Ink pen on son's ACU- help!


My son left two ink pens in the sleeve pocket of his National Guard ACU's also known as the camo uniform.

Any advice on getting the ink out?

I tried Ford Motor stain remover which usually gets everything out. I am getting some ink out, but it looks as dark as it started.


Hairspray, either in the aerosol can or pump. I have used on pen ink it works good. Might take a few treatments with that and some cold water. If not maybe try an internet search under “laundry tips” take care and good luck.


**Make sure to put white paper towels, or something else white in the pocket behind the stain. I would try saturating the area with hair spay also, and as the ink starts to loosen, it will transfer to the paper towels, and not to the material behind it. Just keep using clean paper towels.

From one mom to another, I'll say a prayer for you.**


There are a few things you can do.

  1. dye all the shirt blue. this will hide the stains.
  2. Tell them it a new camo.
    3 or do what my brother did, when something similar happen to him. He went out and brought a new shirt from a army disposal store and put all the insignia etc on it.


Rubbing alcohol works!


melaeluca makes a product that is AMAZING. I've removed sharpie from walls, furniture (i have little artists), and photos ('cause they say you can, so I tried it).

See if anyone you know has some... or order it. Not cheap but worth it!

Good luck!

Edit: Sorry, the product is called sol-u-mel


Please thank your son for his service and God bless him and keep him safe.


Thank you everyone for your help. I will continue to work on the stain, he leaves Tuesday for active duty in our state for flood relief, so no finding another shirt. They are issued 3 shirts, that is it.

Thanks for your suggestions, now I need the prayers.


Thanks for your help. My husband decided he would solve the problem. He used carborator cleaner with lots of paper towels behind it and the ink came out immediately. Of course it stinks really bad, so now he is washing it.

Thank you dear for coming to the rescue!


Someone should have told you not to let him dry the shirt in the dryer after using the carburetor cleaner…

Thanks for the info - my son has a bad habit of leaving ink pens in his pants pockets…Have lost one pair of shorts and a pair of pants this way.


After using the carb cleaner, we did run it through a regular wash cycle with oxy clean and laundry soap as the carb cleaner stunk so bad.


Did all the ink come out? I have no idea what that is, although it sounds like something I would get in an auto shop or car aisle… I tried the hairspray last year with my daughters school bermudas/shorts but after several tries (and ink did come out each time) I kind of gave up, because it still looked just as stained even though it seemed like ink was coming off.


You would get it at an auto parts store, any mechanic would have some on hand.

Yes the smell came out.


Did this to mine; hate it when that happens.

Nail polish remover and the heavy duty Spray ’ Wash stain remover. Soak the stains and let them sit for several days. Wash them and repeat, but don’t dry them! Keep doing it until you can get out as much of the stains as possible. The amount of time it takes stinks, but it is cheaper than buying all new uniforms.

I have also found that different uniform maker’s materials act differently - some stains come out, some don’t. Same with t-shirts of different materials. Some of the stains disappeared literally right before my eyes, some just faded. When using the nail polish remover, pour some straight on the stain; holding the cloth up agaisnt the bottle opening and then tipping it controls wasting the liquid. Also - don’t rub the material and don’t let wet, stained parts sit on top of anything that is not stained, especially other parts of the uniform - it spreads the stain. Learned the hard way.

Good luck.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit