Can I Use Acetone to Remove Ink From Polyester Fabric?

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Yes, it's possible to remove ink from polyester using acetone.

Polyester is a man-made material used in making pants, shirts, blouses, and other garments. The fabric is durable, accepts dye readily, and is washable in your home's washing machine. Like cotton and other fabrics, polyester fabrics are not immune to stains, debris, and even ink spills. A variety of chemicals and solvents can remove ink from polyester without damaging the material.


You can use acetone to remove ink stains from polyester fabric, but blot the ink first with a white cloth to remove the bulk of the liquid. Blotting keeps the ink from spreading to other areas of the fabric and staining it. To protect the table or surface under the polyester item you're cleaning, place a clean white towel or paper towels under the item. Use as many white cloths as needed to blot the excess ink. Then apply the acetone to a clean, white cloth and blot the stain working from the outside inward until it's gone. Turn the polyester item over and blot the opposite with acetone to remove all of the ink if necessary.

Acetone Availability

Acetone is available at hardware, home improvement, paint supply, and chemical supply stores. The chemical is also available online. Follow and observe any recommendations and warnings on the acetone's container and wear rubber gloves to keep the chemical off of your hands. Acetone does have an odor and if the smell of acetone bothers you, wear a breathing mask.

Nail Polish Remover

If acetone isn't available, use nail polish remover that contains acetone. Nail polish remover contains fragrances that mask the smell of the acetone and you may not require a nose mask. When using nail polish remover to blot away ink spills, clean the item in the same way as you would with acetone.

Follow Up

Wash the polyester garment or fabric alone in your home's washing machine or by hand according to the fabric tag on the item. If no tag is present, wash the item in cold water without any other clothing in the washing machine. Dry the item in your home's dryer, on a clothesline, or drying rack. If the polyester item's fabric tag states "Dry Clean Only," take the item to the dry cleaners within 24 to 48 hours.


Nick Davis

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.