It happens to everyone at least once. You accidentally left a pen in your pocket and it made its way into the dryer. Now you ink stained all over your dryer. What do you do?

Just like clothing, pen ink can come off the dryer. If you’ve discovered the accident quickly, congrats, this increases the likelihood of being able to fully remove the stain. Luckily, there are many methods to remove ink from dryers. These at home, DIY methods are worth a shot before you decide to call for professional backup.

Safety First

First and foremost, unplug your dryer.

Second, wear protective gloves before you begin scrubbing your dryer with products that may be either abrasive or otherwise damaging to your skin.

Methods to Remove Ink Stains from Your Dryer

Don’t panic! You have options.

Dish Soap

Sometimes, the simplest products might be effective enough. You may want to begin by using everyday dish soap and a non-abrasive sponge to try to remove the stain. Be sure to dry the area with a clean cloth afterwards.


If dish soap isn’t working, try vinegar (preferably distilled white vinegar) and hot water. This works best if the stain was just discovered and, better yet, if the ink is still wet. Scrubbing with a damp cloth for a few minutes may be able to remove the stain. By then, you’ll start to notice if it is beginning to fade and disappear or not.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another classic fix that works in many stain situations. Mix a small amount of baking soda with water to create a paste. Then, gently rub the paste into the stained area with a clean cloth. Repeat until you notice the stain fading. If this doesn’t work, move on to the next technique.

Melamine Sponge (aka. The Magic Eraser)

The Magic Eraser or a related melamine sponge is a terrific multi-purpose tool that can be a true asset in the removal of stains including ink stains in your dryer. Dampen the sponge with warm water, squeeze out the excess fluid, then slowly begin to scrub the stained area gently. Be sure to clean off the residue afterwards. Melamine products are abrasive to the skin, so be sure to wear hand protection.


It might sound strange but when you stop and think about it, what can’t WD-40 do? If you’re running out of tricks up your sleeve, try using a small amount of WD-40 on a cloth. This can be an effective method to remove an ink stain.

If There’s Ink In The Dryer, There’s Probably Ink on Your Clothes

If your clothes have already gone through the dry cycle, then removing the ink may prove to be a more difficult feat. Heat dries the ink and in many instances, sets the stains into the clothes. Thankfully, all is not lost. You still have options to resurrect those stained articles of beloved clothing.

To prevent permanent damage, you will want to act fast!

Here are a few time-tested tips and tricks for removing ink stains from clothing that has gone through the dryer. Keep in mind mixing chemicals can be very dangerous and these at home DIYs should not be combined.

  • Alcohol-based products
    • Rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, and even hairspray are all products that contain alcohol and, in turn, can help dissolve an ink stain.
    • Apply the alcohol-based substance to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then blot at the stain with a clean cloth.
    • Cross your fingers and hope that as you blot at the stain the ink begins to seep out of the material.
  • Vinegar and cornstarch
    • A mixture of equal parts of white vinegar and cornstarch will create a paste you can apply to the soiled garment.
    • Let it sit on the clothing for about 30 minutes before washing the garment as you usually would. This will hopefully remove the stain.
  • Dish soap and baking soda
    • Used separately and together, dish soap and baking soda are effective at removing stains. Combined, these two products can be extra effective situationally.
    • Mix equal parts dish soap and baking soda to create a paste.
    • Apply the paste to the ink stain and let it sit for about 30 minutes. As with the vinegar and cornstarch method, wash the garment as usual and hope for the best.
  • Lemon juice
    • Lemon juice is an acid and can remove ink from clothing.
    • Apply lemon juice to the stained area, let it soap in for a few minutes and then wash the garment as you usually would.
  • Bleach
    • For white garments, you have additional options. The use of bleach is a go to method for removing any kind of stains from a white garment, including an ink stain.
    • Refer to the bleach bottle instructions for the appropriate ratio of bleach to water. Apply the bleach and water solution to the ink stain. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wash the garment as usual.

Keep in mind certain fabrics may prove more difficult to partially or completely remove a stain from. By acting quickly, and limiting the amount of time the stain has to set in, you can make the chances of removing a stain more likely.

It’s also important to remember that you can attempt a method more than once. If a method partially removes a stain once treated and washed. You may want to consider treating and washing the garment again to see if it can completely remove the stain.

The Frontdoor App Has You Covered

At Frontdoor, we aim to make life easier as a homeowner. You can video chat with a plumbing, electrical, appliance repair, HVAC, or handyman Expert in real-time who can help answer your questions and guide you through next steps. The best part? You get your first video chat for free when you download the Frontdoor app.

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