Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
I got ball point pen on a beige vinyl couch. I tried everything to get it out; stain remover for pen, alcohol, bleach, toothpaste, WD40, Soft Scrub and none of them worked. I read that nail polish remover works, but I was afraid to use it. I did a test on the underneath and, sure enough, it did not hurt the vinyl and took most of the ink out. There is just a slight stain left, you really have to look for it. Be sure and do a test first.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I have recently started cleaning a doctors office which has ink marks on the examining tables. I have tried alcohol, Simple Green, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and cannot seem to find anything to remove the marks. Can anyone give me some suggestions? Thanks!
Sheila from MI
I clean banks and doctor's offices also. I have used anti-bacterial hand gel with great success. Rub it into the ink and go do something else leave on the ink for about 5-10min. rub off with soft cloth or whatever cleaner you normally use. I've also removed permanent marker from countertops with it, adhesives, and chewing gum from a carpet. It will also remove black shoe marks from tile floors, and scuff marks from walls. I now keep a bottle with me at all times and when you're done cleaning you can use it on your hands.
Hairspray works well to remove ink from imitation leather ( in my case a purse). You have to spray and wipe several times, but it will eventually come off.
Let me save you all the trouble. If ink is on leather more than three days-it's indelible! That means that it's not coming off. You best chance is to remove it with an alcohol based product within the three days. Try using something like simple green first to remove the ink that has not penetrated the substrate then follow with the alcohol.
There is no magical solution in hairspray that removes ink other that the alcohol content. Just skip the hairspray part and use straight alcohol and you won't smell like Aquanet! If you cannot remove the ink look for a suitable vinyl dye like ColorBond.
If a printed paged of text is pressed up against a plastic binder for a long period of time (especially if it's hot), some ink will often stick to the plastic. How can I remove the ink that remains on the plastic? Without randomly trying things I have, does anyone know of something commonly found around the house like rubbing alcohol or WD40 that might affect dried-on ink?
By Jon from MO
If the ink feels sticky, try Oil of Olay. I know that sounds weird. I use it to remove gummed on stickers on books and such. You only need to dab a bit on a old washcloth or rag...saturate the area that is sticky, and the sticky stuff should come right off.
I would try using petroleum jelly. Some of the harsher chemicals can cause the plastic in the binder to break down and create a distorted area where the ink used to be.
I usually use isopropyl/rubbing alcohol for something like this. If you try the nail polish remover that was suggested here be sure it's 'non-acetone' because the regular 'acetone' type can possibly marr or melt the plastic.
I have a silver cross dolls pram and my daughter has drawn on it with a pen on the vinyl inside the main body of the pram. I have tried all sorts of household cleaners to try and remove it, but nothing has worked. Please help!
Annette from United Kingdom
I know that some use benzoil peroxide (like for acne care) to get ink from vinyl dolls. They put it on and put the item in the sun. It's worth a try.
Sour cream or yougurt work well. Put some on the stain and let it sit. Then come back with a soft toothbrush and gently rub it. Then wipe and rinse. Repeat this untill stain is gone. Do it gently. This will not harm the fabric. Also hairspray works by spraying it on and wiping off.
I have a vinyl couch and vinyl foot stools. My problem is during a party the kids somehow managed to write graffitti all over it with blue, black and red permanent marker and ball point pen. The stubborn stains will not come out. I have tried all home remedies and what products are avaliable to me. My problem is i live in Korea and for some reason they have no idea or clues or helpful advice.
I just finished cleaning marker off my vinyl fencing. I used acetone which I purchased at my local auto parts store. It worked great. Just wiped the marker right off. It left the finish a little dull, but some car wax fixed that. I don't know how it would do on a sofa but if works great on vinyl fencing.
It is vinyl do not use acetone it will ruin it. Sour crea or yougurt will take care of it. Just rub and wipe and repeat also hairspray if all else fails . If the stain is set it will take a little patience.
My pink vinyl bag got ink on it. How do I clean it? I just got it.
Have you tried hairspray? You might want to spray a bit on an inconspicuous spot first to be sure it doesn't bother the vinyl.
I just used the hairspray method to get ink off my vinyl handbag. Here's how I did it. I sprayed the hairspray on one of the cotton pads I use to take makeup off with. Then I LIGHTLY dabbed at the stain with the saturated pad. Obviously, we want to lift the stain and not the finish of the bag. I feel this method gave me more control than spraying the hairspray directly on the vinyl. Took me less than five minutes to lift the stain this way. Then I wiped the bag with a wet paper towel to get the sticky hairspray off it. Done! Good luck with your pink bag!
