If you do a lot of paper works then you’ll know that you have to use highlighters to help memorize important information, but sometimes we accidentally smear ourselves with them. When this happens the color of the highlighter can really mess up the look of whatever you were wearing.

A good way to get highlighter stains out of clothes is to use rubbing alcohol or other ink removers to treat the stain. You can also use put the highlighter-stained clothe into a mixture of salt, water, and baking soda.

In this article, I will show you more ways on how to get highlighter stains out of your clothes.


Can you wash highlighter out of your clothes?

washing the clothes will definitely make the highlighter stain fade, but it won’t get rid of it. It might look less noticeable but if you take a closer look at it you’ll realize that it is still there. It is also not a good idea to put the stained clothes into the dryer as this will make the highlighter stain harder to remove. The best way to remove highlighter stains is to use a stain remover.

Even though most highlighter ink stains will not completely wash out when you wash them regularly; you can still use the methods I’m about to show you.


 how to get highlighter Stains out of clothes

I am now going to show you some incredible methods you can use to get highlighter ink stains out of your clothes.

Before you try any of these methods, you should test them on hidden parts of your clothes or other similar materials to make sure that the product you are using won’t damage the fabric.


1. Vinegar and baking soda

Vinegar and baking soda are two of the best things to combine when you want to get rid of any stain. One of the main reason for you to use vinegar to get rid of stains is that vinegar is good at dissolving a lot of things that make up stains.

Here are the steps:

  1. Soak the stained area in vinegar.
  2. Mix 4tbsp of baking soda with 2tbsp of vinegar. Doing this will create a paste.
  3. Use a toothbrush, paper towel, or your fingers to rub the paste into the stained area of your clothes.
  4. After doing that just allow your clothing to sit for a couple of hours.
  5. Then put the garment inside the washer and use a stain removing detergent such as oxi clean.
  6. If the garment doesn’t have any highlighter ink on it, then it is ok to put it in the dryer.

While vinegar and baking soda are great for removing tough stains, it is still not a good idea to use the mixture on any type of fabric.


2. Use Hair spray

hair spray being sprayed onto a highlighter stained hoodieYou may think that using a hair spray to get rid of highlighter stain sounds ridiculous, but it does actually work. Even though it wasn’t common a lot of people used to use hairspray to get rid of certain stains. But this only worked because most of the hair spray they used contained alcohol. So if you want to use your hairspray to get the highlighter out of your clothes then read the back of it to see if it contains any alcohol; if it does then that’s a good thing.

I will now show you how to use hair spray to remove highlighter ink from your clothes.

  1. Spray the stained area of the clothes until it feels a bit damp on both sides.
  2. Let the clothes sit for around 10-15 mins.
  3. Now let cold water run through the ink stain until the highlighter ink starts to disappear.


3. Soaking method

The soaking method is pretty simple, all you have to do is soak the highlighter stained clothes in a bucket of soap and water.

I will now go more in-depth with this method

  1. Get a bucket filled with water and add the best wash soap you have(also add a little stain removing detergent as well).
  2. Put the stained clothes in the bucket and let it sit there overnight.
  3. Then use an old toothbrush to gently scrub the highlighter ink until the stain is fading.
  4. After that place the clothes into the washer and then the dryer.


4. Use rubbing alcohol

rubbing alcohol being poured onto a highlighter stain on a hoodieRubbing alcohol is one of the best household products to use to remove stains. It also has better effectiveness if you use one with higher alcohol content.

If you don’t want to expose your skin to rubbing alcohol containing a higher percentage of alcohol, just wear gloves or rinse your hands after using it.

Here are the steps:

  1. just soak a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and use it to gently dab the spot. Be sure to put a piece of paper towel or cloth under the area where the ink stain is before you use alcohol on it.
  2. Do this until the stain is no longer there.
  3. Then place the garment inside the washer and wash it.

Doing this will definitely get the highlighter off your clothes.

