Bert asked: How can you remove pen ink from a porcelain sink? My pen burst while I was writing and I ran over and put it in the sink. Now, there’s a blue ring in the sink and I can’t clean it off.
Ink requires a solvent or cleaner that can break it down so that it can be removed. Fortunately, porcelain provides a hard surface that can tolerate most cleaning products. Follow the guidelines below to start with the least abrasive/chemical cleaners and work up to more powerful applications until the stain is removed.
You Will Need:
- Hairspray (the cheap kind tends to work best)
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
- Rubbing alcohol
- Acetone nail polish remover or acetone
- Mild soap
- Spray bottle (optional)
- Paper towels or soft cloths
Steps to Remove the Ink:
*Always test a small hidden section first to ensure the cleaner will not cause any adverse effects to the surface of the porcelain.
- Begin by applying hairspray to the ink area. You can spray it on, but it may be easier to get a good coating by removing the lid and pouring some on.
- Allow it to sit for a minute if possible, but not so long that it dries. Hairspray contains alcohol, which is what lifts the ink.
- Wipe the area clean with a soft cloth. Apply more hairspray if necessary to keep the area moist.
- Repeat as necessary.
- If the stain still remains, moisten a Magic Eraser and gently rub over the area. These erasers are slightly abrasive so avoid using too much pressure, but they often provide excellent results on these types of surfaces.
- If the stain is still visible, use a clean cloth moistened with acetone nail polish remover (or plain acetone), and rub the area and remove the stain.
- In the unlikely event that the stain is still on the surface, moisten a soft cloth with rubbing alcohol and use it to gently scrub the area.
- Repeat as necessary until the stain is completely lifted.
- Finally, clean the area as normal to remove any residue from the cleaning products. Use a mild soap to clean the surface and rinse completely.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- Regular white toothpaste is another alternate cleaner that can be applied to ink stains. Simply apply and rub gently with a soft cloth. Rinse and allow the area to dry.
- If you don’t have any of the above products, try using some white vinegar instead.
- Goof Off is a commercial cleaner, available at any department store, that has been successful in removing many types of stains, including ink.
I work for the post office. The porcelain sinks are badly stained. Any advice?
The hair spray worked awesomely well. Thanks!
Well, I missed the pen in the pocket and had a few spots on some clothes but big blotches on the washer, which had a porcelain tub. I tried turpentine with no results. Hit it with hairspray and a rag… clean as a whistle! Thanks for the advice. The hairspray helped remove some stains on some clothes completely and lightened others. I did not dry them first… I may be a guy, but I figured that one out myself. 😉
I successfully used lemon juice and a sponge to clean a porcelain cup stained with bottle ink. Works! 🙂
My daughter was cleaning out a cup with a pen that busted. She left dark blue ink all over the sink. It was a huge eyesore on my sink; I had to do something. I had the items listed on the website. I used rubbing alcohol; it lightened it. The stain was set in for two days. The hairspray and a sponge worked like a charm, even though it was sticky. Thanks to whoever posted this; you have saved my life.
That was a great article. Every bit of information was useful and well written, easily understandable and all of them work–I tried them. I made stains on the dryer, sink, tub, in washers and every product worked to some degree, most completely.