How to Remove Ballpoint Pen Ink From Paper

Updated March 23, 2017

Removing ink from paper can be a daunting task. Correction tapes, white out fluids and erasable ink are the best options to correcting ink mistakes. If, however, the ink is permanent, as is ballpoint pen ink, yet must be removed, you are in for a challenge, as traditional methods will not suffice. Luckily, with the purchase of the appropriate supplies, you can remove ballpoint pen ink from paper.

Don your gloves. Dilute 1 tbsp spirit of salts (also known as hydrochloric acid) in 5 tbsp water in a small bowl.

Apply the mixture to the ballpoint pen ink with a cotton ball, gently dabbing and rubbing it onto the paper.

Remove the solution from the paper approximately 1 minute after application by rubbing a cotton ball dampened with clean water over the paper.


Purchase acids such as spirit of salts at hardware stores. Oxalic, citric and tartaric acids will remove ink from paper as well.


Do not expose your skin to the acids. They will burn you. Beware of permanently damaging your document when removing ink from it using acids. Practice on scrap pieces of paper before executing this process on an important document.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 tbsp spirit of salts
  • 5 tbsp water
  • Small bowl
  • Cotton ball
  • Paper
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About the Author

Kayla Lowe has been a freelance writer since 2008. She writes for various online publications and is also the author of the book "Maiden's Blush," a Christian-fiction romance novel. Lowe is pursuing a degree in elementary education.