If you want some additional rubbing alcohol uses just click here.


5. Use hand sanitizer

If you don’t have any rubbing alcohol, don’t worry because hand sanitizer works well at removing highlighter stains from clothes as well.

Before using rubbing alcohol on any fabric please make sure to read the ingredients on the back of it. The reason why you want to do this is that it may bleach the fabric.

Follow these steps to remove highlighter ink stain:

  1. Squeeze a drop of hand sanitizer onto a piece of paper towel.
  2. Place another piece of paper towel on the other side of the ink.
  3. Then use the paper towel (that has hand sanitizer on it) to blot the ink stain. Don’t rub or scrub!
  4. After that just place the ink-stained area under running water. Eventually, the ink will start to disappear.


6. Use saltwater

Salt can be great for removing ink and grease stains.

  1. Mix 1/2 cup of salt with an equal or less amount of cold water to form a paste.
  2. Apply the paste on the ink-stained spot and let it sit there for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse the salt mixture off of the clothes.
  4. Place the clothes into the washer and give it a regular wash.


7. Use an ink remover

Using an ink remover such as Amodex is the most obvious way to remove highlighter ink stains.


  1. Place a paper towel under the highlighter ink so that the rest of your clothes won’t get messy.
  2. Squirt the ink remover onto the ink-stained spot.
  3. Then use a paper towel to rub the ink stain. If the product you purchased requires that you should leave the ink remover on the stain for a while, then do so.
  4. After that just rinse the clothes and allow them to dry.


8. Laundry detergent method

Washing your clothes with laundry detergent won’t get rid of the highlighter ink but directly applying it to the ink may give you some different results.

How to use laundry detergent to get rid of highlighter ink stains:

  1. Apply about 1 tsp worth of laundry detergent onto the stain.
  2. Allow the detergent to sit for 10 minutes.
  3. THen place the garment into the washing machine by itself and give it a regular wash.
  4. If the garment still has ink stains on it then repeat the process again.


9. Use Fresh lemon juice

This may seem weird but lemon juice can be used to remove a lot of stains including highlighter ink. Lemon juice has high levels of acidity that helps to break down all type of stains.

I will now show you how to use lemon juice to get highlighter ink out of your clothes.

  1. Rub a freshly cut lemon all over the stained area or squeeze the lemon juice directly onto the ink spot. Let it sit overnight.
  2. Then add a tablespoon of salt onto the stain.
  3. Then squeeze a freshly cut lemon onto the stain.
  4. Use a toothbrush to scrub the salt and lemon juice into the stain.
  5. Do this until the stain fades away.
  6. Then rinse the salt and lemon juice out of the clothes.


Common questions related to highlighters

I will now answer some commonly asked questions related to highlighter stains.

How to get a highlighter out of carpet?

Get a clean rag and pour a little rubbing alcohol onto it. Then use the rag to blot the highlighter ink out of the carpet. If the cloth is getting dry just gently pour a little more rubbing alcohol onto it and keep blotting.


How to get highlighter off walls?

Get a spray nozzle and attach it to a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Then spray the alcohol onto the spot where the highlighter ink is. Then use a soft clean cloth or a magic eraser sponge to wipe away/absorb the highlighter ink.

You can also use Windex instead of rubbing alcohol.


How to get highlighter out of shoes?

Get a clean rag and dip it in rubbing alcohol. Then use it to blot (do not scrub!) the area until the highlighter ink is gone.

If your shoes are made out of leather you can use a magic eraser sponge instead of a rag.


How to get highlighter ink out of fabric couch?

First, you need to mix any liquid laundry detergent (ones that don’t contain bleach) with water. Then dip a rag into the mixture and use it to rub away the highlighter stain from the couch.



Throughout this article, I showed you how to get a highlighter out of clothes and I also showed you to remove it from other things as well. So you won’t have to worry about messing up your clothes with a highlighter because you can always use the methods I showed you.


I hope you found this article helpful.




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