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How To Treat Ink Stains

Mar 4, 2008
Ever been in the office trying to change one of those fiddly ink cartridges and ended up covered in it? Or one of those ink cartridge refill jobbies for the home printer that require a degree in chemistry to inject without wearing more than you get in?

Work attire for office workers are probably amongst the most expensive items you will have in your wardrobe. Business suits and top notch shirts are there, dry cleaned, pressed and ready to impress your clients.

There's nothing worse than preparing for an important meeting one morning and realising you have an unsightly stain in an obvious place from an exploded ink cartridge. It's too late to try and deal with it and you end up changing into something you're not entirely comfortable with.

Of course, the usual thing for a man would be to take it home to mum and get her to deal with it. Great idea guys, but why not be all grown up and deal with it yourself, just in case your mum has a life and is not sitting around waiting for your laundry now you're in your twenties?

Schools these days are all high tech too and printers and scanners are basic classroom equipment. No matter how concealed the ink cartridge is there, you can be sure the children will find a way of wearing ink like a badge. White cotton school shirts are relatively easy to deal with when it comes to ink stains because they can just be bleached. For a more environmentally friendly solution, treat the stain with lemon juice and allow it to dry in the sun.

Women have a far simpler and more enjoyable way to deal with ink cartridge stains. We take the treasured garment, fold it neatly and place it in the bin. We then spend the whole of Saturday morning trawling round the shopping centre to find a suitable replacement. This is not a task undertaken lightly. We then have the issue of matching skirt, shoes and handbag. It's not easy being a woman!

On a more serious note, if you do have one of the dreaded ink cartridge disasters, do not dismay. For water based ink stains, lay the garment on a clean white towel and add water, blotting with another clean white towel. This should be enough to deal with the problem, particularly if you treat it while the ink is still wet.

Apply liquid laundry detergent to the affected area and leave for 5 minutes before washing on the hottest setting suitable for the garment. If the stain is still apparent after washing, try using the same method again.

Permanent inks are often more difficult to deal with. Again, place on top of a clean cloth but apply rubbing alcohol to the stain, moving the garment around so as not to re-stain from under cloth. Once no more ink can be removed, rinse and then use the same method with nail polish remover. Acetone can be used the same way but you should always test on an area that doesn't show first as not all materials are suitable for this.

As a last resort, mix some baking soda with water into a paste and apply to stain. Rinse, and then apply a stain remover product specifically for ink. If the stain is still obvious after washing, repeat baking soda stage. As a last resort, dye the garment black!

Very often, when changing or re-filling ink cartridges, ink can spill on the skin. Another bad image that you wouldn't want to show. For men and children, use either a diluted bleach solution or soap powder to remove the ink stain.

For women with ink on their skin, attend the nearest beauty salon. They will remove the stain, treat your skin to a peel, massage, buffing and moisturising to have it looking like new in no time.
About the Author
Stain removal expert Catherine Harvey looks at how to deal with ink cartridge accidents. To find out more please visit http://www.inksave.co.uk/
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