How To Get Highlighter Out Of Clothes: 9 Effective Methods With Step-by-step Guide

It’s far too simple to get highlighter on your clothes when you’re assisting your children with their homework or reviewing the paperwork you brought home from the office. When this occurs, you are left with a stain that is neon-colored and appears to be permanent. Fortunately, you can learn how to remove highlighter from clothing using simple tools you already own!

Applying rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, or specific ink removers to a fresh stain will work best to remove highlighter stains from clothing. The stain can also be removed by rubbing in laundry detergent or dry cleaning fluid. In some cases, vinegar or salt water combined with a baking solution will also work.

You will discover why highlighter ink is so difficult to remove in this article. Nine different ways to remove these stains are also disclosed. You will finally discover advice on how to handle highlighter stains on your mattress, couch, or carpet!

Does Highlighter Wash Out of Clothes?

Highlighter stains won’t be entirely removed by a standard washing cycle, but they will become less noticeable. You will undoubtedly need to use a stain treatment to remove a neon highlighter stain from clothing.

Never dry highlighter-stained clothing until the stain has been completely removed. Getting rid of the fluorescent color later could be very challenging due to the heat!

Many highlighter pens do contain water-soluble ink, so you might be able to get rid of a lot of the color by giving the stained area of your clothing a quick rinse in water. However, keep in mind that Sharpie highlighters don’t have water-soluble ink.

The ink used by the majority of highlighter pens is made of water, a specific glycol solvent, and a small amount of fluorescent dye pigment. In contrast, the solvent in washable children’s markers is a type of alcohol rather than glycol. Additionally, glycol is used in some printer inkjet cartridges.

In all honesty, the majority of inks won’t completely wash out of clothes during a standard washing cycle. The good news is that using a few basic household items as stain removers frequently works wonders!

How to Get Highlighter Out of Clothes

Rubbing Alcohol

A common household item for stain removal is rubbing alcohol. It effectively removes a wide variety of stains. Try it on stains like grass, ink, or grease. Isopropyl alcohol with a higher alcohol content, like 70%, can work even better. Just make sure to thoroughly wash your hands after handling this stronger alcohol and work in a well-ventilated area.

To remove a highlighter stain using rubbing alcohol, follow these simple steps:

1. Underneath the stained area, place a pad of folded paper towels. This will stop the ink from bleeding into the rest of your garment by absorbing the alcohol and ink as they soak through the fabric.
2. Soak a cotton ball in the alcohol to remove a small stain. Gently dab the area. Scrubbing at the ink should be avoided because it could easily spread into parts of your clothing that are still intact.
3. In order to apply alcohol directly to a large highlighter stain, try placing the affected clothing over a sink or bucket.
4. The stain should then be blotted with fresh paper towels from both sides. The white paper towels should be covered in a lot of ink.
5. To ensure that the neon ink is completely removed, you might need to repeat the cotton ball or alcohol pouring procedure several times.
6. Put the item through the washer with your regular detergent to complete the process. To locate the stain first, you might want to insert a safety pin into your clothing. This will make it easier for you to identify the proper spot to check after washing to make sure all the ink is gone.
7. To make sure you removed all of the ink, remove the wet item from the washer and carefully examine it. If so, go ahead and put it in the dyer!
8. Try the alcohol method once more if you still see a faded stain on the clothing. Sometimes you need to repeat a procedure to get rid of a stain completely.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Ink stains can also be easily removed using vinegar and either cornstarch or baking soda. Due to the need to sometimes let the vinegar/baking soda application sit for an entire night, this procedure might take a little longer. In spite of this, using vinegar and baking soda to remove stains is cheap and simple. This includes removing tough red wine stains!

Why does vinegar remove stains so effectively? Because vinegar has a higher acidity than most stains, it can dissolve the stain’s components.

1. Follow these instructions to apply the vinegar method. First, thoroughly soak the affected area in vinegar. You might want to spread your clothing over a clean bucket before applying the vinegar to the stain.
2. Next, combine 3 tablespoons of either cornstarch or baking soda with 1 tablespoon of vinegar. The result should be a thick paste.
3. Rub the paste into the highlighter ink using a paper towel or your fingers. The paste should ideally cover the entire damaged area with a thick coating. If you require more paste, combine some additional vinegar and baking soda.
4. Spend the night with the clothing. The paste should feel dry and crumbly in the morning. Remove the flakes by giving them a good shake.
5. Once that is done, add your usual detergent to the washing machine and add the item.
6. Look closely to see if any color is still on your clothing. Put the item in the dryer if you are unable to find any!

The majority of fabric types respond well to the all-natural stain removal method offered by vinegar and baking soda. However, you shouldn’t use vinegar on fabric as delicate as silk.

