How To Get Ink Out Of Stuffed Animals?

  • By: Tiffany Peris
  • Time to read: 12 min.
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We tend to use a sharpie for different reasons. The ink might accidentally stain clothes and other items when using the permanent marker. Do you have to throw away a plushie if it gets stained by ink? Fortunately, you can use different household products to remove ink from stuffed animals.

The best way to remove ink from stuffed animals is by using an alcohol solution. Hairspray with alcohol content, hand sanitizer, and rubbing alcohol are among the products you can use to remove ink from the plush toy.  Nail polish remover, milk, and other types of toothpaste could also be used to remove pen ink stains from a stuffed animal.

This article explains how different household products can remove ink stains from stuffed animals. In addition, you will find out how to remove the ink from the soft toy even after the ink has dried up.

Can You Get Ink Out Of Stuffed Animal?

It is possible to get ink out of a stuffed animal most of the time. However, to ensure that the ink stain removal process will be successful, you should remove the ink stain when it’s still fresh. Removing fresh ink stains from the stuffie is more manageable than removing the ink when it has already dried.

When removing ink stain from a stuffed animal, you must remove the ink in two phases. In the first phase, a solvent has to be used to break down the oil and alcohol in the ink stain. After that, the stuffie has to be washed so that the ink patches are washed away from the stuffie.

This article discusses nine different methods to treat the ink stain from your stuffie so that the stain is eventually removed from the plush toy.

When removing the pen ink stain from the stuffed animal, make sure that you read the care label since if your stuffie cannot be cleaned in the washer, you have to blot out the ink stain on the soft toy.

Does Ink Wash Out Of Stuffed Animals?

Ink will not wash out of stuffed animals until you have pretreated the stain with a substance that can break down the alcohol and oils present in the ink stain. As a result, the ink stain could become permanent while left on the stuffie for a long time.

If the ink is from a permanent marker, it is essential to note that the marker has a soft, spongy tube used to guide the ink to the tip of the pen. In this tube, color mixed with alcohol is delivered to the pen’s tip for the pen to write.

The pen ink is made up of different types of alcohol that act as solvents and are used to carry the color pigments to the pen’s tip. A polymer is also used to ensure that the color pigments and the alcohol are bonded together.

Thus, considering the different chemicals and solvents present in ink, the ink can’t wash out of the stuffie by using water and washing detergent only. The alcohol, polymer, and color pigments on the color have to be treated first before the stuffed animal can be washed in the washer.

If you wash the stuffie in the washer before pretreating the ink stain, the stain cannot be removed since the alcohol and color pigments in the ink will not dissolve in water. Thus, you must ensure that the ink stain is pretreated before washing the stuffie in the washer.

How To Get Ink Out Of Stuffed Animals – 9 Methods

You can get pen ink stains from stuffed animals by using different household products to dissolve alcohol, color pigment, and polymer in ink. Indeed, some of the household items you already have in the house and can be used to spot ink stains on the soft toys comprise vinegar and rubbing alcohol.

Even if the ink might be labeled as permanent, that does not mean that the ink stain cannot be removed since the term permanent implies that the ink cannot dissolve in water. Therefore, when the ink is dissolved in alcohol, it can be removed from the stuffie.

As with other urine and bloodstains on a stuffie, you must remove the ink stain on the stuffed animal when it is fresh. If the ink stays on the stuffie’s fabric for a long time, its fabric absorbent fibers will absorb the ink, making it hard to remove the ink.

For ink stains that have already dried, the stain must be treated a few times to ensure that they are effectively removed. If the ink stains are tiny dots, you will find that the stains will quickly come off. For large patches, a lot of effort and dedication will be required to remove the stains.

The nine methods that have been discussed in this article use the same approach. You start by applying a solvent to dissolve alcohol, color pigment, and polymer that make up the ink stain. After that, you wash the stuffie in a washing machine or blot out the stain if your plushie cannot be washed in the washer.

All the nine methods discussed use everyday household products you are likely to have in your house. For example, you can use the method that you feel most comfortable with to remove ink stains from stuffed animals.

If you try one of the methods and the ink does not come off, you can try another method or repeat the stain removal process – the ink stain will eventually come off.

1. Baking Soda

As an alkaline, baking soda can dissolve alcohol, color pigments, and polymer, making up the ink stain and removing the stuffed animal’s stain. However, it can be pointed out that this method will have good results if the stain is removed when fresh.

To remove pen ink stain from soft toy using baking soda, here is the process that you should use:

1. In a small mixing bowl, mix two tablespoons of baking with one tablespoon of water to create a thick paste. If you have a larger ink stain on the stuffed animal, you will need more paste.

