Removing Ink From Vinyl Dolls

By Ron 181

To get ink stains off a vintage baby doll, pull back the doll's hair and remove clothing to keep them from getting bleached. Liberally apply 10% benzoyl peroxide acne treatment cream to any areas with ink. Be careful to avoid the eyebrows. Lay the doll in the sun. It will take more than one application to completely remove all ink. Just keep reapplying until the ink is completely gone.


Source: Tip Junkie

By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO

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By Jean Cheesman 2 24 Flag

August 9, 2011

I fixed dolls for the Council of Xmas Cheer for years. There were always dolls on whose faces some child had put permanent marker. I found that if they were just put in the sun for a few weeks the marks all faded out

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Carissa 1 Flag

September 21, 2012

I just put on 7% and I am worried about what might happend I left them on my table under a fan light nsince I was afraid my dog might get to them outside should I keep them in a color area or a warm area and how long ?

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By Jess 132 771 Flag

January 21, 20141 found this helpful

Here is some feedback that was emailed in.

The doll has ink on her hand and wrist from a ball point pen, I applied 10% benzoyl peroxide cover up cream to any areas with ink. Placed under a reading lamp and left it for 2+ hours, 98% came off with just wiping the cream off. I applied it again to the small area left on thumb and left it under the reading lamp for another 2 hours, wiped it off and totally gone. This worked really well with little rubbing and no damage to the doll. Tks so much for your comments.


ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


Archive: Ink off a Doll's Face

How do I get pen ink off of a dolls face. My toddler wrote on her doll and we've tried fingernail polish remover, "goo gone", rubbing alcohol, and other cleaners with no luck. What else can I use to get it off. The face is made out of rubber.



Benzoyl Peroxide

This is going to be so hard to write in a short paragraph. My daughter found an antique doll this summer and it was too pricey and I told her she could not have it. I have been looking on Ebay since to surprise her for Christmas. The kind of doll I was looking for was also pricey every time she showed up on eBay. I found one and wondered why no one was bidding on her. The only problem she seemed to have was a "chewed" little finger.

I bought her anyhow for $4.99 plus shipping. When I got her I was just sick all day. She had a big ink mark on her forehead that didn't show in the pictures. I went to the trusty internet after I had soaked her head in Nail Polish Remover, Hairspray and bleach for two days. When I saw the acne medication cure I thought it may just sound silly enough to work.

I bought a tube of Oxy today with 10% benzoyl Peroxide (I looked for a higher amount but I guess they don't make it in a higher concentrate). I put it on her head and put a light about 3 inches away. I checked it in an hour and nothing happened. I tried again and waited 2 hours this time. I could not believe that it was almost gone. I dabbed on some more and waited 4 more hours before I peeked.

I can't believe that a 40 year old doll with an ink mark that also looked that old was fixed. She is a green eyed beauty and she has a beautiful pink dress on that is just as old as she is and she cost $15.00 including the Oxy. (12/15/2004)

By Patti

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

The internet and in particular this site is amazing! The acne cream with benzoyl peroxide REALLY works!

By Craig

Follow Up

I just wanted to let you know that Oxy Acne Cream 10% REALLY WORKS! I used a clip light and OXY Cream on the Bright Blue ink mark on my dolls cheek. I placed the light about 5 or 6 inches from the mark. I left the OXY on 2 hours the 1st time and also the 2nd time, cleaning each time before reapplying OXY, after the 2nd time the ink mark was very faint, it was doing such a good job I felt like the 3rd application of OXY would finish the job and so I reapplied it and left it on 4 hrs. When I cleaned it off the ink was completely gone!

By Jenny


I am so happy I have the INTERNET in my life to help me figure out "how to". We have this doll I had stored away and not knowing that there was a pen placed with the doll. After 6 months, I found the doll with blue-ink on the face.

I called paint, hardware and art stores for advice to how to remove the blue ink. I called the City's Public Works Dept. of Graffiti, hoping they would have an answer. Nothing.

From hairspray, nail polish remover, painter thinner, soaps of all kinds, bleach, lemon juice, alcohol and solvents... nothing worked!

Then I found this website. I laughed at the suggestion regarding using Clearasil with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide, but I had to try it. IT WORKED, or it's working!!!! Actually it's taking a bit longer and I guess it because I had tried soaking my doll with so many agents that maybe the 10% Benzoyl Peroxide needs more time to set in to remove all the ink.

Using a lamp helps. I would like to thank this website and all those who shared, otherwise I would be stuck with a marked-up doll.

