How to Get Pen Out of Corduroy Pants

Save your favorite corduroy pants from ink.

Photo: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Cozy corduroy, which is a staple of chilly fall and winter wear, is found in everything from fitted blazers to casual pants. Not just for school children, flattering corduroy items are ideal for both office and weekend wear. Although corduroy is typically made from durable cotton fabric and can take a beating, it's no match for pen ink. The secret to salvaging your beloved corduroy trousers is to act quickly when removing the stain.

Rubbing Alcohol

Immediately after noticing a pen ink stain in your corduroys, battle it out with rubbing alcohol. Dip a soft cloth or cotton ball into the alcohol and gently dab at the ink until it starts to release from the fabric. Avoid scrubbing the corduroy too hard, which may ruin the fabric's wales, or soft, vertical ridges. Allow the alcohol to dry before moving on.

Baking Soda and Water

If rubbing alcohol didn't do the trick and your stylin' cords are still sporting a less-than-flattering ink stain, it's time to try baking soda. Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of water to create a paste. Work the baking soda mixture into the stain using a clean cloth. Rinse the pants with water to remove the baking soda and hopefully reveal stain-free fabric.

Dishwashing Soap

If you're at work and can't just throw your beloved corduroy pants into the washing machine, attach the ink stain with a bit of dish-washing soap from the office break room. Squirt a few drops of soap into a bowl of warm water and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Combine the mixture and dab it onto the stain with a clean cloth. Use another cloth dipped into water to remove the soapy residue.

Machine Wash

After working the ink stain out with alcohol, detergent or another substance, it's time to throw the corduroy pants into the wash to remove all traces of cleaning products. If hints of the stubborn stain remain, now's the time to treat them with a commercial stain removal product. Since corduroy fabric tends to pick up lint, turn the pants inside out before washing them. Wash the pants in the warmest recommended water temperature with a gentle laundry soap.

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