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How to Remove Ink From a Book

Sarah Coennen

Ballpoint pen ink is water-based, so it is washable when it gets on most surfaces. When the ballpoint ink is on a delicate surface such as a book, you risk ruining the pages and/or cover when you remove the ink.

Regular pencil erasers can erase ink marks in books safely.

With older and more valuable books, removing the ink can be delicate process so that you do not further damage the book or its value.

  1. Open the book to the ink-stained page and hold the page open with weighted objects if necessary.

  2. Rub the ink gently from left to right, using the eraser. If the book is old or valuable, begin rubbing the eraser from the left to the right, and then pick up the eraser and do it again. Make sure you hold the page tight and flat or the paper will rip.

  3. Rub the eraser from top to bottom very gently just like you rubbed the eraser on the ink in Step 2.

  4. Brush away all of the eraser debris and perform the process again until the ink is completely removed.

  5. Warning

    Never use any kind of liquid on your books as they can cause water damage.