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Drama in the laundry with fabric marker

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    Drama in the laundry with fabric marker

    Hi everyone. I would be really grateful for your help, or failing that a magic wand.

    I have spent days making totally by hand a pieced, quilted and appliqued Moses basket liner for our soon-due first grandchild. The main fabric is 100% cotton waffle weave, the batting is 100% cotton, and it is backed with 100% cotton broadcloth - all in white. The applique and piecework is in pale nursery colours of blue, pink, green and yellow, with a handmade bias binding in a 100% cotton thin multi stripe on a white background.

    After the joy of finally finishing the object I needed to wash it - there were multiple little blood dots from the number of times I pricked my fingers - even though I tried to put a BandAid on them all. I had done all the markings with a blue water soluble marking pen, which I have used many many times on many types of fabric with no problem.

    Because of the blood stains I washed the finished object with Napisan. In New Zealand this is what we use to wash diapers, stained sports gear, blood stains etc etc. I have looked online to find a similar US product without success. The active ingredients are sodium carbonate and disodium carbonate.

    But horrors! On the right side, only on the white cotton waffle, all the blue dots have turned a muddy green. It's littered with them, as I marked the quilting pattern, so can't possibly hide with more applique. I'm afraid to try bleaching due to the colours of the applique, piecework and bias binding. At present it is sitting in a bucket covered with fresh water whilst I try to think of a Plan B.

    Has anyone had a similar experience? Or any suggestions? Quite honestly I have no idea what to do - and time is running out before baby is here (8 weeks).

    Re: Drama in the laundry with fabric marker

    I'm so sorry to hear of your disaster. I know the pen you mean. I've got one and never had a problem with it. And we have Napisan here in England too, although I don't have any.

    Don't panic. First check that you really did use the correct pen and didn't pick up an ordinary felt pen by mistake.

    Get some scraps of fabric from your quilt and mark it with the blue pen. Wash in Napisan and see if it happens again. Then use these pieces to test methods of combating the stain.

    Good luck with it.


      Re: Drama in the laundry with fabric marker

      Most of us here in the USA use a mixture of Hydrogen Peroxide and water (equal parts of each) to dab onto blood stains to remove them. Then we wash .. I do hope you can get the "stains" out of your quilt. Hugs coming your way..

      Click HERE to find me and My imagination


        Re: Drama in the laundry with fabric marker

        I would also try hydrogen peroxide. When I used to do counted cross stitch, I used it for stains on that and it worked great!

        No rainbows!


        If you can't be nice.....BE QUIET!


          Re: Drama in the laundry with fabric marker

          I am so sorry you are having this problem. Here in the US we have a product called Goo Gone. I have used it successfully to remove ink from a pen and Crayola that went through the dryer on a white blanket. It is stocked here in the laundry section of the grocery store and also in the automotive section. Hope this helps.


            Re: Drama in the laundry with fabric marker

            Test the hydrogen peroxide first. It's a bleach.


              Re: Drama in the laundry with fabric marker

              I've used diluted bleach in an eye dropper to treat white sections in a multi-colored item. Treat one spot at a time. Drop it on and watch till the stain is gone. Then immediately rinse so the bleach doesn't bleed to the colored section. Try it on a scrap first.

              I recently did what Sheena mentioned. I marked a white quilt top with a "Frixion" pen then couldn't figure out why it didn't iron out. Guess what? I'd put a similar looking marker with the Frixion pens and picked it up by mistake. Thank goodness they were just a couple of dots and I was able to remove them (with a lot of work). Lesson learned: Always check to make sure you have the correct marking tool.

              Hope you're able to get this solved. Your project sounds lovely. Post a pic if you get a chance.


                Re: Drama in the laundry with fabric marker

                Just an added hint for future reference - your own saliva will remove your blood stains. Yep, if you bleed on a project you can immediately get it out with the tip of your tongue. It won't work on someone else's blood.
                K is for Karen 😊​ Albuquerque, NM..................
                Cremation - My last hope for a smokin' hot body.

                Before you speak,
                T - is it TRUE?
                H - is it HELPFUL?
                I - is it INSPIRING?
                N - is it NECESSARY?
                K - is it KIND?


                  Re: Drama in the laundry with fabric marker

                  Karen is correct. When I hand quilted everything I would take about 12" of cotton quilting thread and wet it with my saliva and roll it into a ball and rub the ball over the blood stain and it would disappear almost like magic.

                  Scottie Mom Barb


                    Re: Drama in the laundry with fabric marker

                    I have two boys. When they were younger stains happened on a daily basis. What I am suggesting worked for me and in no way should you try it on the quilt until you test it first with scrap.

                    I would bleach colored clothes that had white in them all the time because I wanted the white to be white. I diluted the bleach at 10% bleach with 90% water and regular laundry detergent. The trick is to dilute the bleach completey before adding the cloth. Otherwise you risk discoloring the colors. I did this all the time without ever bleaching out the colors. It brightened them actually. But test and test again.

                    There are no mistakes, only happy accidents. - Bob Ross

                    A girl needs to surround herself with TONS of happiness.
                    Happiness = fabric!:icon_woohoo:


                      Re: Drama in the laundry with fabric marker

                      Hi Everyone

                      Thank you all for the suggestions and advice. I admit that the first day I just left the item sitting in the bucket of water, I was too discombobulated to even think about it. But sanity returned. And truly this is, as they say, a "first world problem".

                      Thanks to Sheena I made up some sample squares of all three layers, marked with the marker and washed in the Napisan. And they all turned green. So at least I hadn't used the wrong pen.

                      I tried the bleach first, but it made the stains worse.

                      Then I tried the hydrogen peroxide which at first did nothing. But I tried adding a bit more (I used 6%) and change started to happen. The fainter dots only needed two drops each, whereas the deeper ones needed several drops over a period of time. Finally got to a stage where all the marks have gone - as far as I can see. Gave it a full cycle in the washer with no cleansers added and it presently sits drying out of the sun.

                      It should be dry in the morning and I will check again in the sunlight.

                      Hopefully disaster has been averted. Still don't understand why just the cotton waffle stained and not the plain broadcloth, but I guess that's a blessing really. And your helpful suggestions and kind words were very encouraging. Thank you.

                      By the way, the first wash in Napisan did get all the blood stains out but I definitely would not recommend it! And thanks to K. McEuen for the suggestion to use saliva. I will definitely try it next time. Thanks also for mentioning it only works on your own blood - so glad I don't have to get up close and personal with someone else's!