How to remove a ballpoint pen ink stain

Written by eddie wright
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How to remove a ballpoint pen ink stain
Learn to remove ink stains.

So you're in a big meeting or about to give a speech and suddenly, you're covered in ink. Ballpoint pens do leak and sometimes pop open. It happens. But don't panic. A few easy steps can help you get rid of those unwanted pen stains.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Damp cloth
  • Towel
  • Clean, dry cloth
  • Paper towels
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Nail polish remover
  • Hairspray
  • Hydrogen peroxide

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  1. 1

    If the stain is still wet, blot it with the damp cloth, removing whatever you can. Do not rub, which will only further stain the material.

    How to remove a ballpoint pen ink stain
  2. 2

    Lay the clothing on the towel and dab the stain with rubbing alcohol, using the clean, dry cloth. Using a few sheets of paper towels, apply pressure to the damp stain, hopefully absorbing the ink. Re-dab with alcohol and repeat. Rinse with warm water.

    How to remove a ballpoint pen ink stain
  3. 3

    If the stain still remains, another technique to try is washing with nail polish remover. Use this just like the rubbing alcohol. Dab with a clean, dry cloth, and absorb with paper towels and rinse. The acetone in the remover should remove the ink.

    How to remove a ballpoint pen ink stain
  4. 4

    You can also spray hairspray on the stain. Use aerosol or pump. Spray liberally, absorb with paper towels, let it dry and rinse. Repeat if necessary. Be sure to check clothing labels. Hairspray can damage sensitive materials.

    How to remove a ballpoint pen ink stain
  5. 5

    Finally, you can try applying hydrogen peroxide. Just pour a small amount on the stain, dab, absorb and rinse. Hydrogen peroxide can bleach certain coloured materials, so be careful. Try it on a small, inconspicuous portion of the clothing first, like the inside of a pant leg or sleeve.

    How to remove a ballpoint pen ink stain

Tips and warnings

  • If none of these remedies work, try a professional dry cleaner. If the stain still remains, it may be too deeply seeped into the material to remove.
  • Always read the labels on clothing before attempting any stain-removing techniques. You do not want to further damage clothes by using harsh chemicals on sensitive materials.

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