; repeat the process if necessary.

Option 5: Baking Soda

Baking soda has always been considered one of the effective stain removers, both safe and non-toxic on fabrics. Along with the bleaching properties, baking soda will help you remove stubborn stains easily.

Note that this method is most suitable and effective for henna – temporary tattoo inks.

Baking Soda
Safe and effective cleaning are the top two criteria of baking soda.


  • Baking soda
  • Clean cloth
  • Cotton ball


Step 1: Mix baking soda and water well – add water slowly until the mixture forms a paste.

Step 2: Place the mixture directly on the stain, leave it on the cloth until the mixture dries.

Step 3: After that, remove the ink stain and dry powder. Wipe off the mixture by using a clean cloth. Check if the stain is still there; you can combine baking soda and vinegar to make a paste. Place the mixture on the stain, let it dry and scrub it off.

Step 5: Wash clothes with detergent as usual. Hot water should still be preferred (consistent with the care label).

Step 6: Recheck the stain and repeat the process if necessary.

For optimal results, you can add baking soda to your laundry. You can see this video to know more:

Watch this video: How To Add Baking Soda To Laundry

Option 6: Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover both helps you remove nail polish and helps you clean stains effectively. However, you should not use this method with fabrics that contain fine natural fibers like wool or silk. To limit damage to the fabric, you can do a spot test in a hidden corner of the fabric.

Nail Polish Remover
The function of nail polish remover may be beyond its name


  • Nail polish remover
  • Clean towel
  • Cotton ball


Step 1: Test the nail polish on an unnoticeable part of your clothes to make sure that the polish will not ruin it.

Step 2: Rinse the stain with clean water before placing the clothes on a clean, dry towel.

Step 3: Dip the cotton with some nail polish remover and use it to blot out as much ink as possible. Do not rub, as this will spread the stain to other areas of the fabric.

Step 4: Add a few drops of dish soap. Gently rub the stained area until all the ink has been removed.

Step 5: Wash off all nail polish on the cloth.

Step 6: Wash clothes as recommended on the care label. You should wash in hot water for complete stain removal (following care label).

Step 7: Check the fabric for stains. Repeat the process if necessary.

Option 7: Toothpaste

The whitening ingredient in toothpaste helps a lot in the process of removing plaque and whitening teeth. Moreover, it also allows you to clean stubborn stains like tattoo ink easily.

When using this method, it’s advisable to opt for non-gel toothpaste, as it is suitable for most fabrics, cotton and linen are no exception.

Toothpaste Shape
Toothpaste can not only whiten teeth but also remove stains


  • Soft bristle toothbrush
  • Toothpaste


Step 1: Use a clean cloth to immediately absorb the ink stains on the shirt, preferably a new stain. Note that you should not rub the cloth to avoid spreading the ink stain on the fabric.

Step 2: Squeeze a sufficient amount of toothpaste on the stain, use a soft bristle brush to rub the toothpaste evenly on the stain. Continue scrubbing until the stain is removed.

Step 3: Run fabric under cold water, remove the toothpaste before washing.

Step 4: Wash clothes with detergent as usual. Adjust the water to the highest temperature during washing (following the care label).

Step 6: Recheck the stain to see if it is still present on the fabric. You can dry as usual once the stain has been removed.


If you still have a lot of doubts about tattoo ink, check out this compilation of frequently asked questions. Keep scrolling down and find the answer for yourself.

How Can I Get Tattoo Ink Out Of Dry Clean Clothes?

For dry clean clothes, you should not treat them at home. In order not to damage the fabric, seek professional dry cleaners.. You should bring it to the dry cleaners to handle the ink stains as promptly as possible

Does Tattoo Ink Wash Off?

It may fade a little with each wash, but the ink stain will not be completely washed away. Especially for dark and large ink stains, they can stick on the shirt. Therefore, you should pretreat the stain before washing for the best results.

Can Tattoo Ink Stains Be Removed After Drying?

Stain after being washed and dried can be difficult for you to remove; the risk of permanent existence is relatively high. You can apply the methods mentioned above, but it will take a lot of effort and time.

Therefore, be careful if you do not want your favorite shirt covered with ugly black stains forever.

Which Is The Best Way To Get Tattoo Ink Out Of Clothes?

Hairspray is the best choice for removing tattoo ink from clothes. This spray is cheap and handy; fortunately, it’s perfect for this stubborn ink on most fabrics.  Note that it is advisable to absorb the ink before applying hairspray.

Diligence Is The Mother Of Success

Tattoo ink is considered one of the most stubborn stains on fabrics and requires a certain amount of patience when performing this removal. If you get impatient or give up halfway, getting rid of it is almost over.

Therefore, be calm when solving problems because no matter how difficult it is, success will not ignore you as long as you persevere.

Besides, keep in mind the critical “keywords” that I mentioned to you during this stain removal process. Caution is the second condition that you should consider and be aware of.

Have you succeeded in removing tattoo ink stains from your shirt with my methods? Please comment and share below; I will reply to you right away.

How To Get Tattoo Ink Out Of Clothes


  1. “History of tattooing – Wikipedia”. En.Wikipedia.Org, 2022

Similar Posts

Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones

Home Cleaning Specialist

Expertise: In-depth Knowledge of Cleaning Agents and Their Uses, Advanced Home Sanitization, Techniques Expertise in Cleaning and Maintaining, Various Floor Types, Innovations in Home Cleaning Tools

School: American College of Home Economics

Kevin Jones is a seasoned home cleaning specialist with over a decade of experience in the industry. A stickler for cleanliness and organization, Kevin brings a systematic and innovative approach to home maintenance. His expertise ranges from traditional methods to modern cleaning technology, ensuring homes are not just clean but healthy environments too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *