How to get ballpoint ink off of vinyl

Written by kallie johnson
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How to get ballpoint ink off of vinyl
Ink from a ballpoint pen can be removed from vinyl if properly treated. (ballpoint pen image by Alex White from

Vinyl, short for polyvinyl chloride, is a plastic resin made from chlorine and ethylene. Vinyl is used to make items such as toys, dolls and backpacks. Vinyl is also used to make a faux-leather material that is commonly used on furniture, jackets and purses. If ballpoint ink comes in contact with vinyl, it is best to try to remove it as soon as possible. Over time, the ink can seep into the vinyl, making it harder to fully remove. Depending on the age of the ink stain, it may take several attempts to fully remove the ink stain or spot.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Rubbing alcohol or toothpaste
  • Cotton ball
  • Cloth

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  1. 1

    Soak a cotton ball or a corner of a soft cloth in rubbing alcohol.

  2. 2

    Rub the cotton ball or soft cloth into the ink. Allow the rubbing alcohol to work into the ink for five minutes.

  3. 3

    Dampen a soft cloth with cool water and wipe away the rubbing alcohol. Repeat as needed to remove ink.

  1. 1

    Dab a small amount of a non-gel white toothpaste onto your finger or a soft cloth.

  2. 2

    Rub the toothpaste in a circular motion into the ink stain. Allow the toothpaste to dry on the ink.

  3. 3

    Dampen a soft cloth with cool water and wipe away the toothpaste residue. Repeat as needed until the ink stain is removed.

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