1. Introduction

1.1 Background Research

Getting our clothes stained with ink is a rather common problem for most households. Rather than having to buy detergent to remove the ink stain, why not make use of basic household items that most people would be able to find at home. We would like to investigate which method and household chemical is the most effective for stain removal. Written words may live forever, but ink stains do not have to be permanent.


Ink is made up of certain chemical properties like pigments, dyes, solvents and lubricants that make it a bit tougher to remove than other household products (Coit, 2016). However, according to Reader’s Digest (2014), ink stains can be removed with very basic items that most should be able to find in their kitchens, such as milk, salt and vinegar (ibid). A method that removes a stain from a soft fabric article, comprises of a solution that contains a metallic salt of hypochlorous acid and an alkali metal hydroxide (Taylor & H, 2009).


According to Nystul (2016), the biggest secret to removing ink stains is alcohol. Simple things like hand sanitizer and hairspray contain ethanol which acts as a powerful solvent. All that was needed was to squeeze/spray a small amount on the stained cloth and allow the cloth to absorb the cleaning agent.


Treating ink stains as soon as possible will be easier to remove. It is when the ink stains dry and become ground into the fabric that removing them becomes more of a challenge (Unilever, 2017). Never rub or wipe an ink stain (ibid).  When you rub an ink stain, you’ll simply spread it around the garment, soiling more of the material (ibid).  Blotting is the best way, as it removes the stain while protecting the rest of the clothing (ibid).


According to Education.com (2013), different cleaners clean up stains in different ways. Soap is an emulsifier, allowing water to mix with other substances such as stains, soap sets these substances free, allowing the stain to be removed. Bleach uses chlorine to loosen the chemical bonds of molecules, it, however, does not remove a stain but instead lightens the cloth’s dye, and is thus not the best solution.
According to Martin (2007), states that ink stains should be removed as soon as possible as it would allow the stain to soak into the cloth (Martin, 2007, p.25). The best way to remove ink stains is by dabbing and blotting it and avoid combing incompatible cleaning chemicals as it may damage the cloth (Martin, 2007, p.29, 30).
In conclusion, ink can be removed from a piece of cloth using many different items that can be found around one’s house. The chemicals inside the items or chemical reactions caused by mixing some can help remove the ink from the cloth. Such household chemicals may even be better alternatives to cleaning agents people typically use.

1.2 Hypothesis


After reading more about other research and studies, we hypothesised that certain kitchen chemicals are able to effectively remove ink stains, with baking soda being one of the more effective chemicals to remove stains.

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