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How to Remove Biro Stains

Updated February 21, 2017

Ink from a biro or ballpoint pen can leave an ugly stain on fabrics, carpets or walls that looks impossible to get rid of. But ink stains can often be successfully removed. As with all stains, treat ink stains as soon as possible---the longer you wait the more difficult the task will be, and if you wait too long, the stain may be permanently set.

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  1. Dab glycerine on the biro ink spot using a cotton swab and gently rub it into the stain.

  2. Pour 10 drops of mild dishwashing detergent into a bowl containing 1/2 cup of water and mix. Apply the mixture to the fabric and rub gently until it lathers.

  3. Launder the item in the washing machine using an enzyme-based washing powder and cold water. If the garment is still stained after washing, do not put the garment in the clothes dryer.

  4. Dip a clean white cloth in isopropyl alcohol, spirits of turpentine or acetone.

  5. Dab the cloth on the stain repeatedly until the ink disappears or becomes significantly lighter. Alternatively, soak the stain in 1/2 cup of the solvent placed in a small bowl.

  6. Launder the garment in cold water. Repeat the solvent treatment if necessary.

  7. Dab a small amount of oil solvent on the biro ink stain using a clean white cloth.

  8. Blot the area with the cloth, then let it dry for 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary.

  9. Rinse the area using a clean cloth moistened with lukewarm water.

  10. Spray the biro stain with a solution of 1 cup lukewarm water and 1 tsp mild dishwashing detergent. Blot with a clean cloth.

  11. Mix a solution of 1/2 cup warm water and 1 tbsp of clear ammonia. Apply the solution to the stain with a clean cloth. Blot the stain.

  12. Apply a solution of 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup white vinegar to the stain using a clean white cloth. Blot the stain, rinse with plain water on a clean cloth and allow the carpet to dry.

  13. Apply toothpaste to the biro stain using a damp sponge or clean cloth.

  14. Wipe the toothpaste off with a clean cloth after 10 minutes and rinse the area with plain water.

  15. Pour 2 tbsp of isopropyl alcohol on a clean cloth and dab the stain until it lightens or disappears.

  16. Make a paste using 2 tbsp of baking soda and 1 tbsp of water. Scrub the stain gently with the paste on a clean cloth. Rinse the wall with plain water.

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Things You'll Need

  • Glycerine
  • Cotton swab
  • Mild dishwashing detergent
  • Water
  • Enzyme-based washing powder
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Spirits of turpentine or acetone
  • Oil solvent
  • Clear ammonia
  • White vinegar
  • Toothpaste
  • Baking soda

About the Author

Tanya Lee is a professional writer with more than 30 years experience. She has published extensively in the field of education and as a journalist, the latter in such publications as "High Country News" and "News from Indian Country." Lee holds a M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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