Carolyn asked: I have put schedules, etc. under my clear, semi-soft plastic desk pad. Some of the ink has transferred onto the plastic. How do I remove the print without damaging the clarity of the desk pad?
Plastic is a soft, porous material that can absorb the dyes and materials it comes in contact with. There are a variety of plastics, but the ink removal methods remain the same. Here are a few methods along with helpful tips to make your ink stains a distant memory.
Using an All Purpose Cleaner and Ammonia
You Will Need:
- All purpose cleaner
- Mild soap
- Soft cloths
- Cotton balls
Steps to Remove the Ink:
- Spray the ink stained plastic with an all purpose cleaner.
- Wipe away with a clean cloth.
- If the stain remains, moisten a soft cloth or cotton ball with ammonia.
- Lay it on the ink stain for a few minutes, then wipe away.
- Wash the area with soapy water to remove any cleaning residue.
- Dry with a soft cloth.
Using Rubbing Alcohol
You Will Need:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Soft cloths
- Cotton balls
Steps to Remove the Ink:
- Rubbing alcohol is effective in removing many ink stains without damaging the surface.
- Moisten a cotton ball or soft cloth with the rubbing alcohol.
- Rub it over the surface of the stain until the ink is removed. There is no need to apply excessive pressure, just continual rubbing will remove the ink.
- Once removed, dry with a soft cloth.
Additional Tips and Advice
- There are plastic erasers available at art supply stores that can also be used to erase ink from plastic surfaces. Ensure the eraser is white when purchasing.
- Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are effective at removing stains from a variety of surfaces. Simply moisten the sponge with clean water and rub it over the ink stain. The sponge will lift and remove the stain. Wipe clean with a dry cloth.
Thank you! My little sister wrote on my plastic dividers and I thought they were ruined and nothing could be done! I tried using the Magic Eraser and was so relieved. Thank you again very much!!
This does not work. I tried this on my daughter’s Littlest Pet Shop and it did not work one bit.
As much as I love the Magic Eraser…and I do…it does not work for this at all. I was excited when I read this and thought, “duh…why didn’t I think of that!” Because it doesn’t work, that’s why. Maybe if you have fresh ink or something, but we’re talking about dried up ink here, soaked into plastic…anyone have something for that!? 🙂
Thank you. Just bought a new white back cover for my phone and somehow ink has got on there. Was annoyed. Used the alcohol rub and it came off straight away with ease. THANKS!
Thank you for your suggestion. Even though the Magic Eraser doesn’t work, alcohol rub is working… 🙂
Try hairspray on plastic or alcohol wipes. Both work well on plastic.
I had broken a pen and touched my fridge after thinking I had gotten it all off. Needless to say I didn’t and red ink got on the WHITE fridge. So, I used some nail polish remover. Worked great! I wiped it off with some cotton balls with the nail polish remover and it came off. There was a little red left after the first wipe, but a little extra wiping took the rest off.
Meet S says
When my phone got ink spots and some dirt on it, I used some petrol and a soft cloth to clean it; worked so great and my cover became like a shiny metal.
For soft PVC, rubbing with a piece of bread works really well.
Margot C says
What on earth is “all purpose cleaner”?
According to the EPA, “An All-purpose cleaner is a kind of cleaner which can be used for many different kinds of clean-up jobs around the house. All-purpose cleaners are used to clean windows, mop floors, or to clean kitchen and other appliances in your house.” What that usually means is that it is gentle enough to be used on a wide variety of surfaces, but it is strong enough to kill bacteria, lift dirt, lift some surface stains, etc. Some examples are Lysol All Purpose Cleaner or Seventh Generation All Purpose Natural Cleaner.
Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency – All-Purpose Cleaner
I have some ink stains on a thermoplastic polyurethane membrane material, similar to the consistency of a bandaid. How can I remove the ink without damaging it? Alcohol, acetone, etc. cause it to wrinkle and this will not do. Help me please!!
Here are some other things you can try:
– Baking soda (mixed with water to make a paste)
– All purpose cleaner
– Dish liquid
– Magic Eraser
– Commercial ink removers, such as Lift Off
Source: How to Remove Ink Stains from Cotton Fabrics
Source: How to Remove Ballpoint Ink from Vinyl
Wow, hairspray actually blew the pen marks off my daughters Little Pet Shop toy!!!
OMG! I had gotten some invisible ink on my brand new 40$ phone case. ???? I was like, it’s ok, but then it started to show up; ahhhh. Looked on here and found my answer and it worked. Thanks so much.
I have a watch band and wore gloves, and the dye rubbed onto the light blue and now it’s purple; nothing worked. Any ideas?
This is the article that you need: How to Remove Dye Transfer from a Rubber Watchband.
Hair spray worked. I’m amazed.
Rubbing alcohol worked some, but wasn’t removing the stain completely, especially on the heavier stained areas. Tried fingernail polish and that took care of the rest.
Umm, I’ve managed to get waterproof ink on my brand new clear case, please help!
The methods in the guide should work on waterproof ink! Solvents like alcohol are much stronger than water. Good luck!
Has anyone tried this on a silver cross pram handle? There’s a pen mark and I’ve cleaned it, but it’s left its traces behind!
There is nothing wrong with the suggestions on this page. Each of the solutions will work on some items and not on other items. I’ve used all of them, except ammonia (which I am highly allergic to), at one time or another. Another item good to use to remove ink, whether it is transferred or directly applied (mistakenly or purposely), is pure acetone. It doesn’t harm most plastics. Acetone is also great on cleaning whiteboards after you used a Sharpe instead of the dry erase marker, and it doesn’t harm the whiteboard’s regular and usual performance or reaction with the dry erase markers (been there; done that). One form of prevention is to cover the printed [paper] with Press’n Seal prior to it coming into contact with the plastic desk pad, plastic folders, sheet protectors, etc.
How can I remove ballpoint pen marks on rubber dolls and soft plastic, and also hard plastic dolls?
Here are two guides that can help:
– How to Remove Ballpoint Pen from Vinyl (Rubber dolls are often actually vinyl.)
– How to Remove Permanent Marker from a Doll’s Face