How to Remove Ball Point Pen Ink

There are several methods you can try to remove ballpoint pen ink from fabric or other surfaces. One way is to use rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover. Simply apply a small amount of the alcohol or nail polish remover to a cotton ball or Q-tip and blot the stain.

You can also try using a stain remover or laundry detergent. Apply the stain remover or a small amount of detergent directly to the stain and blot it with a clean cloth. Repeat this process until the stain is gone. Alternatively, you can try using a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. Apply the mixture to the stain and blot it with a clean cloth. Rinse the area with water and repeat if necessary.

Remove Ball Point Pen Ink

Ballpoint pens are widely used for their convenience and versatility, but their ink can leave unsightly stains. Fortunately, there are several methods you can employ to effectively remove ballpoint pen ink stains from different fabrics and surfaces. By following the step-by-step instructions outlined below, you can restore your belongings to their former glory.

Rubbing Alcohol Method

The rubbing alcohol method is commonly recommended for removing ballpoint pen ink stains. Here’s how you can use this technique:

  1. Blot the stain first with dry, white paper towels. Gently dab the stained area to remove any excess ink.
  2. Soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and gently rub the stain until it is gone. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as it may damage delicate fabrics.
  3. For smaller spots, place an absorbent pad under the stain before rubbing with rubbing alcohol. This helps prevent the ink from spreading to the other side of the fabric.
  4. For a larger stain, pour the alcohol into a small dish, immerse the stained area, and soak for 15 minutes. Then, gently sponge or blot the stain until no more ink lifts up from the clothes.

Vinegar and Dish Detergent Method

Another effective method for removing ballpoint pen ink stains involves using vinegar and dish detergent. Follow these steps:

  1. Using a spoon, scrape off any excess ink, working from the outside in to remove clumps of wet or dry excess ink. Be cautious not to spread the ink further.
  2. Combine 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, one tablespoon of liquid dish detergent (like Dawn), and two cups of warm water. Mix the solution thoroughly.
  3. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and blot the stain. Gently dab the ink stain, working from the outer edges towards the center.
  4. Repeat the method if the stain persists. Some stubborn stains may require multiple attempts to completely remove the ink.

Ethanol Method

If you’re dealing with an oil-based ink stain, using ethanol (ethyl alcohol) can be an effective solution. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Soak the stained area in ethanol for 30 minutes. Ensure that the fabric is fully submerged in the alcohol.
  2. Rinse the garment thoroughly with water. This will help remove any residual ink and ethanol from the fabric.
  3. It is important to remove the ink stain as soon as possible to prevent it from setting in. Prompt action increases the chances of successful removal.
  4. Always test the cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first. This ensures that the solution does not cause any damage or discoloration.


Ballpoint pen ink stains can be troublesome, but by following the appropriate methods, you can effectively remove them from various surfaces. The rubbing alcohol method, vinegar and dish detergent method, and ethanol method are all effective approaches to tackle ballpoint pen ink stains. Remember to act promptly and test any cleaning solution on a small area before proceeding.


Q1: Can I use the rubbing alcohol method on delicate fabrics?

Yes, the rubbing alcohol method can be used on delicate fabrics. However, it is important to be gentle and avoid excessive scrubbing to prevent damage.

Q2: Are there any precautions I should take when using the vinegar and dish detergent method?

When using the vinegar and dish detergent method, ensure that the fabric is colorfast by testing the solution on a small, inconspicuous area first. This helps prevent any potential color bleeding or damage to the fabric.

Q3: Can I use the ethanol method on all types of fabrics?

The ethanol method is generally safe for most fabrics, but it is recommended to test the solution on a small area first to ensure compatibility and avoid any adverse reactions.

Q4: How quickly should I address a ballpoint pen ink stain?

It is best to address ballpoint pen ink stains as soon as possible. The longer the ink remains on the fabric, the more challenging it becomes to remove the stain completely.

Q5: What if the ink stain doesn’t come off completely after following these methods?

If the stain persists after following the suggested methods, you may consider seeking professional help from a dry cleaner who specializes in stain removal. They have specialized techniques and solvents to tackle stubborn stains.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.