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Use Hairspray To Remove Ink From Fabric In A Pinch

Next time an out-of-control pen wreaks havoc on your clothes or furniture and you don’t have a spot remover on hand, try a little hairspray. Reader Shelley says it worked wonders after her two-year-old used her couch as a canvas.

Photo by gilesclement.

Last week my two year old drew all over my (brand new!) cream fabric sofa with a red ballpoint pen. I was horrified. However after some googling I discovered that you don’t need expensive chemicals—good old-fashioned hairspray will do the trick PERFECTLY!

Just spray the hairspray directly onto the ink, wait 30 seconds and then simply wipe the ink away with a damp cloth. You can actually see the ink coming to the surface! My sofa now looks good as new. Apparently it works on all fabric for all types of ink, so next time your pen leaks in your shirt pocket, don’t bin the shirt, just use hairspray to remove it. It doesn’t even matter if the ink has dried, and you can use the cheapest of cheap hairsprays too.

Now all I need to discover is how to remove crayon from the TV screen… ideas anyone?

The fact is that yes, actual cleaning products will also do the trick, but sometimes you’ve got to use what you’ve got on hand. We did some checking around and it looks like alcohol-based hair spray is key, and the hairspray trick works better on polyester blends. (About.com offers a few more tips for using hairspray to remove stains.) If you’ve used hairspray as a quick stain remover in a pinch, let’s hear how it worked for you in the comments. Thanks Shelley!