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How to Remove Ballpoint Pen Ink From Paper

Kayla Lowe

Removing ink from paper can be a daunting task. Correction tapes, white out fluids and erasable ink are the best options to correcting ink mistakes. If, however, the ink is permanent, as is ballpoint pen ink, yet must be removed, you are in for a challenge, as traditional methods will not suffice.


Purchase acids such as spirit of salts at hardware stores. Oxalic, citric and tartaric acids will remove ink from paper as well.


Do not expose your skin to the acids. They will burn you.

Beware of permanently damaging your document when removing ink from it using acids. Practice on scrap pieces of paper before executing this process on an important document.

Luckily, with the purchase of the appropriate supplies, you can remove ballpoint pen ink from paper.

  1. Don your gloves. Dilute 1 tbsp. spirit of salts (also known as hydrochloric acid) in 5 tbsp. water in a small bowl.

  2. Apply the mixture to the ballpoint pen ink with a cotton ball, gently dabbing and rubbing it onto the paper.

  3. Remove the solution from the paper approximately 1 minute after application by rubbing a cotton ball dampened with clean water over the paper.

Check out this related video from Homesteady on Youtube.