How to Remove Whiteout

Whiteout will cover a multitude of mistakes, but sometimes, it can create a bigger problem than it solves - for example, when you have to remove whiteout after it drips on your clothing, spills on your table, or smudges on to a another surface.

Remove White Out

Removing Whiteout From Washable Fabrics

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Acetone
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Clean White Cloths
  • Latex or Vinyl Gloves

Whiteout on your clothing or other washable fabrics means correcting yet another mistake. Treat correction fluid spilled on washable fabrics promptly, and it may be as if the mistake never even occurred.

To remove whiteout from washable fabrics:

  1. Check your fabric's label. Fabrics that contain acetate cannot be treated using acetone, as acetone will dissolve acetate. Never treat silk or other delicate fabrics yourself; take these items to a dry cleaner.
  2. Gently blot away any liquid or excess correction fluid from the fabric, taking care not to smear the whiteout or rub it into the fabric.
  3. Lay the stained area of the fabric over a clean white cloth.
  4. Don protective gloves.
  5. Soak another clean white cloth in acetone. Gently tamp the stain with the acetone-soaked cloth until the whiteout is removed, using a clean area of the cloth as the cloth becomes soiled with whiteout.
  6. When the whiteout is removed, rinse the stained area with rubbing alcohol, then with clean, cool water.
  7. Launder as instructed on the fabric's label. Do not dry in the dryer until the stain is completely removed -- the dryer's heat can permanently set the stain.

Removing Whiteout From Carpet and Upholstery

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Acetone
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Clean White Cloths
  • Latex or Vinyl Gloves

A whiteout spill on your carpet or upholstery doesn't have to spell disaster. Correction fluid can often be completely removed from upholstery and carpet if the stain is treated before it has time to set-in.

To remove whiteout from carpets and upholstery:

  1. Check your carpet or upholstery label/warranty information for any care instructions. Do not use acetone on carpet or upholstery items that can be harmed by acetone.
  2. Gently blot away any liquid or excess correction fluid from the carpet or upholstery, taking care not to smear the whiteout or work it into the fibers.
  3. Don protective gloves.
  4. Soak a clean white cloth in acetone. Gently tamp the stain with the acetone-soaked cloth until the whiteout disappears, using a clean area of the cloth as the cloth becomes soiled with whiteout.
  5. When the white out is removed, soak another clean white cloth with rubbing alcohol. Gently tamp the stain to remove the acetone.
  6. Pat the area dry with another clean white cloth.

Removing Whiteout From Wood Surfaces

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • A credit card or similar card
  • Extra Fine Grit Sandpaper
  • Clean, white cloths
  • Rubbing alcohol

Removing correction fluid from wood surfaces poses a challenge. The removal method depends on the wood's finish and age. Never attempt to remove a whiteout stain or any other similar stain from antique, damaged, or high-value wood item.

To remove whiteout from wood with a polyurethane or heavily lacquered finish:

  1. Gently blot away any wet whiteout from the wood finish, taking care not to smear the whiteout. Do not rub; doing so can destroy the wood finish.
  2. Allow any whiteout that remains to dry to hard finish.
  3. Scrape away as much of the correction fluid as possible using a credit card or similiar item.
  4. Remove any remaining residue with a clean white cloth barely dampened with rubbing alcohol.

To remove whiteout from unfinished wood:

  1. Gently blot away any wet whiteout from the wood finish, taking care not to smear the whiteout. Do not rub; doing so can work the correction fluid into the wood grain, causing more damage.
  2. Barely dampen a clean white cloth with rubbing alcohol, and gently rub the stain, following the grain of the wood.
  3. Sand any remaining stain away with extra fine sandpaper.

Whiteout may be great for correcting any mistakes you make on paper, but when you spill it on fabrics, upholstery, carpet or wood items, the result can be an even bigger mistake. Treating correction fluid stains promptly is the key to making whiteout stains disappear, just like the mistake you were correcting in the first place.