How to Remove Newspaper Print From Wood

Updated February 21, 2017

Manufacturers make colour newspaper inks from pigments and black inks from inorganic carbon. Adding oils to the pigments or carbon produces a usable ink. Newspaper ink is easily transferrable from the paper to other surfaces. Newspaper ink absorbs into the paper over time and if the ink is not dry, it will rub off or transfer onto other surfaces. Laying a newspaper on a slightly damp surface or during times of high humidity can cause the ink to relocate to the wood surface. Newspaper ink will dry faster on a wood surface because wood will absorb the ink quickly. A few different methods are effective on newsprint stains; begin with the easiest process for you and progress to others if they prove ineffective.

Mix two to three drops of a mild dish detergent into 1/2 cup of warm water. Wet the corner of a rag with the soapy water. Rub the newspaper print stain from the outer edge of the stain toward the middle. Continue to rub the stain until the newspaper print disappears.

Dip a cotton swab into isopropyl alcohol. Rub the swab over the ink stain to cover it thoroughly. Let the isopropyl alcohol to remain on the ink-stained surface for five minutes. Blot the newspaper print stain with an absorbent rag. After each blotting, turn the rag to a clean, unused section. Repeat until you do not see the stain. Wait 24 hours and apply paste furniture wax to restore the shine.

Moisten a melamine-foam sponge with water. Wring out the excess water and rub the stain until the newspaper print lifts off the wood surface.

Apply a citrus-based solvent cleaner specifically made for wood surfaces. Allow the solvent to sit on the wood surface according to the manufacturer's directions, which can range from immediate removal to 10 minutes. Rub the stain with a rag until the print goes away. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove the citrus-based cleaner residue. Wait 24 hours before applying paste wax to restore the surface


Test a hidden area of the wood to determine the effects of the type of cleaner. Lay a protective cover over wood before allowing newspaper to touch the surface. Try each remedy until you find success. Various finishes respond differently to the remedies.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild dish detergent
  • Water
  • Rags
  • Cotton swab
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Paste wax
  • Melamine-foam sponge
  • Citrus-based solvent cleaner
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About the Author

Sal Marco began writing professionally in 2009. He has written many online home improvement articles based on his more than 20 years of experience in the home improvement and building industries. He has worked as both part of a team and as a site supervisor. Marco has a Bachelor of Science in management science from Kean University.