Can you provide me tips on removing gel pen ink from a very light colored (cream color) pair of jeans. The gel pen ink is from Bic Gelocity (blue color).

Many solutions over the internet and also on stackexchange offer advice for removing ink using alcohol. This is not possible when you use a gel pen.

Ball point ink

The inks are resistant to water after drying but can be defaced by certain solvents which include acetone and various alcohols.

Gel ink

Many gel inks are water resistant, and are not washed away by water once the ink has dried. Fraud resistant gel ink is unaffected by solvents such as acetone, and resists check washing.

So there is still hope since I don't think I have a fraud resistant gel ink in my gel pen.

  • Can you tell us what you already tried to remove the stain? Did you rinse the jeans in water or put it in the washing machine?
    – Elmy
    Apr 13, 2019 at 11:10
  • @Elmy I got the jeans washed in the washing machine and the ink spread further. general internet search told me that people use isopropyl alcohol for ball point ink. Nothing was for gel pen ink.
    – prash
    Apr 13, 2019 at 14:44
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of How to remove pen ink from cloth
    – Chenmunka
    Apr 13, 2019 at 18:11
  • Gel pen ink is way different from ball point ink and does not dissolve in alcohol. So I feel, my query is not duplicate.
    – prash
    Apr 13, 2019 at 19:02

4 Answers 4


I've often used lighter fluid to remove ink from carpets. Try a small amount in a discrete area to be sure it doesn't damage the jeans. But it works well on ink. WARNING - Keep away from flames until washed.


You said that you have already run the jeans thru your washing machine... but did you put them in the dryer? It is likely a lost cause if you did as it would have set the stain.

BUT! On the chance that you didn't do that there are a few suggestions to try on Hunker.com

One such suggestion reads:

To remove gel ink, pen manufacturer Uni-Ball recommends mixing together 1 teaspoon of ammonia and a gallon of water. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and add a scoop of enzyme laundry detergent to the mixture. Shake the bottle to mix the ingredients thoroughly and spray the ink stain, completely saturating it. Once the fabric is soaked through, use an old toothbrush to work out the stain. Rinse the ammonia solution out of the material and examine it. If the stain has faded but still remains, repeat the procedure. Wash the garment when you are satisfied that the stain is gone or try a different cleaning solution.

If you are concerned about using ammonia on the jeans there are a few other options to try that don't seem as caustic.

Hope this helps!! Good luck!


I'd use the same pen to mark another scrap of cloth of the same material blend as your jeans, or mark the jeans somewhere out of sight in normal wear and:

  • try ordinary household bleach, dip something suitable for applying it directly to the stain, wait a few minutes then wash off with water
  • try an oxygen based bleach, possibly sold as a stain remover that mentions "oxy" - don't forget to check your local hardware store for carpet cleaner too; similar stuff
  • if there's nothing on the gel pen about being UV resistant you may find that carefully masking the stain off with aluminium tape and/or other materials, and leaving a UV light shining on the stain will degrade the ink and diminish its appearance. Over time just from sunlight and repeated washing the stain will fade further

The best process for removing ink from clothing is the same you'd find when having to remove nail polish from carpet.

The safest way to remove nail polish from a carpet or rug is to spray the hair with normal, aerosol style hair spray immediately after your spill. Give it a good spray, about 5 seconds, and then sprinkle the area with rubbing alcohol. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol you can try hydrogen peroxide, which isn’t quite as effective but it’s better than water.

Gel ink is water based which is good, but often has pigment, which is very hard to remove. This is the problem here, as you'll need something to wash those out. The rubbing alcohol might do the trick.

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