Thank you all! (06/25/2005)

By cchan

Acne Cream and a Lamp

I tried several cleaners to remove the ink off my daughters doll, none worked. I thought I would try the acne cream and lamp and after two attempts, it worked, no more ink. My daughter is absolutely delighted. (06/30/2005)

By karen twy

Benxoyl Peroxide

My younger sister is a sophomore in high school and they had the project in health class where you have to take care of an electronic baby. During one of the baby's outbursts of hunger, my sister accidentally drew on her baby's face with a ball-point pen. She was very upset, because we tried everything we could think of, and the pen wouldn't come off. Finally I "asked Jeeves" how to get pen off, and your website came up. Since many people suggested using acne cream with 10% Benxoyl Peroxide, I decided to try it. After applying the acne cream to the baby's face, we left it under a hot lamp for at least 2 hours. And, amazingly, it worked! My sister didn't have to spend money to pay for the school to replace the head. Thanks for all your info! (11/28/2005)

By Kelly

I have a collection of very expensive dolls from the Sissel Skille collection of Gotz. My daughter marked the faces with a pen and I didn't realize it till it was too late. I tried everything and found your site. I put the acne cream on but only had 2.5% not 10% of the peroxide cream. It worked beautifully after a few days and the ink is GONE! Does anyone know if this will harm the vinyl after time? I hope not. (06/11/2006)

By sandy

Clean and Clear

I used clean and clear (salicylic acid 2%) and the ink came of immediately. I did not have to leave on for any amount of time. Just rubbed on, rubbed off. I washed with tap water after the ink mark was removed. I am not sure if any long term problem, but it worked better than benzoyl peroxide did. (07/24/2006)

By kristi

OXY Chill Factor Daily

Wow! that Oxy works great! My daughter had two American girl dolls with ink on them and it worked on both in the same day. I used this stuff called OXY Chill Factor Daily wash and I think it is cheaper than the cream. It's the benzoyl peroxide that does it. Thanks a lot. I love the internet! (08/08/2006)

By Cheri

benzoyl peroxide

I recently got a cheap baby born doll covered in ball point pen, tried nail polish remover, wd40, white spirit, tooth paste and nothing worked. I found this site and saw the benzoyl peroxide info, found this very expensive here in New Zealand over $30 so tried clearsil ultra which has this ingredient. Doll has a nice layer on her head and has been sitting in the sun. Well, I'm amazed after less than 2 hours the pen is coming off. A huge thanks to everyone and I will bookmark this site. (08/15/2006)

By Helen

Archive: Removing Ink Stains From Old Doll

Does anyone know how to get ink pen stain off baby dolls? My almost 2 year old daughter drew on my favorite doll, I had as a child. I am heart broken. Orange cleaner, nail polish remover, nothing is working. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Elisabeth needs help from Sanford, N.C.


RE: Removing In Stains From Old Doll

I would try a tiny dab of any brand hand sanitizer (you know, the clear liquid stuff in the see-through bottle that evaporates quickly you can use to wash your hands). I would test a tiny area first. I have used it at work to get black ink off my hands (when my pen leaks) and off my desk, too. At first it "bleeds" and looks like it's getting worse, as does hairspray when you use it for this, but continuing to wipe the area with it will remove it completely. I would use it as quickly as possible so as not to dry out the doll's face at that spot (I don't know that it would--just a precaution). (12/11/2004)

By songbird100

RE: Removing Ink Stains From Old Doll

I have used cheap old Aqua Net hair spray for this purpose before. Just spray small amounts and wipe till gone. (12/12/2004)

By mom2mcar

RE: Removing Ink Stains From Old Doll

Thanks so much for everyone's suggestions -- what worked was putting an acne medication containing benzoyl peroxide on it and putting it under a desk lamp for several hours. I had to repeat it a few times, but after 4 or 5 'treatments' the ink stains have faded to almost non-existent. It will make the gift much more special -- thanks to all who replied. (12/13/2004)

By Cheryl

RE: Removing Ink Stains From Old Doll

Hairspray and Hand Sanitizer work because of the alcohol they contain. If you have it, just use rubbing alcohol. (12/22/2005)

By beanygurl

RE: Removing Ink Stains From Old Doll

I've always had great luck getting out ink stains with hairspray. Spray it on the stains, then dab with a clean white cloth. Good luck. (12/23/2005)

By Connie in Colorado

RE: Removing Ink Stains From Old Doll

I would try spraying the ink spot with hair spray. Then use soft cloth to remove the spot. Second choice would be WD40. It is good for many things. (12/23/2005)

By oredwine

RE: Removing Ink Stains From Old Doll

Thank You All! I was able to get all the ink off my baby! I rubbed butter on it and left her in direct sunlight! It took a few days but it works! (12/29/2005)

By Elisabeth's mom

RE: Removing Ink Stains From Old Doll

Try bleach, I just used it on my hands and the stains came off.

By Desi.

Editor's Note: Personally I'd try peroxide or oxiclean before using bleach. (06/25/2006)

RE: Removing Ink Stains From Old Doll

Thank You so much for the idea of acne cream. IT REALLY WORKS! My 4 year old borrowed an American Girl Doll and decided to give her and the doll a tattoo on their foreheads with ink! I was so upset, I went on line and read all the stories about other people with the same problem, ink on a doll's face! I used Clean and Clear acne cream. I put it on the ink and laid the doll on my trampoline in the sunlight for about a hour and when I brought the doll in the ink was GONE! Thank You again! I wish I would have checked on this web site last year because I threw away a couple of real good doll's that my daughter drew on their faces with pen and I could not get it off! (08/02/2007)

By Stephanie

RE: Removing Ink Stains From Old Doll

I tried the acne cream, but it hasn't worked. The ink is purple so I'm not sure what kind of pen it was, but I am desperate at this point. Does anyone else have any suggestions. I have tried magic eraser, hairspray, acne cream, finger nail polish remover...and I think that is it thus far.

