Removing Pencil Stains in a Few Simple Steps

shaved pencil close-up

Pexels/Pixabay/Public Domain

Have you ever noticed pencil marks and stains on your clothes? Although pencils are typically used on paper, it's not that surprising to find occasional pencil stains on your laundry. What's much more surprising is just how easy pencil stains can be to remove! Removing them from washable fabrics such as cotton, linen, or polyester can be as simple as using a soft eraser to get rid of the stain (just as long as you are being cautious as not to ruin the fabric you're working with).

What You'll Need

First, let's talk about what you'll need to remove pencil marks and stains. Easy enough, just a pencil eraser and a stain remover stick, gel, or spray will do. If you want to get fancy, have a dry spotter and an absorbent pad at the ready.

Choosing the Right Pencil Eraser

Before you start with the stain stick, gel, or spray, please note that some pencil stains can be removed by simply using a rubber eraser. Gently applying a solid block eraser brick (the softer the better) may work better than the (frequently hard) little pink eraser you will find on the back of a pencil. The smaller erasers on the back of pencils often smear graphite and other materials around, so using a larger, clean, high-quality eraser may help you remove pencil stains from your clothing.

Removing the Stains

  1. Erase the pencil stains. Use a pencil eraser on the stained area on your laundry. Often a few gentle passes with an eraser is enough to remove the marks from clothing. As was mentioned previously, be mindful of the fabric when erasing pencil stains so that you do not ruin the material in the process!
  2. Apply a stain stick, gel, or remover to the pencil stain. Use your preferred stain remover and apply it to the stained area. Be sure to follow the instructions for the stain remover. For example, you may want to spray on a dry-cleaning solvent, apply a dry spotter to rub into the fabric, and cover the stain with a pad prior to having the material stand for about thirty minutes. Alternatively, you can mix a tablespoon of dishwashing detergent (liquid preferred) with two cups of cool water to the sponge and blot the stain with it until the liquid is absorbed. Although there are slightly varied ways to remove pencil marks and stains, it is possible to find a solution best for you based on the cleaning materials you already have in your home.
  3. Wash normally. Wash the clothing normally using the correct temperature setting for your fabric. Be sure to repeat the above steps if the stain remains before finally drying the garment, as dry stains can sink in more than when wet.