If you have a stubborn ink stain, you can use lemon juice instead of water since the acidity in lemon juice will help to ensure that the stain molecules are easily broken down.

2. Apply the paste on top of the stain and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Ensure you allow the paste enough time to sit on the stain to ensure that the baking soda breaks down the stain molecules.

3. Rince the baking soda paste with running water. If your stuffed animal cannot be washed, you can use a damp cloth to blot the baking soda paste. If the ink is not completely removed, repeat the process or try another method.

2. Hand Sanitizer

The majority of hand sanitizers have alcohol content. The alcohol in the sanitizer will thus dissolve the ink stain on your plushie and remove the stain from the stuffed animal. You can remove ink stains on any surface or fabric using hand sanitizer.

When using hand sanitizer to remove pen ink stains from the stuffed animal, make sure that you use clear, plain sanitizer with high alcohol content. Do not use fancy hand sanitizer that has a scent or any coloring. These sanitizers do not have high alcohol content, while the coloring could stain your stuffed animal.

1. Apply a few drops of hand sanitizer on a soft sponge or a clean towel.

2. Lightly rub the ink stain with the soft sponge with hand sanitizer. When rubbing the stain, ensure you move from the outside to the inside so that the ink does not spread to other parts.

3. As the ink is removed from the stuffie and picked up by the sponge or the towel, you will need to replace the sponge or the towel to ensure that you do not transfer the ink picked up by the sponge or towel to other parts of the stuffie.

4. Once the stain has been completely removed, rinse the stuffie with clean water.

3. Nail Polish Remover

As a powerful solvent, nail polish remover can dissolve ink and paint stains on a stuffie and effectively remove the stains from the plushie. However, nail polish can also damage the fabric of the stuffed animal.

Thus, to ensure that your stuffed animal will not be damaged by nail polish, test a small spot of the stuffie with nail polish. If the polish does not ruin the stuffie, you can proceed to clean the ink stain from the stuffie by using nail polish remover.

However, if you find that the nail polish is ruining the fabric of your stuffie, you should use another method to remove the ink stain.

1. Soak a cotton ball or a clean towel with nail polish remover. Do not attempt to pour nail polish remover directly into the ink stain since if you do that, the ink will spread further into the plushie’s fabric.

2. Gently dab the stain with the cotton ball so that you pick up ink from the stuffie.

3. Continue to dab until all the ink has been lifted from the stuffed animal.

4. Under running water, rinse the nail polish remover.

5. Wash the plushie in the washing machine. If your plushie cannot be washed with a machine, you can use a damp cloth to blot the stuffie gently.

4. Toothpaste and Baking Soda

Even if the toothpaste can remove ink from stuffed animals, mixing toothpaste with baking soda will make a potent stain remover. Here is how you should remove ink from a stuffed animal with toothpaste.

1. Apply toothpaste to the ink stain. If you are using a mixture of toothpaste and baking soda, mix toothpaste and baking soda and apply the solution to the stain with your fingers.

2. Leave toothpaste to sit for 20 minutes.

3. Use a soft bristle brush to brush away the paste from the stain.

4. Rinse the paste and check to confirm that the ink stains are gone.

5. If needed, repeat the stain removal process or use another stain removal method if the ink stain is not entirely removed.

5. Rubbing Alcohol

The rubbing alcohol method is the easiest method to remove ink stains from a stuffie and the most effective. The method is straightforward since all you have to do is to ensure that rubbing alcohol comes into contact with the ink stain to break down the alcohol, color pigment, and polymer present in the ink stain.

To use rubbing alcohol to remove ink stains from the stuffed animal:

1. Soak a clean piece of cloth or a soft sponge with rubbing alcohol.

2. Using the piece of cloth soaked with rubbing alcohol, gently dab the stain so that the cloth or sponge absorbs the ink.

3. As you continue to dab, you might need to replace the sponge or the piece of cloth as it picks up a lot of paint from the stuffie’s fabric.

4. Dab the ink stain with rubbing alcohol until entirely removed.

5. Wash the stuffed animal in a washing machine. If your stuffie cannot be washed with a washing machine, blot out any dirt on the stuffie to clean it.

6. Hair Spray

The alcohol content in hair spray can be used to remove ink stains on stuffie since it will dissolve alcohol, color pigment, and polymer in the ink stain and ensure that the stain is removed from the plushie.

To effectively remove ink from stuffie using hair spray, make sure that the hair spray has at least 50% alcohol content. If the alcohol content in the spray is less than 50%, you are less likely to have any success with using that hair spray to remove ink from the stuffie.

