How to Get Pen Ink Stains Out of Comforters and Sheets?

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how to get pen ink stains out of comforters and sheets

Your room is your safe space, and it is safe to guess that keeping it neat must be at the top of your goals. Therefore, seeing unsightly pen ink stains on your comforters and sheets is rather annoying.

Well, sit back and relax because we listed different ways on how to get pen ink stains out of comforters and sheets! You will also discover tips and tricks by reading this post. Moreover, we will also answer commonly asked questions, so let us start!

Methods to Get Pen Ink Stains Out of Comforters and Sheets

Friendly Reminders before cleaning:

  • Do not forget to place a towel right under the ink stain to ensure that it won’t be transferred to the surface underneath. Doing this will also ensure that the ink won’t smudge the other parts of the fabric.
  • Always do a spot test by applying a droplet of the cleaning solution to a hidden area, and wait for a minute or two. If the fabric has no damage or discoloration, you can apply the solvent to the pen ink stain.

1. Rubbing Alcohol


Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol is not only a good disinfectant but also a reliable cleaning agent that can get ink out of sheets.

What to prepare

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton pads
  • Laundry detergent
  1. Dab a generous amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad.
  2. Carefully blot the ink stain with the cotton pad.
  3. Replace the cotton pad once it absorbs enough ink to avoid further smudging.
  4. Repeat the process until the ink stain is all gone, and you can use your comforter again without washing it.

If you are dealing with an old stain or dried ink and using rubbing alcohol alone won’t do, you can mix the rubbing alcohol with laundry detergent.

After that, apply the mixture on the ink stain before blotting it with a cotton pad or paper towel. You will need to wash the fabric according to the instructions in the packaging to eliminate traces of the laundry detergent.

2. Alcohol-based Hairspray


You can also use an alcohol-based hairspray if you are dealing with a new stain and do not have rubbing alcohol at home. Remember that you need to get pen out of sheets as immediately as possible because removing an older pen ink stain is not a piece of cake.

What to prepare

  • Alcohol-based hairspray
  • Cotton balls
  1. Spray the area of the ink stain until it is thoroughly soaked.
  2. Get a cotton ball to blot the stain.
  3. Ensure that the stain won’t scatter to the other parts of the sheets or comforters by replacing the cotton ball when it is full of ink.
  4. Continuously blot the pen ink stain until the stain fades completely.

3. Acetone or Nail Polish Remover


Are you still having difficulty getting ink out of your white sheets after trying the previous cleaning solvents? You can try a more potent chemical solvent, such as acetone.

Acetone, popular as a nail polish remover, is made of propylene and benzene. It works wonders in removing paint, oil, grease, and ink from different surfaces, such as fabric.

What to prepare

  • Acetone or nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls or wet cloth
  1. Pour enough acetone on a cotton ball or clean wet cloth.
  2. Blot the stained area with a cotton ball or wet cloth. Do this repeatedly until you completely get black ink out of bedspread.
  3. Wash your comforters or sheets to clean off the acetone residue.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide


Did you know that you can also use hydrogen peroxide to get pen out of comforter?

What is hydrogen peroxide? Hydrogen peroxide, or H202, is a colorless chemical solvent with an additional oxygen atom compared to water. It is a powerful cleaning solvent that breaks down grease, dirt, and even ink stains.

What to prepare

  • Warm water
  • 20% hydrogen peroxide
  • Bowl
  • Towel
  • Old toothbrush
  1. Pour equal amounts of warm water and 20% hydrogen peroxide into a bowl.
  2. Stir the mixture, then soak the stained area of the white comforter in the bowl.
  3. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Retrieve the fabric from the bowl, and place a towel under the stain before laying it on a table or counter.
  5. Carefully brush the stained area with an old clean toothbrush until the ink is all gone.
  6. Wash the fabric with warm water and air dry it afterward.

5. Non-gel Toothpaste


What to prepare

  • Non-gel toothpaste
  • Old toothbrush

Maybe the solution you are looking for to get ink out of colored sheets is just in your bathroom! Try applying a non-gel toothpaste on the stained area.

Using colored non-gel toothpaste on white sheets or comforters is not advisable because the color might stick to the fabric, and you surely wouldn’t want that.

Moreover, be careful when applying white non-gel toothpaste on black sheets or comforters. As previously mentioned, always do a spot test in an inconspicuous area.

Consequently, thoroughly rub the stain with an old toothbrush in a circular motion. When the gel pen ink stain is completely gone, rinse the fabric afterward to remove the sticky texture of the toothpaste from mattress cover.

6. Warm Water and Vinegar


What to prepare

  • Warm water
  • Vinegar
  • Bowl
  • Old toothbrush

Vinegar not only adds flavor to your favorite dishes but is also a promising cleaning agent that can get ink out of bedspread when mixed with warm water.

How so? Mix equal amounts of warm water and vinegar in a bowl. After that, soak the stained fabric in the bowl for about 30 minutes.

Consequently, carefully rub the stain with an old toothbrush. Once you are satisfied with the results, rinse the fabric accordingly.

7. Chlorine or Oxygen Bleach


If you tried the suggestions above but to no avail, the last option is to use bleach which can also get Sharpie out of comforter.

It is the last resort because chlorine or oxygen bleach is more potent than other laundry detergents, which makes it easier to get highlighter out of comforter or sheets.

Take note, however, that extreme caution is needed when using bleach. Do not use it on wool and silk. Moreover, remember that mixing bleach and ammonia is hazardous.

The bleach should be diluted with water in a 1:1 ratio before using it to remove stubborn ink stains.

Helpful Tips and Tricks


  • Only put your comforters and bed sheets in the dryer if all the stain is gone. It will be harder to remove the pen ink stain once it is exposed to heat.
  • Ensure that your beddings are completely dry before using them. It will save you from dealing with the mess afterward because a wet comforter or bed sheet absorbs more oil and dirt from your skin.
  • When diluting bleach with water, don’t use steaming water. Bleach is a powerful detergent in itself, and mixing it with boiling water will damage your fabric.
  • When blotting the stain from the fabric, always start from the outer layer of the ink stain going inwards. In this manner, the stubborn stain will not spread to the other parts of the fabric.

Related: 6 ways to get dry erase marker out of clothes.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions


Does pen ink come out of bedding?

The simple answer is yes. With the appropriate cleaning solutions, it is possible to eliminate pen ink from your bed sheets or comforters.

You can refer to the instructions above. If you don’t achieve satisfactory results on the first try, you can always try again with the other ways listed above.

How do you get ballpoint pen stains out?

Ballpoint pens use thick oil-based ink, which is more challenging to remove than water-based ink.

However, alcohol-based solvents like rubbing alcohol, hairspray, and hand sanitizer can do the trick. The instructions for these ways are mentioned in the preceding sections of this post.


It is a pleasure to lay out the steps above on how to get pen ink stains out of comforters and sheets. We are optimistic that you’ll be able to redeem your neat-looking safe space after doing the steps in this post.

Remember that you can always choose between rubbing alcohol, alcohol-based hairspray, acetone, hydrogen peroxide, non-gel toothpaste, warm water and vinegar, or bleach to solve your pen ink stain problem!

Do you have clarifications or suggestions? We’ll be happy to assist you. Enjoy the rest of the day!

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