Getting a tattoo is an exhilarating experience, but the fun might diminish if you accidentally spill the ink on your clothes, especially bright-colored ones.
Since most tattoos are supposed to last for life, it is natural to think that tattoo ink is indelible. However, with the proper techniques and a little bit of timing, tattoo ink stains can be safely washed away.
Are you curious? Keep reading our comprehensive guidelines and find out different ways on how to get tattoo ink out of clothes!
3 Effective Methods To Get Tattoo Ink Out Of Clothes
When ink gets spilled on clothes, the pigment still needs time to glue itself to the fabric. Therefore, once the accident happens, grab a piece of rag or soft paper to immediately remove any liquid ink that has yet to blend into your clothes.
Then, use a typical stain remover product and spray it all over the blemish. Although no specific brand is recommended here, make sure you check the washing instructions printed on the label of each garment to see if it allows exposure to detergents.
Let the remainder of the stain sit for at least 15 minutes before proceeding to the next steps. From here, there are many approaches for you to handle the stain, depending on the type of tattoo ink used and the products available in your household.
1. Use an oxygenated cleaner
Apply a generous amount of oxygenated cleaner all over the inky area, then gently use your hands to rub the cloth. Remember to focus on where the stain lies.
Or, if you have oxygenated bleach in the form of liquid, pour it on the entire garment. Keep the piece of cloth soaked for 5-10 minutes, which is enough time for the oxygen bubbles to break up the figment and gradually lift it from the fibers.
Next up, it’s time to start washing. You can choose to do this manually or by your washing machine. Use a mixture of warm water, oxygenated cleaner, and other laundry products if necessary to treat the stain.
2. Use hair spray
Another option to fix your tattoo ink stain will require a bottle of hairspray.
Unlike bleach – which prefers immediate treatment when the ink stain is still moist and damp, hairspray works best when the ink markings are thoroughly dry. Its alcoholic ingredients will disintegrate the pigment structure, allowing you to remove the stain altogether with a few wipes of a wet rag.
Still, it is worth remembering that while hairspray can fix most types of fabric, polyester blends are the easiest. If your clothes are not from polyester blends and the hairspray does not work wonders as expected, you might want to test out other methods as well.
3. Use baking soda
Tattoo ink stains – especially ones caused by temporary paint like henna – can fade away using common ingredients in your kitchen: baking soda and white vinegar.
First off, mix half a teaspoon of baking soda with the right amount of water to create a thick, sticky glue. Rub this combination all over the ink markings, then let it sit until the whole mixture dries up. The stain should be removed alongside the dry paste.
If you think baking soda alone is not enough to brush off the stain, blend in some teaspoons of white vinegar. Again, apply this paste all over the markings, clean it once things are dried up, and grind the fabric with tepid water.
While these two homemade combinations can get the tattoo ink out of clothes, timing is critical. So make sure you rush to your cabinet instantly once the ink gets sprayed.
If the stain is 100% off your clothes, feel free to air dry them or put them in a dryer, the choice is yours.
But if the stain is still somehow visible on your fabric, we suggest not to dry them, as it would cause the stain to stick to the clothing fibers permanently.
Vaseline is a petroleum-based product, which will absorb tattoo ink one way or another, especially if the ink is still wet and new. Therefore, if you happen to own a jar of Vaseline right at the moment tattoo ink just gets spilled on your garments, an immediate application of Vaseline on the markings might help remove the pigment.
However, Vaseline does not guarantee total removal of tattoo ink. So adding oxygenated cleaner and warm water to rinse the fabric afterward is highly recommended.
In theory, salt - or saline solution - can generally pull the pigments from deeper skin layers to the top surface and help clean up the tattooed area.
Unfortunately, there has been a fair amount of criticism surrounding this so-called tattoo removal, as it might be dangerous to one’s health if done incorrectly.
Besides, no expert has voiced their concerns over the use of salt to get tattoo ink out of clothes. So to play it safe, it is better to stick to other methods - like we have presented above - than to try rubbing salt on your inky blemish.
Spilling tattoo ink on garments is terrible enough; spilling it on delicate materials like silk or satin is horrendous. You cannot simply rub and rinse it aggressively with oxygenated cleaner, as it may affect the texture.
Instead, use two white paper towels and a bottle of alcohol-based hairspray to do the trick. Lay everything on a sturdy surface (floor, table, etc.), with the stained piece of satin/silk on top and the paper towels under.
Once the setup is done, start splashing the hairspray all over the blemish. The pigment will disintegrate soon enough and seep through the fabric, where the paper towels are already in place. Repeat until the stain is almost invisible.
Before washing the satin/silk as instructed in the label, make sure you blot any excess liquid and minimize the area affected by the tattoo ink.
When it comes to stain removal, the sooner, the better. Before the ink pigments are set into the clothing fibers, anything from alcohol-based hairspray or hand sanitizer can easily wash them away.
But this does not mean that dried ink stains are unfixable. You might indeed need a bit more work, from rubbing oxygenated cleaner, applying stain remover to rinsing under tepid water. But as long as you get things done correctly, the stains are sure to go away.
If you ever find yourself holding a piece of clothes marred by the tattoo ink, do not freak out and think this garment is officially ruined. Tattoo ink stain is – in fact – washable if treated timely and with the correct techniques. All you need to do is follow our guidelines and tips on how to get tattoo ink out of clothes, and the blotch will brush off in no time.