Factors such as the type of ink and material it stains affect the time for an ink stain to become permanent, but ink is generally easier to remove while it is wet than after it dries, according to COIT. On certain materials, even ink labeled permanent is removable.
Most water-based inks are soluble in rubbing alcohol, allowing removal by blotting the ink with a saturated cotton ball, states COIT. A similar technique works with ballpoint ink. Removing permanent ink sometimes requires blotting with finger nail polish remover or acetone. The only way to know if the stain is permanent is to try removing it with an appropriate solvent.