I am not a night owl. I have always had a hard time staying awake at night even when I’m doing things I enjoy. It’s no wonder then that I’m a real mess when I have to work in the evenings, which I’ve done a lot lately. My day job has been crazy busy so more often than not I bring work home and do it after I put Charlie to bed. Recently, I fell asleep in the middle of editing a paper on my lap. When I woke, I had pen marks all over the crotch area of my khaki pants. Doh!
Here’s a close-up of some of the pen marks if you have trouble seeing them in the photo above:
I was particularly distraught because these khakis happen to be one of the few pairs of pants that currently fit comfortably. I felt so overwhelmed looking at these marked up pants that I threw them in the bottom of the clothes hamper and avoided them for a few weeks. I was pretty sure that I couldn’t just toss the pants in the washing machine, cross my fingers, and hope for the best.
This weekend I gathered enough energy to try to figure out how to fix them. I consulted this handy little book I got free one year for subscribing to Consumer Reports. It’s called How to Clean Practically Everything and, sure enough, it offered a simple solution to remove ink from clothing: dab some rubbing alcohol on a neutral colored cloth (you don’t want to run the risk of the cloth bleeding into the clothing), rub the clothing gently and watch the ink disappear. It worked like a charm, although I had to use quite a bit of rubbing alcohol because, though I began with “dabbing,” “pouring” seemed a heck of a lot easier. I just poured a small amount on the pants and rubbed away at the ink. (Be warned though: the book advises not to use rubbing alcohol on ink from fountain pens; my ink of choice was ballpoint pen).
Then I rinsed the pants and the cloth briefly in some water and threw both of them in the washing machine. Here are the pants all clean and dry on the laundry line in the backyard.
Good as new. I can’t believe I let a comfortable pair of pants sit in the hamper for weeks when they were so easy to clean. What a relief they are for my tumbling waistline.