How To Get Ink Stains Out Of Military Uniforms

Anyone in the military or who lives with or cares for someone in the military has wondered how to get various stains out of uniforms.

One of the most pressing problems is how to get ink stains out of military uniforms.

Ink stains can quickly become set into the fabric, so it’s essential to get them out as soon as possible, which means having a remedy on hand and ready to use.

There are a few methods for removing ink stains, so keep reading to find out more.

In this article, you will learn how to get ink stains out of military uniforms. 

What You’ll Need

In this section, we will discuss the different items you’ll need to get ink stains out of military uniforms.

Stain Removing Gel

Various laundry brands make stain removing gel, and they work miracles at getting stains out of different fabrics.

Just rub it on the material and then throw it into the washer. 

Rubbing Alcohol

An excellent solution for many different stains.

Alcohol works wonders for removing ballpoint pen but may not work as well for permanent or gel inks. 

If you’ve run out and need to order more click here.

Aerosol Hairspray

Like alcohol, aerosol hairspray can be a great tool to remove ballpoint inks, as long as they have not had a long time to set into the fabric. 

Stain Removing Wipes

A great tool for on the go, at work or otherwise, to remove any stain from clothing and uniforms. 

Cotton Swabs

Necessary for removing a small stain without spreading it all over the remaining clean fabric.

Step by Step Instructions for Getting Ink Stains out of Military Uniforms 

In this section, we discuss different ways and their individual steps to get ink stains out of military uniforms.

#1. Use stain removing gel.

Stain removing gel is the best solution for getting an ink stain out of a uniform.

Even stains that have been washed and dried can often be removed with stain removing gel.

Place the stained uniform on a towel or other fabric and gently rub the gel into the stain.

It should remove reasonably quickly, but you may need to rinse the fabric and repeat a few times until it is completely removed.

Once you have the stain at least 90% lifted out of the material, rinse it in cold water again, and put it in the washing machine to be washed in cold water.

Once you get it out of the washer, if the stain is entirely removed, place the uniform in the dryer or hang it to dry.

If the stain has not been completely removed, repeat the process with the stain-removing gel, or try a new method to remove it.

The stain removing gel that I use is this one, found on Amazon. 

Pro Tip: 

Do not ever rub the fabric to remove a stain, as this can cause further damage.

Always dab the material until the stain is lifted.

This is applied to any stain, not just ink stains.

#2. Try rubbing alcohol or aerosol hairspray.

If the stain removing gel does not work, the next best solution to get an ink stain out of a military uniform is to use rubbing alcohol or aerosol hairspray to remove the stain.

Like the stain removal gel, place the uniform on top of a towel or other fabric, and start with a small area, especially if you are using rubbing alcohol.

Get a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and gently rub it into the ink stain.

Don’t use too much alcohol at once, or you risk damaging the fabric of the uniform.

Rinse the fabric with cold water and repeat the process until the stain is lifted from the uniform.

Then you can put it into the washer to be washed, just as above. 

#3. Use stain removing wipes.

This is the best-kept secret for stain removal.

Store a package of these stain removing wipes in your car, purse, backpack, or pocket, so they are always with you.

Trust me; they will save your uniforms countless times before you are through.

They work very similarly to the stain removing gel, but they do not leave a sticky film on the fabric as the gel does.

Just wipe the stain as soon as it appears, and it should be gone instantly.

These work great for ink stains, but they also work for other stains such as food, grass, or dirt stains.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can I remove an ink stain that has been through the washer and dryer already? 

Yes, it is possible to remove an ink stain that has been through the washer and dryer.

This happens more often than you might think.

Removing a stain that has been through the dryer will take some extra work, but it is possible to remove it.

Your best bet for removing this type of stain is rubbing alcohol. 

Is it possible to remove an ink stain from a pen that exploded? 


While these stains are more difficult to remove than a small little ink line, they can still be entirely removed.

Start with the stain-removing gel and work your way down the list of steps if that does not work. 


I hope you enjoyed learning how to get ink stains out of military uniforms.

Hopefully, you will never need to use any of these tips, but accidents happen, and it’s best to be prepared as much as possible.

Whether it’s a pen that gets left in a pocket to explode or a small line that accidentally ends up on your sleeve, you will eventually get ink on a uniform at some point, so reference this article whenever you need a refresher on how to get ink stains out of military uniforms. 

Good Luck!