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Ballpoint pen on shirt

HalfCanvas

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I dropped a pen and it made about a 1 inch mark on my shirt (light blue broadcloth with white stripes, in case it matters). Any tricks to getting this out?
 

Don Carlos

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This was probably better asked on the Q&A thread, but I'll bite, because I had a similar question a few months ago. In my case it was worse, as the cleaners had put the mark on my shirt and "baked it in" by pressing the shirt with the stain in place. At that point, there was nothing that could get it out.

I would suggest rubbing alcohol. Daub it lightly on both sides of the stain very gently. Then dip some paper towels in rubbing alcohol, and place the shirt stain-side-down onto the paper towel. Place a dry paper towel on top. Hopefully the stain gets absorbed out onto the paper towel.

Note that this method did not work for me, as my stain was pressed in. But this was the advice most commonly found in my search. I'd also heard suggestions for an OxyClean soak. Whatever you do, try to get the stain out before drying or ironing the shirt.
 

Ataturk

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There's a company that sells stain remover in little yellow bottles. One of them says it can remove ballpoint ink. Usually you see them for sale in supermarkets. I've used it and it worked for me on regular (not ball point) ink. But they do make one that specifically says it works on ballpoint ink. You might try that.
 

Don Carlos

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Originally Posted by Ataturk
There's a company that sells stain remover in little yellow bottles. One of them says it can remove ballpoint ink. Usually you see them for sale in supermarkets. I've used it and it worked for me on regular (not ball point) ink. But they do make one that specifically says it works on ballpoint ink. You might try that.

I would say this is definitely worth a shot. But to the OP, I'd caution that he is working with a pretty limited clock here. Ballpoint pen ink sets pretty quickly and is one of the hardest, if not the hardest, stains to get out of cotton. The longer he waits, the worse his chances.
 

runner-guy

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Try using Shout. Spray on and let it sit for about 10 minutes, and then launder it as usual or use the extra soak cycle if you have one. This works for the majority of tough stains I encounter.
 

in stitches

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Originally Posted by runner-guy
Try using Shout. Spray on and let it sit for about 10 minutes, and then launder it as usual or use the extra soak cycle if you have one. This works for the majority of tough stains I encounter.

+1, ill add, before letting it sit and laundering gently scrub the stain first to loosen it up
 

DavidW

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I've used rubbing alcohol successfully. Put a clean paper towel under the stain, dip a Q-tip in the alcohol, and gently roll it over the stain. Then blot with the clean end of the Q-tip. Repeat with clean Q-tips until gone. The Q-tips allow you to carefully control the alcohol, which spreads the ink as it dissolves.
 

Mr. Lee

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You can try all of this shit, but I think you are fucked. Wear it under a sweater, vest or something.
 

mic

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Originally Posted by Ataturk
There's a company that sells stain remover in little yellow bottles. One of them says it can remove ballpoint ink. Usually you see them for sale in supermarkets. I've used it and it worked for me on regular (not ball point) ink. But they do make one that specifically says it works on ballpoint ink. You might try that.

I used this and it worked like magic. Sorry I'm away from home and can't recall the name of the product. It's in grocery stores.
 

MacDaddy

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Originally Posted by Ataturk
There's a company that sells stain remover in little yellow bottles. One of them says it can remove ballpoint ink. Usually you see them for sale in supermarkets. I've used it and it worked for me on regular (not ball point) ink. But they do make one that specifically says it works on ballpoint ink. You might try that.
I think you mean Carbona Staindevils: http://www.carbona.com/staindevils3-inkandcrayon.aspx The Jo-Ann fabric store near me has it on clearance right now for $1.97.The main ingredient is 1,2-dihydroxypropane,which is cheaply available as the Non-toxic antifreeze used for boat and RV fresh water tanks and systems.It's general street name is Propylene Glycol.There are also small amounts of Alkyl alcohol and ether.
 

Don Carlos

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Originally Posted by HalfCanvas
Just to update -- the alcohol trick worked like a charm.

Very glad to hear it. Glad you caught it in time. Wish I could have said the same for my pen-ruined shirt, which was a custom Charvet.
 

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