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How to Remove Hairspray and Ink on Pants

Submit an Entry: Your Laundry Questions and Answers

By Tanja

My Laundry Question

I put lots of hairspray on new pants to get ink out. I forgot to wash them right away and now have hairspray hardened on.

Share a Little Background Info

I put lots of hairspray on new pants to get ink out. I forgot to wash them right away and now have hairspray hardened on. Is there anything I else I can try before I have to throw my husbands pants away?

Lessons Learned

  • I've brought them to the dry cleaners but I don't think the cashier wrote down that it was hairspray. I don't know if this mattered or not. I also tried using a brush after soaking the stains in hot water before the dry cleaning.

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)

100% polyester

Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

Wow. You have an entire comedy of errors that we'll try to undo. First, using hairspray to remove ink is an old wives' remedy. Today's formulas of hairspray contain little alcohol and actually have ingredients that can stain fabric. Instead, here is how to remove ink properly.

Next, you must always tell a dry cleaner what has stained a garment to get the best results. And soaking stained garments in hot water is risky because it can permanently set the stains.

At this point, try to remove the hairspray by following these tips. If the ink remains, follow the ink removal tips again. The trousers should then be washed on the gentle cycle in warm water and allowed to air dry. If you see progress in stain removal but it is not completely gone, repeat the steps.

Good luck!

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