How To Get Highlighter Out Of Clothes: 9 Effective Methods With Step-by-step Guide

Hand Sanitizer

Lipstick, hot sauce, ink, and even blood can all be effectively removed with the help of hand sanitizer! When you’re away from your laundry room, this gives you a quick and convenient way to treat stains whether you’re at work or on the go. Most hand sanitizers have pretty high concentrations of both ethyl and isopropyl alcohol. When used on a stain, hand sanitizer functions similarly to rubbing alcohol.

However, some fabrics’ colors may fade due to the extremely high alcohol content. Leather, suede, and silk will all exhibit this bleaching very poorly. Generally speaking, the light-colored fabric will handle the application of alcohol better than dark-colored fabric.

Apart from that, if you find highlighter ink on your white blouse just before a crucial business meeting, hand sanitizer can save the day!

Try this quick method for emergency ink removal:

1. Apply hand sanitizer with a dab to a tissue, paper towel, or white napkin.
2. Another tissue should be pressed against the stained area’s back.
3. On the stain, dab the wet tissue. Be sure to blot rather than rub or scrub! The stain shouldn’t spread further.
4. If at all possible, rinse the wet area for a minute under running water to get rid of any remaining ink specks. If you can’t (you don’t want a huge wet spot on your shirt before a work event, either!), simply dry the area as much as possible by pressing it between two clean tissues or paper towels.

Hair Spray

Read the ingredients on your hairspray before attempting this method because not everyone keeps a spray bottle on hand as they did in the 1980s, but if you do, you can try using this iconic hair product for ink removal. This technique ought to work if the product contains alcohol!

Nevertheless, some more recent hair care products don’t contain alcohol anymore. You see many “old housewife” tips online, and many of these promise that hairspray will remove all kinds of stains. This is only accurate if the spray you’re using contains alcohol.

That being said, if you use hairspray that contains alcohol, you can try this technique! On artificial fabrics like polyester, this works particularly well.

1. Spray enough hairspray on the stain to feel damp on the reverse side of the cloth. Give the stain a few good spritzes.
2. For five to ten minutes, let the garment rest. The hairspray will start to harden and crackle all around at this point.
3. After that, take your clothing to a sink and run cool water over the ink stain. The ink particles should have been loosened by the hairspray and will hopefully be carried away by the water.
4. After rinsing, if the stain’s rim is still visible, start over with the procedure.

How To Get Highlighter Out Of Clothes: 9 Effective Methods With Step-by-step Guide

Ink Remover

Using an official ink remover is an obvious way to get rid of ink! This type of ink remover should work on highlighter, sharpie, or regular old ballpoint pen ink! Well-known products like Amodex have soap-like qualities that allow them to dissolve ink stains without damaging the fabric!

It goes without saying that this method is the most economical choice because you would need to buy an ink-removing product. In light of this, you might want to keep a tiny bottle close by in case of unforeseen mishaps!

To apply an ink remover such as Amodex:

1. Check the fabric’s colorfastness by dabbing a tiny drop of the ink remover onto a discrete area. Certain soaps and stain removers have the potential to harm delicate fabrics.
2. Underneath the ink stain on the incorrect side of the garment, place a folded paper towel. In this manner, your shirt, pants, or dress won’t get inked on the back!
3. If the bottle instructs you to, shake the solution.
4. Directly onto the area, squirt the ink remover. It’s not necessary to wet the fabric because many stain removers function best on dry fabric.
5. Rub the ink remover into the stain firmly using a brush or another paper towel.
6. You might need to let the stain remover sit on it for a number of hours, depending on the product you buy. Regarding timing, abide by the directions on the package.
7. Finally, rinse the stain remover from the fabric and wash it as usual.

Salt Water

There are two ways that salt can be used to remove stains. Both are effective on grease, blood, and ink!

1. Prepare a thick paste by combining ½ cup salt with just enough cold water for the first method.
2. On the ink-stained area of your clothing, apply the paste.
3. Give this mixture ten to twenty minutes to rest.
4. Remove the salt by rinsing it with cool running water.
6. Regular laundry soap should be used to wash the item.

For a fresh stain, the second choice works best.

1. Rub some dry salt into the highlighter ink as you would for the second technique.
Wait ten minutes before using the salt.
2. Place the stained area in a small bowl of milk, and let it sit there all night.
3. Using cool water, thoroughly rinse the milk.
4. Use regular laundry detergent to wash the clothing.
5. A fabric intended for dry cleaning only should not be exposed to salt. Additionally, be sure to thoroughly rinse out all of the salt, as any leftover salt might leave stains on most materials!

As a pro tip, you can also stop the ink from bleeding as you wash new clothes for the first time by adding ½ cup of table salt to your wash!

Lemon Juice

Sweat, ink, and even mildew can all be naturally removed by adding lemon juice to a cleaning solution. If you’ve ever considered switching from using commercial cleaning products in your home to only using natural cleaning and laundry products, you’re probably already familiar with lemon juice.

