How to Remove Dried Ballpoint Pen Stains

If you use a ballpoint pen regularly, chances are you will eventually mark your clothes with the ink. The dye from the ink permeates fabric, and the longer it has time to sit on the clothing, the more difficult it is to release it from the material. Fortunately, certain products can seep into the dye to help it dissolve and wash away from the fabric.

  1. Moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol. Blot the ballpoint pen stain with the cotton ball, wetting the entire stain.

  2. Blot the wet area with a dry, white paper towel. The ink will transfer from the fabric to the paper towel. As the area becomes dry, apply additional rubbing alcohol to the surface using a new cotton ball. Continue alternating with the paper towel and the rubbing alcohol until the stain lifts completely.

  3. Place the item in the washer, and launder it according to the care label instructions. Add 1 to 2 tsp. of liquid laundry detergent to the wash water. Laundering the item removes all traces of the rubbing alcohol.

  4. Inspect the item before drying to make sure the stain has disappeared completely. Dry the item in the dryer or on a clothesline, according to the care label.

About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.