How to Remove Ballpoint Pen Stains

Ah, the writer’s disdain; when a ballpoint pen explodes and you need to learn how to remove ballpoint pen stains quickly. Removing ballpoint pen stains is, unfortunately, not as simple as using soap and water, but it’s still fairly simple as long as you do it shortly after the pen explodes or leaks.

How to Remove Ballpoint Pen Stains

How to Remove Ballpoint Pen Stains from Fabric

Ballpoint pen stains frequently occur on fabric; it’s not that uncommon to have a pen explode on your pants. Cleaning that stain requires persistence and patience, but it’s not a difficult process to go through to remove it.

What you will need:

  • Paper Towels
  • Clean cloth or rag
  • Hairspray or nail polish remover (doesn’t matter, whichever you have on hand)
  • Damp paper towel or cloth
  1. Take the damp paper towel or cloth and sponge the stain gently. This will help remove a lot of the ink.
  2. Set the stain face down on a clean cloth.
  3. Take the hairspray or nail polish remover and apply it to the back side of the stain.
  4. Blot the area gently with the clean cloth in order to remove more ink.
  5. Launder the fabric as you usually would. Check the fabric between washing and drying to make sure the stain is gone (the heat from the dryer can cause the ink to set in and then you won’t be able to get rid of the stain). If it is not, air dry and repeat the process after the article of clothing has dried.

If this does not work, consider going to a dry cleaner or washing service for some assistance with the ink stains on your clothing.

How to Remove Ballpoint Pen Stains from Skin

This seems like it would be pretty self-explanatory, but what do you do if you used a ballpoint pen to write your to-do list on the back of your hand or if your toddler decided to have a field day with your new one? That’s why it’s kind of important to learn how to remove ballpoint pen stains from skin.

What you will need:

  • Soap, body wash, or skin cleanser (whichever you have on hand0
  • Water
  • Nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls
  1. Take the soap and water and wash the affected area thoroughly. This will help to remove some of the ink that is on the top of your skin, and it will make the rest of the process a bit easier. If the ink hasn’t set in too much yet, this may be all that you need to do.
  2. If there are still traces of the ink (and with ballpoint pens, this is likely), then take the cotton ball and dab it with some nail polish remover. Take the cotton ball and lightly dab the affected area with it. The active ingredients in the nail polish remover will help to get rid of some of the ink that has “set in” to the skin.
  3. Rinse the area thoroughly with water. Dry the area and wash with soap (or whatever you have on hand) and water again. At this point, the ink should be gone, unless it’s on a rougher or thicker part of the skin (some parts of the hands, feet, etc).

Repeat the process as necessary; it may take another round of the nail polish remover to fully eliminate the ink stains on the skin. Ink stains on the skin are not necessarily harmful, but they can be annoying and/or irritate the skin slightly.