Removing Ink from Countertops


Does anyone know how to get dried ball point pen ink off a Formica counter top? I did not realize it leaked and left it on the counter top. It has been in the 90's.

I tried paint thinner with some success, but cannot remove it all. Of course the counter top is about a year old and light colored.

By dduff from Adirondacks, NY


Recent AnswersAnswer this Question

By OliveOyl 602 08/20/2009

Try hair spray, rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No


I was going to say nail polish remover too but make sure it's acetone not non-acetone.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

By Diane 3 17 08/24/2009

Thank you all for your suggestions. The nail polish remover worked. I used a cheap paint brush from a child's art kit to minimize the spread of the acetone and used a paper towel to blot it.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No


Thanks for letting us know dduff :-) Not very many people come back to share with everyone what and if solved their question so am appreciative :-)

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

By Chris 1 68 09/13/2009

I know that one of the readers said that baking soda and water didn't work for her but it always does for me. I just sprinkle some on a damp cloth and rub it on. It's taken off ballpoint ink and the food coloring ink that results from unpacking groceries on the counter. And it won't scratch the surface!

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

By cbabbitt1983 1 02/17/2014

Baking soda and water worked well for the pen ink on my formica countertops. My countertops are cream and it was black ink. Did take 3-5 minutes of scrubbing.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

By Kayla P. 1 12/11/2014

I got pen ink all over a counter top that was covered with that plastic stick on drawer liner. The nail polish remover with a low quantity of acetone worked really well!

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

By Cindy A. 1 09/18/2015

NO ACETONES, harsh chemicals, nothing stronger than items found in your medicine cabinet and pantry. I sold cabinets & countertops for years and learned the make-up of the inexpensive countertops they put in all our homes. Formica is simply 5 players of plain paper huge very raw paper the 5th last the top layers being the only layer containing any colors at all. Putting acetone, some over sprays, probably spot removers have the c="CRUDE" the breaks down that 1st all important layer, something has to give. The chemicals simply go into the paper BLEACH out all the color and you end up with a huge ugly spot with some product

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

Archive: Removing Ink from Countertops

I had a stain caused from water mixing with ink on some piece of junk mail. We tried baking soda, vinegar. Nope that didn't work. Then I thought hard for a minute, and ran to get my nail polish remover. It went like magic, like on TV when they are promoting something new and fantastic. Just pour it on, just be mindful of the type of counter you have.

By Lisa Hallman from Ajax, ON

RE: Removing Ink from Countertops

Just be careful using nail polish remover, as I tried that, and it took the finish off of my countertop. It left a smooth spot where the rest of the countertop is rough. (05/02/2006)

By MaryBac

RE: Removing Ink from Countertops

I have always used a little bleach on a wet paper towel and let it soak for just a minute. It usually wipes right off and it's never hurt my formica countertop. The sooner you can catch the stain though the better. (05/02/2006)

By nana6x

Answer This Question