How do I remove ink from a white vinyl chair? I have tried everything that I have read about or someone recommended and nothing has worked. Some areas of the ink have become lighter, but never gone. It is blue pen ink.
How do I get ball point ink off a yellow vinyl purse? Thanks.
There's two products out there, Oops! and Goo Gone. I use both to remove ink, sticky sticker stuff, wax/grease spots, crayon. You get the idea. : )
How do you get ink off a vinyl coat?
Linda from Kettering, Ohio
Have you tried hairspray and a dry cloth?
My kid scribbled on the arm of my beige loveseat with permanent black marker about a month ago, then 2 weeks ago she set a pen on my sofa that exploded and left big blue blotches on the top and side of it.
We have tried everything: fingernail polish remover, vinegar, Magic Eraser, and hairspray; nothing has worked. They are faded now, but still very noticeable.
I'm not sure if the fabric is vinyl or leather, if that helps. Any suggestions to get it out completely without destroying my couch?
Well, anything you attempt for removing the ink is sure to remove the color of the leather as well... you may want to try some Automotive Leather Cleaners but as you state, there are so much ink on the arms, top and side that you'd have to be better than a professional to complete the task without it being noticeable. Have you tried using some Saddle Soap?
1) Do not purchase 'permanent' markers if your kid has access to them.
How do I get pen ink off of my vinyl car seat?
By Lisa from TX
How do I clean a small ink spot from a Burberry PVC nova check purse?
Shell from WI
Try this on a small spot that doesn't show first! Spray a small amount of CHEAP hair spray (Aquanet is good) and rub with the tip of an unlit match. There's something about the hairspray and the chemicals in the match tip that remove ink.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Magazines were left on a vinyl covered card table. This left dirty dark streaks from the ink on the magazines. I would like to remove the streaks from top of card table.
By Seymour Phillips from San Diego, CA
Try dipping a cotton swab into nail polish remover and gently swiping over area (08/14/2009)
I use Lysol disinfecting spray. Totally saturate the spot then swipe with a paper towel. (08/21/2009)
How do I remove ink from vinyl and soft plastic?
By Peggy from Port Saint Lucie, FL
Try hairspray. (02/03/2010)
Try the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I have gotten permanent marker on my countertop, and used the Mr. Clean eraser to get it off. It worked for that, very well. Also takes metal pan marks from the counter top. (02/03/2010)
My 5 year old wrote her name and her brother's name on the back of my Caravan's vinyl seats. I have tried hair spray, shaving cream, nail polish remover, all kind of cleaners, rubbing alcohol, Mr. Clean Eraser, etc. Any suggestions?
Try Goo Gone. I use it at home and work. (03/17/2009)
Try white "non-gel" toothpaste. I used Crest on my cream colored couch and it took out all the ball point pen and permanent marker ink. (03/17/2009)
I was able to remove permanent marker with Oreck stain cleaner several years ago. It wasn't especially cheap, but maybe worth it to save a car's interior. It may have been their Revelry cleaner, but check with the salesperson at the Oreck store to be sure. (03/18/2009)
I remove ink with hair spray. It works every time. (05/03/2004)
There is a spray can that is called Vandalizim or Grafitti spray. A hardware store or paint store can help you find it. You spray it on the markings and wipe off. It is a petroleum based product. Works great. (05/03/2004)
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser took Sharpie off of my wood footstool with no problem. Maybe it would work? (05/03/2004)
The best thing I've found for removing permanent markers is nail polish remover. (05/03/2004)
By Jackie S.
I use Clorox Clean-up. I used to work in a daycare and it works wonders on marker, pen, and crayon. (05/04/2004)
I just had the great opportunity to find out which product works best on my vinyl floor. After using bleach pen, Magic Eraser, tooth paste, alcohol, and hairspray, I decided to do a last effort with my nail polish remover. It worked like a charm! I think I'll invest in a gallon of this stuff! (07/19/2005)
By tx amy
Be careful using acetone (most nail polish removers) to get ballpoint pen ink off of vinyl. I removed some of the color on my bag (gray) as well! I think if I had used less nail polish (ie. very little, barely damp cotton ball), this wouldn't have been a problem. The acetone works very, very well! (05/02/2006)
The best way to remove pen off of vinyl is to mix acetone and sea salt. But be careful, and don't rub too hard. (06/11/2006)
Feedback from the graffiti removal industry: Please be careful with some of the suggestions. We are talking about removing ink from VINYL. Many petroleum-based products will shrink, dry out, or bleach the vinyl. It may look good now; however, the vinyl can deteriorate very quickly thereafter.
