Stained Fabric to Perfection!

As a volunteer at a thrift store, I have a first look at many of the donations that are brought to the store. One was this large, bed cover in great condition, but was covered in ball point ink stains.
What to do? It wouldn’t sell in it’s current condition. I volunteered to take it home to see what I could do with it.
- On the largest of the ink stains I poured 91% rubbing alcohol on the spot & blotted until the stain was dispersed but not gone. I used paper towels under the spot to absorb the ink & blotted with another paper towel changing when they were covered with stain.
- On the smaller stains, I put rubbing alcohol into a small spray bottle & sprayed each stain.
- All stains received a small amount of Dawn Dishing Washing liquid which I gently rubbed into the spot.
- The entire thing went into the wash with another small squeeze of Dawn with white vinegar poured into the “bleach” & “softener” compartments. The vinegar is not necessary, but I use it in every cycle to help keep my front loader free from odors.
After washing & examining the coverlet, I found all the spots that were treated came out!
Paper towels with ink transfer.
The Dawn Dishwashing liquid gently worked into the stain.
The ink starts to break up. Notice how the ink has transferred to the paper towel.
As the ink spreads, it will look much worse than when you started.
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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 16 questions
  • Lesley Lesley on Apr 20, 2017
    Hey can i use fairy washing up liquid ibstead of dawn?

  • Anne Anne on Jul 03, 2017
    How do I get grease stains out of clothing?

  • Sandy Sandy on Sep 24, 2019

    Do you have an idea to remove paint from a black jacket?


Join the conversation

4 of 122 comments
  • Vivian Vivian on Oct 05, 2019

    Thank you so much. I have many ball point stains. Will try this as soon as I get the alcohol. 👍😄

    • Beth Beth 7 days ago

      Ballpoint on clothes will come out if you spray it with the cheapest hair spray you can find and then rub in a bit of your laundry soap before washing. Worked on all of my engineer hubbys shirts.

  • Mother Harper Mother Harper on Nov 21, 2019

    FYI...I worked at a dry cleaners/laundromat at one time and was privy to a few tricks of the trade. My first is how to get grease spots out of clothes. (This is food grease I'm referring to.) First, you must have your ever trusty bottle of Dawn dish soap on hand. Dab each grease spot with a generous dollop of Dawn. Using the side edge of a metal teaspoon, rub the Dawn into the stain with a firm, scraping , back-n-forth motion. Continue this until the liquid soap is thoroughly worked into the entire stain. Now toss it into the washer with the usual laundry. I've used this process for years with great results.

    • Syl Syl on Jun 20, 2021

      Any suggestions for mildew on comforter????