Picture this… You are home after a long day’s work, you take off your shirt and voila! your favourite shirt, your lucky charm, the shirt you had on when you got called for your dream job, the shirt you wore the day your uncle dashed you N10k, that shirt Yes! that shirt, the one you had on when your wife shared the good news: “honey we are having a baby!” It’s that shirt. The shirt you’re convinced you would always wear until it falls to pieces. Then comes this long streak of black ink or blue or red, right across your favourite shirt! The ink stain is visible, it’s obvious: your shirt is gone.

But is it really?

Because I’ll let you in on a little secret, the clothe-saving secret that would restore your belief in your beloved shirt.

All you need is any of the four little things in this article. Things you can find in practically every home and your shirt will be ink-free.

Don’t believe me? Keep reading!

  1. Methylated Spirit:

To get rid of ink stains using this method, all you need is

  • Methylated spirit
  • Detergent
  • Water

The Steps

  • Fill a small bucket halfway with water
  • Add a handful (or two) of detergent
  • Pour three capfuls of methylated spirit
  • Leave the stained clothes to soak in the mix for 30 minutes to an hour
  • Gently hand wash the clothes until clean
  • If you can still see traces of ink, add one or two more capfuls of methylated spirit
  • Soak for another hour, wash and rinse, and your clothes should be stain-free.


  1. Hand Sanitizer

With the hand sanitizer method, things are a little bit different although you will still use some methylated spirit.

The Steps

  • Soak the clothes in methylated spirit (ONLY) for about 30 minutes.
  • Dip a piece of cotton wool into hand sanitizer
  • Pat the ink spot on the clothes lightly (DO NOT RUB) until the cotton wool has soaked up enough ink
  • Repeat, but this time with fresh cotton wool and keep repeating until you’ve soaked up all the ink
  • Now that your clothes are free of ink, dip another cotton wool or sponge into cold water and pat the area again, this time to remove all traces of the hand sanitizer
  • Repeat until your clothes are free of the methylated spirit, rinse with water and leave out to dry.
  1. Hairspray:

Before you scoff at the impossibility of hairspray being able to get rid of tough ink stains, hear me out. Follow these simple steps, and see if I’m not right:

  • Put a paper towel under the stain
  • Spray your hairspray liberally, until the entire ink stain is completely saturated with hairspray.
  • Pat with a damp cloth (remember, DO NOT RUB)
  • Keep patting and blotting until the stain is gone, then wash and dry.


  1. Milk


I know, I know. Crazy isn’t it? But you know what? It works! Next time you have ink on your clothes, get some milk (now this can be either cold milk or warm milk, whichever you choose) and paper towels.

The Steps:

  • Pat the ink stain as much as you can. Use as many paper towels as you need.
  • Soak the clothes in milk for thirty minutes to an hour.
  • Wash the clothes, rinse them, dry them, and voila, your shirt is ink-free!

A word of caution. Ink stains get more difficult to remove the more time passes. So, your chances of saving your clothes are higher if the minute you notice the stains, you immediately work on getting rid of them. And luckily for you, you have four different ink removal methods to choose from!

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