How To Get Highlighter Out Of Fabric: A Step-By-Step Guide

We’ve all been there – you’re busy highlighting an important document or coloring something creative, only to accidentally mark up your clothing or furniture. Highlighter stains can be frustrating, but don’t worry – they can be removed with a little bit of effort.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: soak the stained fabric in milk or rubbing alcohol before washing as usual. The milk or alcohol will help break down the highlighter dye.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through all the methods you can try to get highlighter out of fabric, from home remedies to commercial stain removers. We’ve researched the most effective techniques so you can get your clothes, upholstery, and other household items looking clean again.

Act Quickly for the Best Results

Inspect and Identify the Stained Area

When it comes to getting highlighter out of fabric, time is of the essence. The longer the stain sits, the harder it becomes to remove. As soon as you notice the stain, take a moment to inspect the affected area. Identify the type of fabric and the extent of the stain.

This will help determine the best course of action for removing the highlighter.

Flush with Cold Water

One of the first steps you should take to remove highlighter stains from fabric is to flush the area with cold water. This helps dilute the stain and prevent it from setting into the fabric. Holding the stained area under a cold running tap is an effective way to flush out the dye.

Make sure to use cold water, as hot water can set the stain and make it more difficult to remove.

Blot Excess Dye

After flushing the stain with cold water, you may still notice some remaining dye on the fabric. In this case, it is important to blot the area gently to remove as much of the excess dye as possible. Use a clean cloth or paper towel and press it onto the stain, absorbing the dye.

Avoid rubbing the fabric vigorously, as this can spread the stain and make it more challenging to remove.

Remember, the key to successfully removing highlighter stains from fabric is to act quickly. The longer the stain sits, the more difficult it becomes to remove. By inspecting the stained area, flushing it with cold water, and blotting excess dye, you can increase your chances of effectively getting highlighter out of fabric.

Home Remedies to Try

If you’ve accidentally gotten highlighter on your favorite fabric, don’t panic. There are several home remedies you can try to remove the stain. Here are some effective methods:

Milk

Pour a small amount of milk onto a clean cloth and gently dab it onto the stain. Milk contains enzymes that can help break down the pigments in the highlighter. Rinse the fabric with cold water and repeat the process if necessary.

Rubbing Alcohol

Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a clean cloth and gently blot the stain. Rubbing alcohol is known for its ability to dissolve ink stains, including highlighter ink. Rinse the fabric thoroughly with cold water to remove any residue.

Lemon Juice

Another effective home remedy is lemon juice. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice onto the stain and gently rub it in. Lemon juice contains natural bleaching properties that can help lighten the stain. Rinse the fabric with cold water and repeat the process if needed.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is a versatile cleaning agent that can also be used to remove highlighter stains. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water and apply the solution onto the stain. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing with cold water.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that can help lift highlighter stains from fabric. Make a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water and apply it to the stain. Gently scrub the fabric with a soft brush or cloth and rinse thoroughly.

Glycerin

Glycerin is a common ingredient in many stain-removing products. Apply a small amount of glycerin onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Gently blot the stain with a clean cloth and rinse with cold water.

Oxygen Bleach

If all else fails, you can try using oxygen bleach to remove the highlighter stain. Follow the instructions on the packaging and make sure to test the product on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first. Oxygen bleach can be an effective option for stubborn stains.

Remember, it’s important to act quickly when dealing with highlighter stains on fabric. The longer the stain sits, the more difficult it can be to remove. Always check the care label on your fabric before attempting any stain removal method and consider seeking professional help if the stain persists.

Laundry Aids and Stain Removers

When it comes to getting highlighter out of fabric, having the right laundry aids and stain removers can make all the difference. Here are a few options that can help you tackle this stubborn stain:

Pre-Treatment Stain Sticks or Gels

Pre-treatment stain sticks or gels are a great first step in removing highlighter stains from fabric. These products are designed to break down and lift stains before you even start the washing process.

Simply apply the stain stick or gel directly to the stained area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then launder as usual. This can help to minimize the appearance of the stain and make it easier to remove during the washing process.

Liquid Laundry Detergent

If you don’t have any pre-treatment stain sticks or gels on hand, liquid laundry detergent can also be effective in removing highlighter stains. Choose a detergent that contains enzymes, as these can help to break down the stain and lift it from the fabric.

Apply a small amount of liquid laundry detergent directly to the stain, gently rub it in, and then wash the garment as usual. This method may require a bit more effort, but it can still be effective in removing the stain.

Oxi Clean or Sodium Percarbonate

If the highlighter stain is particularly stubborn, you may need to turn to a more powerful stain remover like Oxi Clean or sodium percarbonate. These products contain oxygen-based bleach that can help to break down and lift even the toughest stains.

Follow the instructions on the packaging for the appropriate dilution and application method. It’s important to note that these products may not be suitable for all fabrics, so be sure to check the care label before using them.

