Blotting Ink Stains

Q: I have heard a lot of talk about “blotting” ink and cosmetic stains to remove the oily components. What does it mean?

A: When attempting to remove ink, mascara, and similar stains, it is suggested you “blot” the area when working with dryside agents. This process involves placing the garment over a towel, and then applying volatile dry solvent, oily type paint remover, and/or amyl acetate. Next, take another towel and wrap an area around your finger, and blot/press the towel-wrapped finger on the stained area. Lift your finger, and examine the towel to see if any of the oily residue has softened and transferred onto the towel. If the stain starts to spread, flush with volatile dry solvent, reapply oily type paint remover, and blot. Continue this process until the stain no longer blots or transfers onto the towel.

While performing this process, make sure you move the towels frequently to prevent the staining from transferring back onto the garment. When the stain no longer blots, dryclean or flush thoroughly with volatile dry solvent to remove all traces of the dryside agents.

After the oily residues have been removed, it may be necessary to continue onto wetside stain removal procedures to remove the remainder of the stain.

Suggested Reading

For more information DLI Standard, Gold, and Premier members may see this and many other bulletins in DLI's Encyclopedia of Drycleaning online:

Technical Operating Information No. 736: Identifying and Removing Ink Stains