Ink is probably the most difficult stain to remove from fabric and we put several products to the test. Landau Uniforms was kind enough to provide us with several white swatches of their polyester / cotton fabric for this test and the others that will follow. We marked the white fabric with a back ball point pen, similar to what nurses are likely to come in contact with. One heavy mark consisting of several strokes and one with a single medium stroke were placed on each swatch.
Four products were tested on ink stains:
Oxi Clean Max Force at about $4.49 for a 12 oz spray bottle was used as a pre-treat on the stain. We rubbed the swatch together and let it stand for 24 hours before laundering in hot water. Both ink stains were clearly visible at the end of our test although, they were somewhat lighter.
Shout Advanced at about $4.69 for a 14 oz spray bottle was used as a pre-treat on a second white swatch. Again, as with the Oxi Clean we rubbed the swatch together and let it stand for 24 hours then laundered in hot water. Both ink stains were clearly visible, but slightly lighter.
Nail Polish Remover was used on a third swatch. The ink clearly ran when applied to the swatch. We spent a considerable time blotting with a paper towel under the swatch. At the end of the test the ink was still clearly visible but changed from black to purple.
Carbona Stain Devils #3 at about $4.49 for a 1.7 oz bottle was used on a fourth swatch. We spent a considerable about of time blotting and tapping with a paper towel under the swatch. As with the nail polish remover the ink ran onto the paper towel. We used a plastic scraper to help push the stain onto the paper towel. At the end of the test there only remained a faint mark where the heavier of the two stains was.
Conclusion: We did not test for color fastness or use colored swatches. It is recommended that you test the product on an inconspicuous area before treating. The only product that worked in our test was the Carbona Stain Devil. It left a faint line on the heavier of the two ink marks and the lighter one was not visible at all. The product sells for $4.49 for a 1.7 oz bottle, so you might want to consider how old the scrubs are and whether it is worth the expense and time involved. The #3 Stain Devils are formulated for ink and crayon stains only. The shout and oxi clean are good products and much more versatile, but they did not seem to work well on our ink stains.
We do not have a financial interest in any of the cleaning products used in this test, although we are distributors of Landau Uniforms. This test was performed to inform users of Landau Uniforms as to which products we found work the best.