How Do You Erase Pen Ink?

It is possible to get rid of pen ink on a variety of surfaces with nail polish remover, alcohol, milk, hairspray, cornstarch and sandpaper. Each of these products may work better on dry or still wet ink.

It is not uncommon for pen ink to get on clothing, walls, floors and anywhere else but the paper it is intended to write on. Luckily, there are a few things that will erase pen ink when still wet and dry.

  • Salt
  • Pour salt on still wet ink and dab at it with a clean paper towel. Wash the salt off with water and add more salt. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.

  • Hairspray
  • Dry pen ink can usually be removed from most clothing with hairspray. Spray the stain with the hairspray. Allow it to sit for a few moments and rub or wash off with water. Some hairsprays may leave an oily discoloration, so test it on an unseen section of fabric first.

  • Milk
  • Another option is to soak clothing with pen ink stains in milk overnight. Wash as usual the next day.

  • Nail polish remover or alcohol
  • Both nail polish remover and alcohol are solvents that can be used to erase dry pen ink. Pour it on and allow to sit for a few minutes before washing. Nail polish remover can also be used to remove ink on the skin.

  • Cornstarch
  • A paste of cornstarch and milk works to remove ink stains from carpeting. Apply the paste, allow it to dry on the carpet. Rub it away and vacuum up the dry powder later on.

  • Sandpaper
  • Use a fine grit sandpaper to gently buff stubborn pen ink from suede clothing or shoes. Restore the nap by brushing it with a toothbrush.