Ink Tag Removal





Introduction: Ink Tag Removal

how to remove the anti-theft ink system attached to clothes that contain the glass vials of black and brightly-colored permanent inks (without breaking them) if your cashier failed to do it for you. sorry i didn't take pictures until after i was done. next time i'll do it right.

DO NOT STEAL CLOTHING. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS OR WHAT YOU DO WITH THESE INSTRUCTIONS. this is only a guide for what to do if you can't drive back to the store from which you bought the clothes and get them to remove it for you.

this is my first instructable, so any pointers would be great. (next time i'll photo document during the process, not after.)

Step 1: Turn on Your Stove to the Highest Setting.

this works best with the old-school stoves with the metal rings (not the new flat surfaces).

Step 2: Get a Knife and Heat It

grab an old butter knife that you won't mind messing up. hold it to the burner for between 30 seconds and a minute (be careful not to get burned).

Step 3: Use the Knife to Cut the End Off

being careful not to touch the clothing, slowly cut the end off of the piece of plastic that houses the glass vials containing the ink.

Step 4: Slide the Ink Vials Out

now that you have the enf off, it should be easy to slide the glass ink vials out the end.

if the melted plastic gets in the way, you can re-heat the knife and melt it away from the opening.

Step 5: Start Bending!

now that you have the ink vials out, you can be as forceful as you wish to break the metal pin holding the two plastic pieces together. i found that just bending it back and forth for a bit will cause it to weaken and snap in two.

Step 6: You're Done!

now you can wear the clothes without the ink tag.



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    Do any of this double as security tags? That is to say is there any reason I should ever had to take the time to remove and store ?

    We live 50 miles from the store where we purchased a pair of shoes. When we got home we saw that the shoes had the security tag still attached. The clerk was more interested in pushing a new credit card then checking the box and removing the tag. Used my Dremel tool with a cutting disk to remove the end of the tag and gently removed the ink capsules. Once they were gone the rest was easy. Thanks for the clear pictures and directions...saved us time and money.

    Neighbor came to me today with a dress she had bought at Sears in Massena New York this summer. The clerk had forgotten to remove the ink anti-theft device. She went to a Sears Canada store in the Montreal area with the store receipt. Sears Canada was unable to remove the device. So I went to the internet for advice and found this great article. With shaking hands on the Dremel tool, I was able to cut away the end of the device to reveal those two glass vials of ink. Cut a bit more plastic away with side cutters. Then was able to carefully remove the ink vials with long nose pliers. Centre pin was now exposed and easy to cut with the side cutters. Thanks to this great article, this birthday gift is now on the way to Sri Lanka.

    Hey thanks a bunch ordered sum shoes from sears and when i pulled them out of the box 1 of them still had a ink tag on it i have a hot knife for my woodburner so i just used that it worked great!

    Loop a rubber band around the metal pin that holds it to the clothes, and if you pull it the right way it will do the same thing as the actual device that is used to remove those inventory control devices.

    man is that like garvey ink cuz you can buy that by the bottle

     this is cool i want to try it

    does anyone know anywhere were I could get some of these without stealing from a shop or hoping the stupid people don't take it off? thanks

    1 reply

    2 options:

    1) online warehouse (you may have to buy in bulk though)

    2) find out if the store throws out the old ones (chances are they will reuse them), then look through the dumpsters out back.

    This is the best set of instructions for removing an ink tag - we opted to use a wire cutters to cut the plastic off of the end instead of cutting/melting it with a knife. It took some work to get the ink out because there were small plastice tabs inside, but we eventually got it.

     I cut a slit into 2 waxed (good quality) playing cards and slid them on shaft, one from each side and just cut nail with side or line cutters. I've also wrapped tag very good with saran wrap and then cut tag with cutters. I'm going to try the freezing idea, that sounds like it will work great with the side cutters. 

    For the person that said to use bleach on whites, I've tried it on a jacket and the bleach does not remove that ink.

    you can keep the ink packs for pranks and the such, penetrating inks are really fun

    OMG this is a neat method. It worked. I just had a trouble breaking the nail afterward since hitting it with a hammer can cause clothing some damaged, which it did. :( Either way....those ampules end up being in a glass containers. I was surprised since i thought that those ink containers were not as fragile. Maybe I would have had a better luck with a bolt cutters of some sort to cut the actual nail. It would probably same more time doing this entire burning process. Thank you!

    Those vials of ink would be awesome to throw at enemy's cars and the like...

    1 reply

    Throw at the persons car who forgot to take the tag off.

    Wait till you get home to try to get the ink tag off! Take a couple items in the fitting room along with the desired item you wish to keep and take off all tags accept for the inktag. put the pants, or shirt on underneath of what you're wearing. When you get it home just grind the backing of the ink tag where the tab is off with a dremel or anything that can grind or sand it down, until you see sparks then the backing falls right off. The method shown here looks a little too risky.

    Ya know...there's an easier way for some items. For clothes, all you gotta do is put the item with the tag in the freezer. This freezes the ink inside the vials. Then all you gotta do is pull or cut and you dont gotta about spilling the ink out.

    Thank You! I bought a skirt from jcpenneys tonight only to find not only was the ink security tag left on,but also my receipt obviously fell out of my bag while doing other shopping. Followed your instructions and it worked perfectly to remove the darn thing!!!

    hmmmmmmmm... just get a white shirt, break them open and then bleach it. but that wouldn't be phun.

    I've never seen these.. If it is there fault for not taking them off after you buy the clothing and it ruins the clothing on later when you try to get them off don't they have to replace the clothing?