Can I Use Acetone to Remove Ink From Polyester Fabric?

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Stains are tricky. It seems as if every fabric requires a different and special cleaning method or material. If you're addressing an ink stain on polyester, you have a few options, among them using acetone. But while acetone might work, there are a few things you need to know before using acetone on polyester.

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Knowing the Fabric: Polyester

Polyester is virtually ubiquitous today, but that wasn't always the case. When the man-made synthetic fiber hit the market in the 1940s, it earned success for being a wrinkle-resistant alternative to natural fibers, as well as being easy to wash at home. Polyester is made of plastics that are derived from petroleum. Over the decades, the look and feel of polyester fabrics have evolved into something that can feel soft and smooth against the skin.

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Regular Cleaning of Polyester

Polyester is made to be easy to clean, and keeping your polyester garments fresh is as easy as regularly running them through the normal wash cycle on your washing machine, preferably in warm water. If the polyester has developed set-in odors, though, a bit more labor may be needed. In these cases, soaking the garment in a solution of warm water mixed with 1/4 cup of vinegar for 30 minutes prior to running it through a traditional wash cycle should banish even the most stubborn of smells.

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Using Acetone to Remove Ink Stains on Polyester

There are different methods used when it comes to getting stains like ink out of polyester. One of the most effective is acetone. Acetone is a commonly found naturally occurring solvent. Acetone can quickly and easily lift even the toughest ink stains from polyester fabric. What's more, it does the job without damaging the fabric. Before simply applying acetone to the stain, however, first remove as much of the stain as possible with a simple mixture of warm water and dish soap. Applying this mixture to the stain and then using paper towels to dab the spot will remove the top layer of ink that may not yet have settled into the garment.

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Once this is done, let the spot dry. The risk of spreading the stain with moisture is not worth taking. After the stain has dried, use a sponge to apply acetone (nail polish remover containing acetone works well) and then dab the stain with the sponge until the ink stain has been removed entirely.

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