How are stains treated by lemon juice? Numerous stains can be removed thanks to their high acidity level. Additionally, lemon juice has a potent whitening effect, so it can also brighten your light-colored clothing.

There are two approaches to cleaning highlighter ink that you can try.

1. Slice a lemon in half, then vigorously rub the stain with the cut side down.
2. Connect a portable steamer or an iron with a steam setting.
3. The fabric will be saturated with steam if you hold the steamer close to it.
4. Much of the stain should dissolve and wash away if you rinse the area with cool water.

For the second option:

1. Add lemon juice to a tiny cup or bowl. Although bottled juice can also be used, fresh juice is recommended.
2. Place the stained area of the clothing inside the cup to allow the lemon juice to soak into the stain.
3. If the stain is very old or large, you might want to let it soak all night. Otherwise, an hour ought to do!
4. Afterward, scrub the lemon juice into the ink stain with about a tablespoon of salt.
5. Hopefully you’ll see the stain fade right before your eyes!
6. The next step is simply to thoroughly rinse the salt and lemon juice away.

How To Get Highlighter Out Of Clothes: 9 Effective Methods With Step-by-step Guide

Laundry Detergent

You’re probably thinking, earlier in the article; it said that washing won’t remove the stain! However, laundry detergent can also remove some highlighter stains, especially ones with water-soluble ink. It’s true that washing stained clothing will probably not completely remove the stain from it.

Applying laundry detergent straight from the bottle without dilution, though, might work.

1. If the ink stain still feels damp to the touch, gently blot it by pressing it between two white, clean cloths or paper towels. The clothes should pick up some of the ink.
2. Next, apply about one teaspoon of laundry detergent to the stain. Avoid rubbing the stain; instead, make sure the detergent completely covers the damaged area.
3. Give the detergent about five minutes to sit.
4. Last but not least, place the item by itself in the washer and proceed as usual. Other clothing should not be added because the ink might transfer to them during the wash cycle.
5. Make sure the ink is gone by inspecting the clothing thoroughly. Instead of putting the clothing in the dryer if it didn’t, try the process again.

Dry Cleaning Liquid

You might want to try using a dry cleaning solvent to get the highlighter ink off of an expensive piece of clothing that is meant to be dry-cleaned only.

Dry cleaning solvent typically contains a chemical called tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene, or “perc.” Handle this solvent carefully because it is highly toxic and flammable.

Please be aware that you cannot wash or dry a garment that contains dry cleaning solvent! The flammable chemical might catch fire as a result of the heat. The clothing must be hand-washed after using this technique.

1. First, a little of the solvent should be added to a piece of fresh, white cloth. Dab the cloth into the powder since it usually comes in powder form.
2. In order to ensure that the solvent won’t ruin the fabric, you should test it on a discrete portion of the garment.
3. After that, dab the ink with the solvent-covered cloth. The ink ought to transfer to the rag of cleanup.
4. Use a tiny bit of the solvent each time as you repeat the procedure on a different area of the cleaning cloth to remove the stain.
5. Afterwards, don’t forget to hand wash, rinse, and let the item air dry.

How Do You Remove Old Highlighter Stains?

Any of the techniques mentioned in this article can be used to get rid of an old highlighter stain, but rubbing alcohol is likely to be the most effective.

For some materials, you can also use nail polish remover in place of rubbing alcohol. Even stains that are very old and difficult to remove will be removed by this potent substance. Nevertheless, you should exercise caution because the acetone in nail polish remover can harm non-colorfast materials like silk and wool.

In case you run out of options, you can also use the freezer trick. The stained item should be placed in your freezer after being soaked in a saltwater bath and slightly wrung out so it isn’t dripping wet.

Overnight, let it completely freeze; the next morning, defrost it and wash it.

How to Get Highlighter Out of Your Fabric Couch, Carpet, and Mattress

To remove highlighter stains from your fabric couch, carpet, and mattress, you can use many of the solutions discussed in this article, but frequently you need to follow a slightly different procedure. This is due to the fact that you cannot wash your couch in a washing machine or run it under a kitchen sink faucet!

To use a product, such as rubbing alcohol, dab it onto a pad of paper towels or a white, clean rag. The stain on the couch, carpet, or mattress can then be removed by using this. The paper towel or rag will probably need to be changed out repeatedly as the ink keeps transferring from the stained surface to the cleaning cloth.

When the stain is no longer visible, get a second clean cloth, dunk it in hot water, and use that to blot. Make sure to get rid of the cleaning agent you used as well!

Conclusion: 9 Effective Methods

When you next notice neon ink on your clothes, don’t freak out! Now that you are aware of nine simple solutions, you can eliminate even the most difficult highlighter ink stains.

The stain can be removed without difficulty by using laundry detergent, vinegar, hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, or hand sanitizer. Saltwater or lemon juice are two examples of natural products that work well. Optional commercial products include an ink remover and dry cleaning solvent.

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