To confirm the alcohol content of the hair spray, you can check the packaging of the hair spray, where you will find the manufacturer of the hair spray indicating the alcohol content in the hair spray.

1. Spray hair spray directly to the ink stain on the stuffed animal.

2. Let the hair spray sit for 15 minutes.

3. Rinse the hair spray with running water.

4. Check the stain to determine whether the ink stains are all gone.

5. If you can see some stains, repeat the process.

5. Wash the stuffie in the washer in a normal wash cycle.

7. Hydrogen Peroxide

Instead of removing ink stain from the stuffie or any other fabric, hydrogen peroxide works like bleach to make the stain colorless. As an oxygen-based non-chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide breaks any molecular bond between color pigments and alcohol, making the ink stain colorless.

The exact process is used by bleaches even though, in the case of bleaches, they have more potent chemicals that have a more substantial bleaching effect than hydrogen peroxide.

1. Soak a clean cloth or a soft sponge with rubbing alcohol.

2. Gently dab the stain with the damp piece of cloth.

3. Continue blotting the stain until you notice the ink starting to disappear.

4. Soak the stain with hydrogen peroxide. Allow the hydrogen peroxide to sit on the fabric for 15 minutes so that it bleaches the stain.

5. Rinse the stained section of the stuffie with running water and inspect the stain to confirm that the stains are all gone.

6. Repeat the process if some stains are remaining. If not, wash the stuffed animal as you usually do.

8. Vinegar

Vinegar is rich in acetic acid. Thus, it is a good household cleaner and stain remover. One of the stains that vinegar can effectively remove from fabrics and other surfaces is ink stains.

All that you have to do is to ensure that vinegar comes into contact with the ink stains so that the acetic acid in the vinegar breaks down the ink stain molecules. When using vinegar, make sure that you use clear vinegar since if you use colored vinegar, the dye could leave patches on your stuffed animal.

1. Soak a clean cloth or towel with vinegar.

2. Using the cloth soaked with vinegar, soak the stain with vinegar.

3. Allow the vinegar to sit for at least half an hour.

4. Soak a clean cloth or soft sponge with vinegar and use it to dab the stain lightly.

5. As the ink starts to come out, continue dabbing until all the ink is removed.

6. Use running water to rinse vinegar from your stuffed animal.

7. Wash the stuffie as you usually do.

9. Milk

Yes, you read it right. You can use milk to remove ink stains from your stuffed animal. Milk is made up of 80% water and 20% solids. The solids in the milk comprise protein, carbohydrates, and minerals.

These solids in the milk push the ink stains out of the fabrics while a fabric stained by ink is soaked in milk. To have a more potent ink stain remover, vinegar is added to the milk before the item stained with ink is soaked in the milk.

1. Pour milk into a big enough bowl to soak the section of your stuffed animal stained by ink. You can add vinegar to the bowl to have a stronger ink stain remover.

2. Soak the part of the stuffie with ink stain in the milk. Ensure that the stained part is soaked in milk.

3. Leave the stuffed animal soaked in milk for at least 10 hours.

4. Remove the stuffed animal from the milk and check whether the ink stain is completely removed. If you notice stains, use a sponge to scrub the ink and remove it from the stuffie gently.

5.  Wash the stuffed animal as you usually do.

How Do You Remove Permanent Marker From Colored Stuffie?

When removing permanent markers from colored stuffed animals, you need to be careful that you do not damage the stuffie’s fabric dye. Indeed, if you use a stain remover with a bleaching effect, you could ruin the stuffie.

Some household products that you should use to remove ink from colored stuffed animals comprise hand sanitizer, milk, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol. These household products will not bleach or discolor the stuffed animal fabric.

Suppose you want to use other household products to remove permanent markers from stuffie. In that case, you can spot test the product in a tiny spot of the stuffie’s fabric and proceed with the process after you have confirmed that the stain remover product will not ruin the stuffie’s fabric.

Since chlorine bleach will ruin colored fabrics, you should never use bleach on colored stuffed animals. Moreover, if you opt to use color-safe bleach, you need to use it with care since even if the bleach is safe with colored fabrics, it can still ruin some materials.


You can get ink stains from stuffed animals using different solvents such as vinegar, rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, and hair spray. Other household products that can be used to remove pen ink stains from stuffed animals have been discussed.

If you want to ensure that you will effectively remove sharpie, pen ink, or any ink stains from a stuffed animal, you should try your best to remove the stain while still fresh. Fresh stains are always easy to remove since they are yet to progress further into the fabric’s fibers.