There are 100s of types of vinyl, citrus-based cleaners work well on some and hair spray works on others. We have found no single method that works on all types of vinyl. Always remember to test the cleaner, solvent, etc. on an inconspicuous area of the surface you wish to clean first.
Try Oxy-10 (or generic acne cream with 10% benzoyl peroxide). Leave it on and put it in the sun for awhile. Can take time, but it works wonders on vinyl and plastic dolls. You can use a heat lamp, but proceed with caution, as this can burn the vinyl. Never leave a heat lamp on an object unattended. Some have used straight peroxide with success. Good luck! Rob (03/18/2007)
I used Goof Off and a S.O.S pad and in under 3 minutes got black permanent marker off the siding of the house. You can buy it at a hardware store (05/04/2007)
By Candice in Calgary
We got Sharpie off paint and wood veneer with mosquito spray. It came off immediately. Maybe it works on vinyl. (06/26/2007)
I work at a tattoo shop and I can tell you that we have tried everything you can think of to get ink off our white vinyl tattoo chairs and nothing worked, until I came across this site. The hairspray thing worked like magic. But, I also used it in conjunction with one of my new favorite things, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. Those things are awesome. So yea, if you need to get anything out of vinyl a lil hairspray and a Magic Eraser will be the answer to your prayers! (08/02/2007)
We used Kaboom and a sponge, and it came right off! Good luck! (12/14/2007)
I am a teacher and I am constantly removing marker and pen from all of the surfaces in my room. I have had excellent results with Germx. It is mostly alcohol but it seems to take everything off of my desks, chairs, woodwork and even my plastic storage bins. (04/18/2008)
We just used a SOS pad, worked great! (04/29/2008)
The vinyl seats in my car didn't respond at all to hairspray, perfume, leather/vinyl cleaner, multi surface cleaner. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser began to work, but only lightened the stain a bit. Nail polish remover seems to be my haven. (05/20/2008)
I woke up this morning to find graffiti on my white vinyl fence. Black permanent marker. I used a suggestion from this site and it worked! OFF mosquito spray took it all off with lots rubbing. Thanks! (06/07/2008)
In response to the marker on the fence; try using Simple Green. I removed permanent marker that was on my counter top with a simple wipe using that. Not sure if it will work on the fence, but worth a try. Test it someplace first though to make sure it doesn't leave a green stain - the color of the cleaner. (06/14/2008)
I just used Clearasil to clean some ink off the vinyl armrest in my car, and it worked like a charm! Dabbed it on over the spots, left it for a couple hours, wiped it off with a damp cloth and spots were gone completely. (06/14/2008)
There is a product by Melaluca called Sol-U-Mel that does an excellent job of removing permanent Sharpie marker. Seems like if it would remove permanent Sharpie marker it would remove other types of ink? Use it full strength on a cotton ball or cloth. Might want to test an area just to be sure. (07/07/2008)
First of all: remember that not all applications and messes are created equal. That said, I had to remove a bunch of blue Sharpie permanent marker drawings from vinyl wallpaper. I first used Magic Eraser, worked some, but started to take the finish off the wall. I next used another solvent from Service Master, and it also took off the finish.
My point, be careful, what products you use on the surface you need cleaned. I used a product by Zep, called Write Away-Ink and Graffiti Remover, and it worked like magic. This product is an aerosol, non-chlorinated solvent, that when used in conjunction with industrial/shop towels. The marker came off with a couple of applications (shouldn't need a Brillo pad, scouring pad, etc.).
Just be careful to have towels on hand, as the marker, literally bleeds off the wall. I sprayed the wall around the blue Sharpie mess to ensure no blue walls. I am moving heaven and earth to find this product! It looks like you can only get this product online, and must spend at least $50 dollars worth (good for 6 bottles) to get the actual product from ZEP themselves. I must say for larger/industrial jobs this product works extremely well. It is odd how each color Sharpie reacts differently to this product and all other cleaners in general. I have used toothpaste, Magic Eraser, isopropyl alcohol, and everything under the sun, but this stuff works! LARGE JOBS ONLY, and would probably be more useful in industrial jobs. PS. I have kids and I need at least one bottle of this citrus smelling life saver! (11/07/2008)