How To Remove Ballpoint Pen Ink Stain

Washables and Non-washables:
  • Dampen a clean absorbent paper towel or disposable muslin with rubbing alcohol, then blot the stain with it, dabbing from the back of the fabric. Change the pad as the spot is absorbed. This may be dramatic as you watch the ink flush out, requiring lots of changes of the pad at first.  If the fabric is very durable, use the back of a spoon to work the rubbing alcohol into the fabric.
  • Cover the area with a clean paper towel or disposable muslin that has been dampened with alcohol for 30 minutes, changing the pad with a fresh one as it absorbs the stain. Keep the spot and pad moist with alcohol.
  • Flush with alcohol, and repeat this sequence if necessary.
  • If stain remains, after it's completely dry, drip a small amount of acetone on the spot, and cover the stain with an absorbent pad damp with acetone. Let sit for 15 minutes, adding acetone in drops as it evaporates. Cover the area with a bowl to minimize evaporation. Flush with dry cleaning fluid.
  • Create a solution of 1 quart water, 1 tsp liquid detergent and 1 tbsp white vinegar.  If the fabric is washable, soak in this solution for 30 minutes, then wash as usual and allow to air dry.  If the fabric is not washable, dampen a pad with this solution and blot as before.  Flush with water afterward.
  • If stain remains, mix the same solution, substituting 1 tbsp ammonia for the vinegar this time.  Repeat as the prior step describes.  Rinse/flush and allow to air dry.
  • If stain remains, white fabrics may be treated with a dye remover purchased in the dyes section of a supermarket. Bleaches are an option if applied with caution (lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, oxygen bleach like Clorox II, and chlorine bleach, in order of strength and harshness).

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