How to Remove Ink off of Paper

Updated February 21, 2017

Ink is commonly used to sign papers and documents because it is almost impossible to remove from paper. Some pens are made from special inks that are marketed as erasable, but for the most part, ink is meant to be permanent on paper. However, if you've accidentally written on an important paper or misspelled someone's name in error, it may be possible to remove the ink.

Lay the paper out flat and secure it if possible.

Pour a small amount of bleach into the bottle cap or similar vessel.

Apply a small amount of bleach to a cotton swab and allow the excess bleach to drip back into the cap.

Dab the bleach onto the affected area and wipe away the excess moisture; allow it to dry completely.

Apply a tiny bit more bleach to the affected area and allow it to dry. Repeat as necessary until the ink is removed.

Glue a small piece of the 1,000-grit sandpaper to the eraser of a wooden pencil; allow the glue to dry.

Secure the document or piece of paper to a flat surface, if possible.

Gently scratch away at the affected area to remove the ink. Be careful not to rub too hard because you could sand through the paper.

Apply another piece of sandpaper to the end of the pencil, if needed, and continue over the entire affected area until all of the ink is removed. When finished, the spot will be more worn than the rest of the paper, but the ink will be gone.


You don't have to glue the sandpaper to a pencil, but it makes the sandpaper easier to control and less likely to tear through the paper.


The bleach method may cause the spot you treat to become lighter than the original paper and will definitely alter coloured paper.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton swab
  • Bleach
  • 1,000-grit sandpaper
  • Wooden pencil
  • Glue
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About the Author

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.