Evidence removal for dummies

Friday 27 June 2014, 6.28pm HKT

1.53pm local time, 33°C (91.4°F), sunny but flamin’ hot

stains victim DSC3613



Highlighter malfunction. Negligence. Self-liability.

stains culprit DSC3612


Lesson learnt

Don’t buy DOUBLE-TIPPED highlighter pens for the sake of saving space. The traditional fat and flat shaped ones are that for a reason…


Just tape up the small pointed end, which hardly ever get used anyway.


Missile launch codes


laundry drying Kowloon government tenement in Hong Kong Photo AFP

(Laundry drying on railings in a Kowloon government housing estate in Hong Kong. Photo: Agence-France Presse, via New Age)

“Fast forward to Hong Kong, and I find myself in the land of rare coupons/sales and ridiculous prices for detergent. I find myself frustrated every time I do laundry.”
Thankful & Thrifty, Hong Kong Style


Immediate action, this.
Treat or blot the stain as soon as you spot it.
Speed is of the essence.
Delay sets the stain permanently in.
Delay also causes you to spend money on buying a new outfit. (True fact that.)
Blot excess ink with white paper napkins or similar until dry to the touch.

Not blood or an amputation, so a tourniquet is the wrong tool.
Burn it with fire — not the right reaction either.


Now prep the garment.
Soak it in a solution of plain laundry detergent (the liquid form, not the powder form).
Soak for 15 minutes before starting Step 3 below.
Don’t rub it or touch it at this stage.
Just let it steep in the solution.


laundry detergent iStock_000006322909

Laundry detergent
Just use a fairly concentrated solution.
2 or 3 caps of detergent to 1 gallon of water.
Use plain (unscented) laundry detergent for best results.
“Laundry detergent” is the liquid form.
“Detergent powder” is what you sprinkle into the washing machine, or sell as fake contraband.

new clothes

Buy a new garment as replacement
Not really the answer looked for — but works nonetheless.
Costs money though.


stains bleach DSC3650

Household bleach … I drink this when the going gets tough

Don’t, if your garment is itself coloured — unless you fancy tied-dyed hippie clothes.
Never use bleach to remove ink stains — it’s like setting fire to your mattress just to remove bedbugs.
Great fun to use as a prank on coloured fabrics, hehehe.

stains isopropanol DSC3656

Rubbing alcohol … rubbing salt into the wound can’t even compete

Rubbing alcohol is isopropanol (propyl alcohol).
The stuff you sterilise things with.
Useless — makes the ink run again and spread to other parts of the fabric.
May react with certain man-made fabrics (e.g. acetates) or causes colour fading.
Great fun to use it directly on open wounds, hahaha.

stains nail polish remover DSC3655

Nail polish remover … good for restoring leather to original raw state too

Two types — acetone-based and non-acetone.
Tolerated by some fabric types, but most don’t.
More importantly, both types are no good with highlighter ink — makes it run again.
Great fun to use as a prank on coloured fabrics, harr-harr.


Hairspray … nice for messing up man-made materials

Hairspray is lacquer.
Works for some natural fibres (wool, cotton, etc).
But gunges up the works for most man-made fabrics (nylon, polyester, acetate, etc).
If it seems to work for your fabric, spray onto the stained area.
Then blot gently with a white FABRIC TOWEL (not paper tissues).
Great fun to use as a prank on man-made fabrics, harr-dee-harr-harr.

stains laundry soap bar DSC3652

Laundry soap bars … what I eat for breakfast

Most laundry soap bars tend to cause stains (especially ink) to set permanently.
Great fun to use as a prank for exactly that reason. Whoo-hoo!


Above pre-treatment should remove most of the stain away.
Now wash with a fresh solution of plain laundry detergent.
Gently rub over the stain with your fingers.
Rinse and rub several times until the stain clears.
Don’t scrub!
Scrubbing causes the stain to dig deeper into the fibres for some fabrics.


Once the stain is practically gone, soak and then rinse the clothing again.
This time soak in cold salt water for a couple of hours.
Then wash as normal.
Final rinse in plain water, of course.


Dry the garment in sunlight.
Line-drying in sunlight will naturally bleach out any stain remnants.
Hopefully it’ll leave your garment looking reasonably hygienic if nothing else.


If the screw-up is really (umm…) epic, try dyeing the garment all black.
Worth a shot.

pulp fiction black

Stains … Do you remove it, motherfather?!


Images: All photos by me except: Laundry drying in housing estate by AFP via New Age ♦ Laundry detergent via c4c ♦ New clothes via O’Mamas ♦ Hairspray via The Makeup Blogger ♦ Pulp fiction via c4c.

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2014 | About.me | FB | Twitter | Policy & Legal

DocID: B14183

2 Responses to “Evidence removal for dummies”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    We have a hand-cleaning solvent, common brand name is “Goop” but other companies make it. Seems to work well if you are patient. I’ve used it to remove black automotive grease stains from white nylon clothing, but it took a week of persistent application twice daily. It really did come out the original white color.


Comments are closed.

English Legal History

Making English Legal History easy and enjoyable to digest.

Diary of a Psychokiller

take a trip with me to the darkside

Lipsync Lawyer

Stop bitching and know your law differently

Daring Fireball

Hearing ordinary lives talk

An English Man In SF

a diary of life as an immigrant

MB Forde

Ghosts, Legends, Folklore and Writing

Motorcycling in Hong Kong

On two wheels in Asia's World City


Making her way back to Neverland one day at a time...

The Naked Listener's Weblog

Hearing ordinary lives talk

Basti in China


Making Maps: DIY Cartography

Resources and Ideas for Making Maps

Pointless Diagrams

A new, meaningless diagram drawn daily, just 'cause.

The London Column

Reports from the life of a city, from 1951 to now, compiled by David Secombe

Vintagerock's Weblog.

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Shirley Chuk

Chuk Yin-yuk 祝燕玉 of Hong Kong

%d bloggers like this: