There I was writing up an email asking for alternative project codes for a payment (okay, even bad 80's b-movies might not revolve around the exciting world of Accounting) when I looked down to refer to my backup and see these weird red splotches all over the paper...deep dark red that you only get from fresh flowing zombie wounds...or my dark red-inked pilot precise roller ball pen, which was sitting innocently at my elbow...uncapped.
I've mentioned the manner of my measuring the suckiness factor of a work day by how many pen marks end up on my arms, yes? Well, when the pen marks are actually on the sleeve of a cotton, non-white, long-sleeved shirt? Yeah, pretty mega-sucky.
The only thing I could think of, aside from whiting-out the red marks all over my document, was to blot as much of the ink off and hope that my mom might be home and could tell me what to do.
Yes, I know about the hairspray trick. Do you? GREAT on ballpoints. Use a damp sponge and get as much of the ballpoint ink off the fabric, then douse it with hairspray and toss in the wash. 99% of your ink will magically disappear. The cheaper the hairspray the better. I used to own a wee can of it solely for such times back when I was teaching and there were more ballpoint pens in my life.
Liquid/felt ink pens? Completely different animal, as I found out when my favorite red cloth lunch napkin was left too close to one of the black liquid ink pens...also uncapped (you'd think I'd know better by now...). It's now my favorite dust rag...COULD NOT get the ink out of the cloth...but I didn't try very hard as it wasn't a piece of clothing, you know?
Mom was not home...and the work day progressed and I kinda forgot to try again...so I went home and sat, dejected, at my desk and randomly googled "remove ink from cotton shirt" and was rewarded with a slew of suggestions and videos...including one that covered both ballpoints as well as liquid ink! (They called them felt pens, but he was holding a pilot precise roller ball!!!)
I'd inadvertently followed the first two steps:
1-Blot out as much of the ink as possible. (I did that bit just so I could stop marking up my arm as well as all the paper that lives on my desk...oh yeah, and the desk itself!)
2- Air dry (Like I had any choice!)
3- The third step called for something I wasn't all that sure about...but the more I think about it, I'm guessing the video is from like Canada or someplace where they call things by different names (chesterfields and toques and the like) because as he held up a common $0.99 bottle of rubbing alcohol he said dab with denatured alcohol, getting more of the ink out, and toss in the wash according to the garments washing instructions.
So I did. And then I just washed that sleeve in the sink and hung it to dry to see if I had to budget a shopping trip (I only have so many work shirts after all) or if it could be saved.
This morning? I could barely tell that something bad had happened to that part of my sleeve. I think I might be able to use it again!
So...yeah, it's a measure of how sucky my week has been that this makes me so very happy...