How to Get Highlighter Out of Clothes: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Get Highlighter Out of Clothes

Accidents happen, and a slip of the hand with a highlighter can leave unsightly stains on your clothes. But fear not! In this guide, we’ll explore various methods and tips to help you get highlighter out of clothes successfully. Whether it’s an important work shirt, a cherished dress, or a casual tee, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in and say goodbye to those pesky stains!

How to Get Highlighter Out of Clothes?

Dealing with highlighter stains on your clothes can be frustrating, but with the right approach, you can remove them effectively. Here are some tried-and-true methods to get rid of highlighter stains:

1. Blot, Don’t Rub!

When you notice a highlighter stain, act quickly. Grab a clean cloth or paper towel and gently blot the affected area. Avoid rubbing the stain, as it can spread and make the situation worse.

2. Pre-Treat with Dish Soap

Dish soap is a powerful ally in the battle against highlighter stains. Dab a small amount of dish soap directly onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before washing the garment.

3. Milk to the Rescue

Milk might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it can work wonders on highlighter stains. Soak the stained area in milk for about 30 minutes before washing.

4. Lemon Juice and Salt

The combination of lemon juice and salt can be surprisingly effective in removing highlighter stains. Mix equal parts of lemon juice and salt to form a paste, then apply it to the stain. Let it sit for a while before washing.

5. Commercial Stain Removers

There are plenty of commercial stain removers available that specifically target ink stains like highlighters. Follow the instructions on the product for best results.

6. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can be a powerful stain remover. Apply a small amount to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wash as usual.

7. Rubbing Alcohol

Another effective option is rubbing alcohol. Dampen a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol and gently blot the stain. Wash the garment afterward.

8. Vinegar Solution

Create a vinegar solution by mixing equal parts of water and white vinegar. Sponge the stained area with the solution, then wash the clothing as usual.

9. Baking Soda Paste

Make a paste with baking soda and water, and apply it to the highlighter stain. Let it sit for a while before washing.

10. Enzyme-Based Stain Removers

Enzyme-based stain removers can be particularly useful for older or stubborn highlighter stains. Follow the instructions on the product for optimal results.

11. Cornstarch Absorption

Cover the stain with cornstarch and let it sit for a few hours. The cornstarch will help absorb the ink, making it easier to remove during washing.

12. Hairspray

Spray a small amount of hairspray onto the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then wash as usual.

13. Toothpaste Trick

Some toothpaste varieties can help break down highlighter stains. Apply a small amount to the stain, rub it in gently, and wash the garment afterward.

14. Baby Wipes

In a pinch, baby wipes can be used to remove fresh highlighter stains from clothes.

15. Cold Water Rinse

Rinsing the stain with cold water before washing can help prevent the stain from setting.

16. Use Shaving Cream

Apply a layer of shaving cream to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before washing.

17. Hand Sanitizer

Dabbing hand sanitizer on the stain can help break down the ink and make it easier to remove.

18. Club Soda

Gently blotting the stain with club soda can help lift the ink from the fabric.

19. Window Cleaner

Spray a small amount of window cleaner on the stain and blot it with a clean cloth.

20. Detergent Booster

Adding a detergent booster or stain remover to your regular laundry detergent can enhance stain removal.

21. Vodka

Believe it or not, vodka can also help dissolve ink stains. Apply a small amount to the stain and wash as usual.

22. Freeze and Scrape

For old, dried highlighter stains, place the garment in the freezer to harden the ink. Then, gently scrape off the excess before washing.

23. Ammonia Solution

Create an ammonia solution with water and gently dab the stain to remove the ink.

24. Glycerin Application

Glycerin can help break down highlighter stains. Apply a small amount to the stain and wash the clothing afterward.

25. Liquid Laundry Detergent

Liquid laundry detergent can be an effective stain remover when applied directly to the stain.


Q: Can I use hot water to remove highlighter stains?

A: It is best to avoid hot water, as it can set the stain. Stick to cold water or follow the care instructions on the garment’s label.

Q: Will these methods work on all types of fabrics?

A: While these methods are generally safe for most fabrics, it’s essential to spot-test a small, inconspicuous area of the garment before applying the stain-removing solution to the entire stain.

Q: Are highlighter stains permanent?

A: No, highlighter stains are not necessarily permanent. Acting quickly and using the appropriate stain-removing methods can help remove the stains effectively.

Q: Should I take the stained garment to a professional cleaner?

A: If you’re unsure about how to proceed or dealing with a delicate or valuable item, it’s best to consult a professional cleaner.

Q: Can I use bleach to remove highlighter stains?

A: Bleach is not recommended for removing highlighter stains, as it can react with the ink and make the stain worse. Stick to the methods mentioned above for safe and effective stain removal.

Q: What if the stain doesn’t come out after washing?

A: If the stain persists after washing, avoid putting the garment in the dryer, as heat can set the stain. Instead, retreat the stain using one of the methods mentioned earlier, and wash it again.


Getting highlighter out of clothes doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right techniques and a little know-how, you can bid farewell to those stubborn stains. Remember to act quickly, choose the appropriate stain-removing method based on the fabric, and always test in a small area before treating the entire stain. By following the tips and methods outlined in this guide, your clothes will be stain-free and looking fresh once again.