Brightly colored stains can be intimidating. Highlighter stains are noticeable as they mostly come in bright and fluorescent colors. You can get a highlighter stain when working with your notes or helping out a kid with their homework. Nevertheless, knowing how to get highlighter out of clothes can come in handy.
Highlighter Stain Removal Methods
While there are stains that can be removed with a normal wash, there are also stains that simply need something more than a normal wash. Highlighter stains are one of the latter. Washing a fabric with a highlighter stain may only lighten the stain but will not remove it completely.
You may need to make an extra effort to be able to make the stain go away. However, do not fret when you get your clothes stained with highlighter; there are ways to remove them.
The rubbing alcohol method
Rubbing alcohol is one of the most effective cleaning solutions when it comes to highlighter stains. In fact, it is also used in other types of stains out there, including ink, grass, and grease stains. For this method, you will need to prepare the following:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Safety pins
- Paper towels
- Locate the stains and make sure you get all of them. This is where the safety pins will be used. Mark the stain locations with safety pins so you will be able to know where to check once you are done washing them. This way, it’s easier to see if the stain was gone or if it only lightened.
- Get some paper towels and place them beneath the stained area. This is to avoid spreading the stain while in the process.
- Get another paper towel and dampen it with rubbing alcohol.
- Dab the dampened paper towel onto the stain. Avoid scrubbing the highlighter stain to avoid spreading the stain. If the stain happens to be larger or more saturated, you can position the piece of clothing over the sink or a bucket, pour the rubbing alcohol directly into the stained area, and continue rubbing the area with a paper towel.
- Blot, blot, blot until you see progress, and even better, you will see the stain slowly disappearing. You may have to repeat the process of blotting or pouring alcohol directly into the stained area as many times as you deem necessary.
- Wash as you normally would.
- Take the clothes off of the washer and check for any remaining stains. The safety pins will direct you to where they are. If the stain marks persist, do not yet hang them to dry, but retreat and do the steps again.
The Baking Soda Plus Vinegar Method
As you may have already known, baking soda and vinegar are effective cleaning agents too. They not only help with the cooking but also with cleaning. Therefore, almost all households have these two helpers on hand.
Vinegar and sodas also help a lot in terms of getting rid of ink stains. And so, removing highlighter stains is not an exemption. Vinegar is acidic, which helps dissolve some elements of the stain. This method will require you to prepare the following:
- Paper towel
- Baking soda
- Your regular detergent
- Locate the stained area and soak it with vinegar. You can place your clothes over a bucket or the sink so you can pour vinegar directly onto and through the stain.
- Get three tablespoons of baking soda and mix it with one tablespoon of vinegar. The result will be sticky and paste-like in texture.
- Rub the paste onto the stained area. You have the choice of either using your fingers or paper towels to rub the stain. What you want to do is cover the stained area in a thick coat or layer of the mixture. You can mix more paste if the first batch is not enough.
- This method may take more time and patience as you would need to let the garment along with the mixture sit overnight.
- When morning comes, the paste will be dry and crumbly. It will be easy to crumble and flake off of the clothes.
- Wash your clothes as you normally do, using your regular laundry detergent.
- After washing the garments, check for any lingering highlighters, and if there aren’t any left, you can go ahead and place them in the dryer.
The Hand Sanitizer Method
Just like rubbing alcohol, sanitizers are also effective in removing stains. Hand sanitizers usually have high concentrations of ethyl and isopropyl alcohol. So, in simpler terms, a hand sanitizer does the same job rubbing alcohol does when applied to a stain.
The difference with hand sanitizers is that their high concentration of alcohol can damage colored fabrics, both dark and light. So, it might be best to just use hand sanitizer when dealing with white garments. This method is good for emergency ink removal. You just need a paper towel or any white napkin and sanitizer.
- Put sanitizer on the paper towel you prepared.
- Place another piece of tissue behind or at the back of the stained area.
- Dab the stain with the wetted tissue. Blot the ink instead of scrubbing, rubbing, and pushing the stain further down or smudging it elsewhere.
- If possible and if the place you are at has running water available, you can hold the stain under running water to get rid of the remaining stain. However, if this is not available during an emergency, just use the clean paper towels and make sure to dry the stained spot as much as you can.
The Magic of Hair Spray
It’s unexpected, but yes, hair sprays can work their magic on your clothes too! However, this can be quite a stretch as not all people have this in their household. However, when you encounter some highlight stain trouble and you have a hair spray, you will know what to do. This method depends on the hair spray ingredients too. Make sure your hairspray contains any type of alcohol.
- Locate the stain and spray a few spritzes until you feel the wetness at the back of the stain.
- Leave the garment and let it sit for five to ten minutes. This allows time for the spray to harden and crackle around the edges.
- The next thing to do is hold the inked spot under cool running water. The hairspray is tasked with softening or loosening up the ink particles, and then the running water will carry them away.
- If you still see stain marks, you might want to repeat the steps until you completely remove the stain.
Good ol’ Ink Remover
Yes, fortunately, there are products specifically designed to remove ink stains.You can always use ink remover to remove highlighter stains.
- It’s important to check the effect of the ink remover on the fabric. To do this, try to dab some on a small, and unseeable spot of the clothing.
- Prepare a towel and fold it. Place it under the stained area to avoid spreading the stain.
- Follow the instructions at the back of the box or bottle of the solution.
- Squirt or pour the ink remover solution directly onto the stained spot. It’s not required that the spot get wet.
- Use a soft-bristled brush or a paper towel to rub the solution farther onto the stain.
- Depending on the product (you can see the instructions or composition), you may need to leave the clothes to sit and let the ink remover do its job for several hours.
- The last step is to rinse the stain remover and wash your clothes as you normally would.
More Home Remedies to Get Highlighter Stains Out of Clothes
Lemon juice and its acidity help in cleaning off stains too. You can do this in easy steps too. You can apply this treatment by just slicing a lemon in half and rubbing one half onto the stain. Rub firmly.
Next is to steam the piece of clothing. You can set your iron to the steam function. You may want to hold the steamer close, just enough not to damage the clothes. This process will help saturate the damaged area. Lastly, rinse the stained spot under cool running water. This would have dissolved and washed away.
While this trick is not foolproof, some stains are weak enough to be broken by the simple use of laundry detergent. You can just pour or squirt about one tablespoon of detergent onto the stain, enough to cover it.
Let the garment sit for five minutes. The last step is to throw the garment into your normal cycle in the washer. Wash as you normally would, and after the wash, check the stain’s condition. If you can still see the stain mark, try other ways of removing it or repeat the steps.
While prevention is always better than cure, you never know when you will accidentally stain your clothes with highlighter. It might just surprise you how possible it is to get highlighter stains on your clothes. During these situations, it would be nice to look back and thank yourself for researching and learning how to get highlighter out of clothes.