Afterpay is here! Shop now, pay later in 4 easy installments



Your Cart is Empty

Reusable Colouring Mats: How to remove pen ink stains from clothes and fabrics

January 10, 2024 3 min read

Reusable Colouring Mats: How to remove pen ink stains from clothes and fabrics

We all love to see our little artists having fun and making masterpieces.  But, when it comes to doodling and drawing on reusable colouring mats, you may be wondering if the pen ink used on silicone colouring mats will stain their clothes.  In this article, we share our best tips for removing marker pen stains from clothing and fabrics.

What type of pens are used on reusable silicone drawing and colouring mats?

Reusable colouring mats are a great way to entertain young children, but there’s a reason we don’t recommend these products for children under 4 years of age.  You see, any ink that dries instantly on non-porous surfaces, such as glass, plastic and silicone, requires alcohol as a setting agent.  Water-based inks - which are the preferred choice for toddlers - bead on the surface and fail to set.

Whilst alcohol-based inks dry instantly, the downside is that they tend to stain porous surfaces such as textiles and walls.  However, all is not lost if this happens.  We’ve used our Magic Markers to test pen ink stains on a white t-shirt and we’ve some top tips for removing ink marks from clothes and fabrics.


How to get pen ink stains out of clothes

Using Rubbing Alcohol to remove pen ink stains on a white t-shirt

  1. Supermarkets and pharmacies carry bottles of Rubbing Alcohol. Generously apply this alcohol to the affected area and blot with paper towel (place paper towel underneath the fabric too).

    Repeat this process many times, ensuring to dab away the excess liquid (and ink particles).

    Removing a pen ink stain from clothing by blotting with alcohol 

  2. After testing the above method, try agitating the area with a cotton bud or clean toothbrush to work the alcohol into the fibres. This may cause the ink to smear, however, so best to use the first method until the stain has faded.

    Removing pen ink stains with a cotton bud.
    Using a toothbrush to remove pen ink stains from clothes
  3. If the above method fails to completely remove the stains, try white vinegar. Half-fill a sink with warm water then mix in one cup of white vinegar. Add your item of clothing and soak for 15-30 minutes.

  4. Finally, wash your garment with laundry detergent.


Whilst the above suggestions will work to some extent, it’s worth noting that some pigments are more stubborn than others and may require extra patience and persistence.  Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee that stains will disappear completely since the final result depends on how long the ink is on the material, the type of fabric and whether the item has been washed previously.  However, please always test in an inconspicuous area first and keep cleaning solutions away from children.


Turning your child’s stained clothing into wearable art

Four happy kids wearing colourful tie-dye Tshirts

Image credit: Worthy Threads

If you’ve tried our stain-removal tips without success, you may instead find it fun to create a unique piece of wearable art from your child’s stained clothing!  Little Change Creators’ vibrant markers come in a rainbow of colours that are ideal for creating a tie-dye effect on fabric. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Lay the stained garment flat (white clothing such as t-shirts and singlets work best).⁠
  2. Pinch the centre and twist the fabric to form a spiral shape.⁠
  3. Place 3-4 rubber bands around the fabric to create triangular sections.⁠
  4. Colour each section with your markers, including underneath the rubber bands and between the folds of fabric (unless you want some white patches in your design).⁠
  5. Once the fabric is coloured completely, place it inside a lined baking dish.⁠
  6. With help from an adult, gently pour rubbing alcohol all over the fabric. Ensure each side is covered.⁠
  7. Place the fabric on a plate lined with baking paper or foil. Leave to dry outside for 1-2 days.⁠


As frustrating as it may be when your child spoils their clothes, it’s important for them to have the freedom to express themselves through art and creative activities.  Clothing is replaceable but they only get one childhood.  Let them have fun, but just keep our tips handy for the clean-up!



Care to join our growing community? Subscribe to enter our MONTHLY PRIZE DRAW or follow us on Instagram.