Bar Soap

Believe it or not, good old-fashioned bar soap can also be effective in removing highlighter stains from fabric. Wet the stained area, rub the bar soap directly onto the stain, and then work it into a lather. Rinse the fabric thoroughly and launder as usual.

This method may require a bit more elbow grease, but it can be a budget-friendly and readily available option for stain removal.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to test any stain remover on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric before applying it to the entire stain. This can help to ensure that the product doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration.

Additionally, be sure to follow the care instructions on the garment’s label for the best results.

The Washing Machine Method

If you’ve accidentally gotten highlighter on your favorite fabric, don’t panic! The washing machine method can help you remove the stain effectively. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get highlighter out of fabric using your trusty washing machine.

Presoak the Stain

The first step is to presoak the stained fabric. Fill a sink or basin with cold water and add a stain remover or laundry detergent specifically designed for removing tough stains. Place the fabric in the water and let it soak for at least 30 minutes.

This will help loosen the highlighter pigment from the fabric fibers.

Wash with Laundry Aids

After the presoaking process, it’s time to wash the fabric in the washing machine. Add a scoop of laundry detergent and a fabric-safe bleach alternative to the machine. The detergent will help break down any remaining stain particles, while the bleach alternative will brighten the fabric and remove any lingering discoloration.

Pro Tip: If you’re unsure about using a bleach alternative, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage.

Air Dry the Item

Once the washing cycle is complete, avoid using the dryer. Instead, air dry the fabric to prevent any heat from setting the stain further. Hang the item or lay it flat on a clean towel until it is completely dry. This will also help prevent any shrinking or warping of the fabric.

Repeat as Needed

If the highlighter stain is still visible after the first wash, don’t worry. Repeat the presoaking and washing process until the stain is completely gone. Patience and persistence are key when it comes to removing stubborn stains.

Remember, always check the care label of your fabric before attempting any stain removal method. Some delicate fabrics may require special care or professional cleaning.

Now that you know how to get highlighter out of fabric using the washing machine method, you can tackle those pesky stains with confidence. Say goodbye to highlighter mishaps and hello to fresh, stain-free fabrics!

Stain Removal Tips and Tricks

Check the Fabric Care Label

Before attempting to remove any stain, it is important to check the fabric care label on the garment. This label provides valuable information on how to treat the fabric properly without causing any damage.

It will specify the recommended temperature for washing, whether it can be bleached, and any other special instructions. Following the instructions on the fabric care label will help ensure that the stain removal process is safe and effective.

Test on an Inconspicuous Area First

When dealing with a stubborn stain, it is always a good idea to test the stain removal method on an inconspicuous area of the fabric first. This will help you determine whether the method is safe to use on the fabric and if it causes any discoloration or damage.

By testing on a hidden area, such as the inside seam or hem, you can avoid any potential mishaps and ensure that the stain removal process will not worsen the problem.

Use Hot Water for Whites and Cold for Colors

The temperature of the water you use can greatly affect the stain removal process. For white fabrics, it is generally safe to use hot water as it helps to break down the stain and remove it more effectively.

However, when dealing with colored fabrics, it is best to use cold water to prevent the colors from bleeding or fading. Always refer to the fabric care label for specific instructions on water temperature.

Make a Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda is a versatile and effective ingredient for stain removal. To remove highlighter stains, you can make a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste directly onto the stained area and gently rub it in using a soft cloth or sponge.

Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with water. Baking soda helps to absorb the stain and lift it from the fabric.

Try a Vinegar Soak

Vinegar is another natural ingredient that can be used to remove stains from fabric. To tackle highlighter stains, you can create a vinegar soak by mixing equal parts vinegar and water in a basin or sink.

Soak the stained fabric in the mixture for about 30 minutes, then rinse it thoroughly with water. Vinegar helps to break down the stain and remove any lingering odor.

Use a Tide Pen on Dry Fabrics

For quick and convenient stain removal on dry fabrics, a Tide Pen can be a handy tool to have. These stain removal pens are designed to target specific stains, including highlighter stains, and are safe to use on most fabrics. Simply apply the Tide Pen directly onto the stain and gently rub it in.

Allow it to sit for a few minutes before laundering the garment as usual. The Tide Pen contains powerful stain-fighting ingredients that help lift the stain from the fabric.

Conclusion

With some perseverance and the right stain removal methods, you can successfully get highlighter out of clothing, upholstery, and other household fabrics. Start by acting quickly to flush out excess dye before it sets.

Then move on to trying home remedies like milk, alcohol, or lemon juice to break down the stain. Laundry aids like detergent, Oxi Clean, and stain sticks can also help lift highlighter when washing. Follow fabric care instructions, and repeat treatments as needed until no trace of the stain remains.

With this comprehensive guide, you now have all the techniques needed to erase those pesky highlighter stains for good.

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