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Question How can I get permanent marker off lab coats?

6 years 9 months ago - 6 years 9 months ago #26660 by geo
Our lab coats (standard polyester cotton) go to laundry, but it does not get off permanent marker and I have a load of coats now with writings, smiley faces, names, and some obscene grafitti. I ask for stain removal at the laundry but it does not seem to do much. It is mainly black permament marker (specially chosen to not wipe straight off glass..) and coloured marker pens. Does anyone have any experience of getting these clean. Other cleaning methods, dry cleaning? Or should I just change to another standard laundry that does a better job with stain removal?

Any advice welcomed, as I am being asked to tell them right now, how many new lab coats we need to order. I am so tempted to take all of these out of service, which means a very big order, but not if I know I will be able to rescue some. I will definitely remove the obscene ones, but I think even just the grafitti gives the wrong impression and is not fair on the learners.

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6 years 9 months ago #26662 by JimSloan
How much ethanol have you got? Soak/dab the offending marks? Wash with bleach?

Something I'm thinking about doing is not buying white labs coats but very dark colours, maybe dye your ones a new shade of navy/black?

A scientist is always fine

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6 years 9 months ago #26663 by SteveKeys
Just a thought - have you tried bleaching them? Not like the colour will fade of the labcoat!

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6 years 9 months ago #26665 by TecHKnow
Check out our Wiki article here .
This might give some helpful advice. if you want to add/append your own advice then please feel free to do this

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6 years 9 months ago #26668 by geo
Thanks

I am really looking for laundry service advice - I don't have a lot of time to go through them all and do the work myself. I did try some soaking in bleach with absolutely no effect! I have also tried various solvents at various times, although I see the wiki suggests ethanol. I was thinking of whether a laundry will bleach things if asked? Would any bleaching strong enough also damage the fabric?

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6 years 9 months ago #26669 by JimSloan

TecHKnow wrote: Check out our Wiki article here .
This might give some helpful advice. if you want to add/append your own advice then please feel free to do this


From our wiki:

"Yes, we know from a colleague that Milk is a great way to remove stains from fabric"

Really? :blink:

A scientist is always fine

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6 years 9 months ago #26684 by SteveKeys
Milk is great for biro ink.

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6 years 9 months ago #26688 by wjones
Whenever I try to remove pen stains my usual first try is Ethanol. If that does nothing then Acetone (not on anything plastic though because it will eat it!) and lastly Toluene if nothing else works.

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6 years 9 months ago #26696 by geo
My trouble with removing ancient stains with ethanol is that I end up with a chromatography solvent front! Failing stickint the whole load of coats in vats of ethanol, I am not keen on that approach. Do laundry, cleaners, have a way of doing this?

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6 years 9 months ago #26699 by m_mccann
Hairspray can work, works on marker pen, but not so good on biro ink.
put something underneath where you spray though, as it will seep through the material!
good luck!

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6 years 9 months ago #26701 by Baldilocks
For some markers you will never succeed because they are carbon black based - in some sort of volatile carrier. The carrier can be dissolved away but the carbon gets trapped in the fibre matrix and will never shift.

Ian

“Do not believe everything you read on the Internet.” -Abraham Lincoln

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6 years 6 months ago #28115 by LAJ392
we have had black lab coats for the last 4 years or so and they are much easier to keep clean, our school is old and very dusty and our white lab coats never stayed white for more than an hour not to mention the difficulty getting stains out
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