Biros leak, kids choose to write on clothes instead of on paper and sometimes ink just gets smudged onto a new cream jumper.
It’s inevitable that clothes will get inked on at some point! So, instead of getting angry or panicking about biro being everywhere, check out the solutions below.
You’ll be shocked at how easy it is to get biro out of clothes!
Things to Remember
- After you’ve treated a biro-stained item of clothing, this item should be washed on its own in the washing machine – that will stop the ink from transferring onto other clothes.
- Have a towel/paper towels ready – this will be handy when you treat the stain.
- Test your chosen method out first on an area of the item of clothing that won’t be seen!
- If you use a specialised product, follow the instructions on the pack.
- You’ll have to wash your clothes in detergent after you’ve treated the biro stain.
- You might have to treat your clothes twice if the stain doesn’t completely go after the first treatment.
- It’s better to air dry your clothes once you’ve got the biro mark off them.
- Always read your clothing tags before you try any products and solutions!
Let’s see how you get biro out of clothes…
Methods for Removing Biro Ink from Clothes
Salted butter is usually spread on toast or is used in baking, so you might be surprised to see it here in a list of cleaning hacks!
Despite how bizarre this may sound, butter is quite effective at getting biro out of clothes. Plus, it’s an item that most people have at home or can nip to the local shop to get, so it’s not going to be an expensive or tricky solution to try.
Here are the steps you need to take to get biro out of your clothing using salted butter:
- Look at the label on your clothing to see if this solution is okay to use.
- Test the butter out on a seam – if everything is okay move on to the next step.
- Grab your item of clothing and put a towel under the biro stain – the towel should prevent the butter from running through to the other side of the material when it has been rubbed in.
- Gently apply the salted butter to the stain – always work from the outside of the stain to the middle of the stain.
- You can apply the butter with a cloth or your fingers – rub the butter in using a circular motion.
- Put the item of clothing in direct sunlight for 1-2 days – make sure you put the clothing somewhere safe.
- The butter’s oil will break down the stain and the salt, along with the sunlight, will lift the stain from the item of clothing.
- Pop the item of clothing in the washing machine and add a normal amount of washing detergent – make sure the washing machine is empty.
- A hot wash is best but make sure to follow the instructions on the clothing label.
- Once out of the wash, check if the biro mark has gone. If it has, put the item out to dry on the line. If the mark is still there, repeat the steps above until all the ink has gone.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT use this method on silk or satin clothing items as you could end up creating a bigger problem and need to spend even more time removing grease stains from the fabric.
If you don’t fancy this cleaning technique or your clothing item is made from silk or satin, keep reading and try one of the methods below.
Rubbing alcohol is great for removing biro stains from clothing! It’s not your normal alcohol, so don’t try substituting it for some gin or whiskey because this won’t remove the biro mark.
Rubbing Alcohol (Isopropyl) can be bought from Amazon, and it can be used to clean many other items around the home too. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if you don’t want to buy rubbing alcohol. Just avoid using one with any colour or synthetic fragrance as the alcohol percentage will (more than likely) be lower and you could end up staining your clothes further.
Here are the steps you need to take to get biro out of your clothing using rubbing alcohol:
- Look at the label on your clothing to see if this method would be suited.
- Set out your towel, kitchen towels, and liquid detergent in an easy-to-reach place.
- Test your rubbing alcohol out on a seam – if everything is okay move on to the next step.
- Grab your item of clothing and put the towel under the stain – the towel should prevent the solution from running through to the other side of the material.
- Gently apply the rubbing alcohol to the stain – too much alcohol will only make the biro stain run.
- You can apply the alcohol using a pipette or a cotton bud for smaller marks – this will stop you from spilling too much alcohol onto the stain.
- Wait around 15 minutes.
- Apply some liquid detergent to the stain – massage the detergent into the fabric very slowly.
- Put the item of clothing into the washing machine and add a normal amount of washing detergent.
- A hot wash is the best option, but follow the instructions on the clothing label.
- Remove the item from the washing machine and check if the biro mark has gone. If it has gone, pop it outside to dry. If the mark is still there, repeat the steps above.
If this isn’t something you’d like to try, then keep reading for more top ink-removal methods.
If you’re not keen on trying any homemade remedies, there are many specialised products you can buy to remove biro marks and general stains from clothes.
Check out the examples below:
If you use a specialised product you must follow the instructions on the pack for the best results. Plus, you should make sure the product is suitable for your clothing.
The video below shows a test of multiple ink-removing solutions and gives a great idea of which methods work best on plain cotton fabric – ideal for work or school shirts:
If you’ve got biro over your clothes, it’s not the end of the world! The simple solutions above will help you to remove the unwanted mark and it won’t take you too long to do.
If you’ve got your own formula for getting biro out of clothes, let us know in the comments!
Can I use nail varnish remover to get rid of a biro mark on my top?
You can use nail varnish remover but you have to be careful. Nail varnish remover is quite strong and it isn’t suitable for all materials – check your clothing label before you try this solution.
To use nail varnish remover, follow the steps above for ‘Rubbing Alcohol’.
Again, avoid using any tinted nail varnish remover, as you may end up with pink stains left behind after the biro has gone.
Can I use milk to get biro stains off my clothes?
You can try this. You would need to soak your item of clothing in a milk and white vinegar mix overnight, and in the morning you’d have to wash the item with detergent in the washing machine. You should consider the solutions above first, as some of them work far quicker.
Can I use hairspray?
You can use hairspray but it may not be that effective at removing the biro from your clothes.
A while back hairspray was made with a large amount of alcohol, it worked well because alcohol is good at removing biro. But this isn’t really the case today, because hairspray doesn’t have the same quantity of alcohol in it. You’d be better off trying the solutions above.
Bethan has a passion for exploring, reading, cooking and gardening! When she’s not creating culinary delights for her family, she’s concocting potions to keep her house clean!