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Long story short, I washed some clothes that had ink pens still inside. I throw them in the washer, and now that the clothes are dried, I see inks stains ALL over my dryer. It literally looks like skid marks on the street.

What is the best way to remove these ink stains? I did some searching and found that I can use bleach, acetone, or dishwasher soap. I haven't tried the bleach method. The dishwasher soap method does not work. The acetone method kind of works but it only lightens the stains and the smell is unbearable. Does the bleach method work or is there another solution that will remove the stains completely?

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Depending on the ink, denatured alcohol may be able to remove the stains without causing further harm to your dryer. Isopropyl alcohol may work, but it will be less effective.

Take a rag and fold it up neatly into a square and saturate it in the alcohol. Then take another piece of rag and wrap it around the square and keep rubbing until all of the ink has been removed. The rag on the outside should be changed as soon as it becomes saturated in ink.

The denatured alcohol may also be able to remove these stains from your clothing.

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Ink has acid in it, so the color will etch onto most surfaces.

One way to remove the color is to use an even more powerful acid, like nitric acid. Using a powerful acid will probably eat into basket of the dryer, so you will still see a mark. One type of acid you can buy is tire cleaner which is sold in any auto parts store. Beware this is powerful stuff and can damage the finish of the basket.

Another strategy is to use an oxidizer like hydrogen peroxide. Concentrate the hydrogen peroxide to 10% or 15% (instructions on YouTube) and apply it to the stains.

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According to BIC's FAQs, an alcohol-based hairspray is first choice to try:

... spray the hair spray directly on the stain and then wipe off with a clean paper towel or rag. You might need to do this a few times depending on the size of the stain.


If you make several cleaning passes with water, alcohol, acetone, paint thinner, etc., and there is still a stain, it is probably safe to not worry about it. If the ink is that stable, it is not very likely to stain clothes either.

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