Accidentally spilling highlighter on your clothes can be frustrating, but fear not! In this article, we’ll delve into the art of getting highlighter out of clothes, offering you valuable insights and practical solutions. Whether you’re dealing with a neon-yellow mess or a vivid pink stain, we’ve got you covered. Say goodbye to those pesky stains and hello to fresh, clean clothes!

How to Get Highlighter Out of Clothes

Got a highlighter stain? Here’s how to tackle it effectively:

1. Act Quickly!

Time is of the essence when dealing with highlighter stains. The faster you act, the better chance you have of completely removing the stain. Don’t let it set in—tackle it right away!

2. Blot, Don’t Rub

When you notice a highlighter stain, resist the urge to rub it vigorously. Instead, grab a clean cloth or paper towel and gently blot the stain. Rubbing may spread the ink and make the stain worse.

3. Determine the Fabric

Identifying the fabric type is crucial in choosing the right stain removal method. Different fabrics require different approaches, so check the garment’s care label before proceeding.

4. Pre-treat the Stain

Before washing the garment, pre-treat the highlighter stain. Apply a small amount of dish soap or liquid laundry detergent directly to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes.

5. Wash with Cold Water

For most fabric types, washing the stained area with cold water is effective. If the garment is safe for machine washing, toss it in the washer on a cold-water setting.

6. Enzyme-based Stain Removers

For stubborn highlighter stains, consider using an enzyme-based stain remover. These products are designed to break down tough stains, including ink.

7. Lemon Juice and Salt

A natural alternative is to use a mixture of lemon juice and salt. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the stain and sprinkle some salt on top. Let it sit for a while before rinsing with cold water.

8. Vinegar Solution

Create a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. Soak the stained area in the solution for a few minutes, then wash as usual.

9. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another option for removing highlighter stains. Apply a small amount to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse with cold water.

10. Commercial Stain Removers

If all else fails, consider using a commercial stain remover specifically designed for ink stains. Follow the instructions on the product for best results.

DIY Methods to Get Highlighter Out of Clothes

Looking for more DIY solutions? Try these effective methods:

1. Milk

Believe it or not, milk can be an excellent highlighter stain remover. Soak the stained area in milk for a few hours, then wash as usual.

2. Hairspray

Spray some hairspray directly onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Blot the stain with a clean cloth, and then wash the garment.

3. Rubbing Alcohol

Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and dab it on the stain. Rinse with cold water and repeat if necessary.

4. Baking Soda and Water

Create a paste using baking soda and water, then apply it to the stain. Let it sit for a while before washing the garment.

5. Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer can be surprisingly effective in removing highlighter stains. Apply a small amount to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before washing.

Preventing Highlighter Stains

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are some tips to avoid highlighter stains in the first place:

1. Cap Your Highlighters

Always make sure to cap your highlighters tightly when not in use. This prevents accidental leaks and stains.

2. Avoid Holding Multiple Highlighters

Holding multiple highlighters in one hand increases the risk of leakage. Stick to one at a time.

3. Keep Highlighters Upright

Store your highlighters in an upright position to reduce the chances of leakage.

4. Use Highlighter Guards

Consider using highlighter guards or sleeves to protect your clothing while highlighting.


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

A: It’s best to avoid using hot water as it can set the stain. Stick to cold water for better results.

Q: Is it safe to use hydrogen peroxide on all fabric types?

A: Hydrogen peroxide is generally safe for most fabrics, but it’s always wise to do a spot test first.

Q: Can I use the same methods for getting highlighter out of delicate fabrics?

A: Delicate fabrics require extra care. Consider using milder stain removal methods or consult a professional cleaner.

Q: Are highlighter stains permanent?

A: If you act quickly and use the right methods, highlighter stains are often removable.

Q: Are there any commercial stain removers specifically for highlighter stains?

A: Yes, many stain removers are designed to target ink stains, including highlighters.

Q: Can I use bleach to remove highlighter stains?

A: It’s best to avoid using bleach, as it may cause discoloration on colored fabrics.


Now you know how to get highlighter out of clothes! Armed with these effective methods and prevention tips, you can confidently tackle highlighter stains and keep your favorite garments looking fresh and stain-free. Remember to act quickly, choose the right method for the fabric type, and consider natural alternatives for eco-friendly stain removal. Say goodbye to pesky stains and hello to spotless clothes!