Almost everyone needs pen stain removal advice from time to time.
This is because we use pens all the time to write, and carry them around in our shirt or pants pocket, or our purse, and unfortunately there they tend to leak or explode, sometimes it seems at random.
In addition, when writing, especially if you're a lefty you're likely to get pen ink on your hands or fingers.
Finally, there are the little culprits which cause us to need to know how to remove pen stains from all types of items in our home. I'm of course speaking of little children, who just can't seem to resist drawing all over any blank surface with any stray pen they find.
Below I've collected tips, and answered reader's questions about this topic. There are, of course, lots of ways to remove these stains, and a lot depends on what kind of ink it is (water or oil based), and what type of surface the ink has gotten on.
That means I know I haven't addressed every method for pen stain removal yet. If you've used a technique or know a tip I haven't shared yet, I would love to hear it from you. You can share your stain removal ballpoint ink tips here, or read even more tips already submitted. If it's good, I'll add it to the page!
In addition, this page is mainly focused on home remedies and techniques for removing pen stains. If you prefer to use a commercial product, you can read ink spot remover reviews here, or share your own review to tell how a product you've tried has worked for you.
Now, without further ado, here are the tips already compiled:
1. Rub hand sanitizer (preferably waterless) on area that is soiled with ink.
2. Take clean white cloth or paper towel and rub until all hand sanitizer is absorbed.
3. If it is a heavy ink stain, you may have to repeat steps 1 and 2 a few times.
4. Voila! The ink is gone!
Thanks for these instructions Victoria.
I would just like to add that the best hand sanitizers to use for this task are those which are alcohol based, since it is the alcohol which is the key ingredient which helps remove the stain.
In addition, many of the fancier brands have additives, like aloe or Vitamin E, which are great for keeping your hands moisturized when using a drying product like alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel, but which may cause staining on your clothes.
Therefore, the best kinds of product to use for this is the kind without these additional additives.
Finally, several products say that it can discolor some fabrics, so before using in an obvious area I suggest testing first for colorfastness in an inconspicuous area.
Lastly, you wash the clothing as normal to remove the last traces of the ballpoint ink from the fabric, plus the hairspray.
You can read my cautions for using hairspray for stain removal and cleaning here, since there are some issues with using this product because of the glues and other additives it contains. Further, the link will provide links to even more ways to use this product for removing spots and spills on things around your home.
Ink Pen Removal Stain Tip For Upholstered Furniture
Below is a video showing this couple's ink pen removal stain tip for upholstered furniture.
Apparently they had a game night at their house and during the course of it their upholstered couch got ink pen marks and stains on it.
They tried several different methods of pen stain removal before finally settling upon hairspray.
The video shows how she successfully used hairspray to get rid of the pen marks on the couch.
Afterward there was a visible spot where they had sprayed the hairspray, but I assume this went away after the hairspray dried and evaporated, although the video does not show this.
Tell me in the comments how this worked for you. I would also be interested in hearing how the hairspray looks after it has dried.
Perhaps you should, after removing the pen marks, wipe away the hairspray with some water and a white cloth?
Of course, in my article about ballpoint ink stain removal, I caution about using hairspray for removing ballpoint ink stains, for the same reason I mentioned above, the glue in the spray. The glue itself can cause some problems for you, especially on items like upholstery where you can't throw it in the washing machine after treating it with the hairspray.
Below I addressed this issue more, when a reader wrote in to ask me a question about ink upholstery stains.
I received this question from a reader regarding a red ball point pen stain on a cream colored chair. The question was:
The chair, which is made of 100% polyester fabric, is less than 6 months old and I want to remove the stain properly the first time. I have some 99% isopropyl alcohol to use. Want to get advice before I attempt to clean the stain. There are no cleaning symbols on the Tag for the new upholstery. Please Advise.
Ink stains are some of the most problematic you can have, especially on upholstery.
Part of the problem with ink stains, such as yours, is that it is not always clear what ingredients are in the ink, so it is not necessarily clear if the ink is water or oil soluble.
It is always best to first assume the ink is oil soluble, which is why my instructions on my ballpoint ink stain removal page, which includes instructions for removing these stains from upholstery.
That page suggests using dry cleaning solvent, which is an excellent most-purposes solvent. If you read my whole article on this solvent you will note I recommend Guardsman Dry Cleaning Fluid, which I unfortunately cannot find in most stores. (You can buy it from the Internet though.)
I notice you say you did not see a care tag on the upholstered furniture. It is good that you looked, since these upholstery care tags can say what type of cleaners and stain removers are appropriate. It is best to try a cleaner first in an inconspicuous area, to make sure it does not harm the upholstery before you use it on the stain, but it is essential when you can't find the care tags.
I note that you say you don't have dry cleaning solvent right now, but instead isopropyl alcohol. You can try this on the upholstery, since it can work well sometimes too. Alcohol is also a very good solvent for oil soluble stains, such as most red ball point pen stains.
For example, you can watch the video above about ink pen removal on upholstered furniture where they used hairspray to remove the stain. I would suggest using alcohol instead of hairspray because it is the alcohol within the hairspray that can help ball point pen stains, like yours. That way you don't get all the glue and other additives to the hair spray staying on the chair.
Therefore, you can definitely try isopropyl alcohol to try to get out the stain. However, it is not guaranteed to work (nothing is guaranteed with stain removal!)
I hope this advice helps you remove your ink stain from your chair. However, as with all do it yourself stain removal, you do it at your own risk. If the chair is very valuable, and you are very concerned, it may well be worth the money to just call a professional.
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Comments for Red Ball Point Pen Stain On Cream Colored Chair
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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.