Thanks (05/20/2008)

RE: Removing Ink Stains From Old Doll

My 2 year old daughter gave her very special Madame Alexander several "tattoos" with a pen she found and I tried everything to remove it. I tried hairspray, nail-polish remover, acetone, Mr. Clean and was about to give up when I read about the acne cream. I tried what I had at home (salycilic acid) and it didn't work, but then read an article about using 10% benzoyl peroxide and leaving it under a lamp for 2 hours. When I tried it I saw some results, so I decided to apply more of the cream and put it in direct sunlight. After 15 minutes the ink was totally gone! (07/03/2008)

By adriana

RE: Removing Ink Stains From Old Doll

There is a product out there sold in most stores called OOPS!. I used it to remove permanent marker from my child's Fisher Price doll house. It worked when nothing else did. (07/08/2008)

By Erin

RE: Removing Ink Stains From Old Doll

My 5 yr old drew a unibrow on her brand new Christmas doll that had the most precious face! She did it within 24 hours of receiving it! Anyway, i freaked out and headed to google. I found all the info about the acne cream and thought it was nuts but I had tried nail polish remover, magic eraser, soap, alcohol, and probably more. So I bought some clearasil. What I had read was that it had to be 10% Benzoyl peroxide and some of the new acne stuff had something else. I liberally applied it to the unibrow and stuck it under a lamp for about 4 hours, right near the bulb but not touching as it was extremely cloudy so no sunshine available. To mine and my husbands amazement, it disappeared totally. That was several days after she had done it and it was quite a thick unibrow! I mean every bit of it is gone! The baby is beautiful again. Trust me, this nutty idea really worked!

Lisa (01/07/2009)

By 5ofus

Archive: Ink on Vinyl Lee Middleton Doll

I have a beautiful Lee Middleton baby doll that has been damaged with a ball point pen (ink). Can you help me remove the ink without damaging the natural beauty of the doll. Thank you for any help you can give me.



RE: Ink on Vinyl Lee Middleton Doll

Ball point ink can often be removed with methylated spirit.
I have not yet experienced any damage from meths but try on an area which will not matter, first.

Use cloth or paper towel and keep using a fresh piece with a liberal amount of meths.

Good luck, Bob F New Zealand (09/27/2004)

RE: Ink on Vinyl Lee Middleton Doll

Spray the area with cheap hairspray and wipe off. I used this when a pen broke on my carpet and blotted with a dry cloth. (09/27/2004)

RE: Ink on Vinyl Lee Middleton Doll

The best thing I've found to remove ink from rubber or plastic dolls, is to wipe it off with peanut butter! (09/27/2004)

By sjackie2000

RE: Ink on Vinyl Lee Middleton Doll

The new Mr Kleen Magic eraser works wonders on removing everything--it took of crayon and ink on the dresser with one gentle swipe (09/28/2004)

By nanalori

RE: Ink on Vinyl Lee Middleton Doll

Try antibacterial hand gel (10/20/2004)

By jeangnome46

RE: Ink on Vinyl Lee Middleton Doll

The absolute best product I've ever seen is MOTSENBOCKERS LIFT OFF 3. It removes any ink from any surface. (12/08/2004)


RE: Ink on Vinyl Lee Middleton Doll

try applying a little olive oil only on the spot(NOWHERE ELSE) and letting it sit under a light for awhile (maybe 15 minutes) you may have to try a couple times but the stain should fade away... (i have not tried this so I am not to blame for any damage to the doll. I read this online...) -Mackenzie (08/30/2007)

Archive: Ink off a Doll's Face

How do you get ink off a doll's face? It is a Bitty Baby American Doll. It has been on there for about a year.

Angela from Hermon, NY


Clearasil and light

Thank you to all who posted the 10% benzoyl peroxide for removing set in INK on a dolls face! IT REALLY WORKED!

My 7 year old left her American Girl doll sitting out and my 3 year old decided to color all over the face and hands of this beautiful doll. I tried EVERYTHING to get it out. Hair spray, wd 40, nail polish remover, magic sponge etc! NOTHING WORKED. We put the doll away for a few months. I pulled her out and decided I would send her back to American Girl Company to have her face and arms replaced for Christmas. I thought I would check on "ASK.COM" how to remove pen from a dolls face and found many of the same things I've already tried. The Clearasil was the only one I didn't try yet, so I thought what do I have to lose? We went out and bought a $4.00 tube with 10% benzoyl peroxide and left it on over night under a light on the girls bed. Tyra woke me up in the morning to tell me the ink came off! It's magic. I couldn't believe it. It truly works. You'll be amazed. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO GAVE THE TIP!

By Trish


I loved my dolls growing up, and now that my daughters are older I thought I'd let them play with my old ones. Well my 3 year old took a fancy to my favorite doll, but supposedly the doll asked her to draw all over her. From head to toe, there was blue pen, in between the toes, and the mouth, in the ears and a huge happy face right on top of the head. I was devastated, this was the doll that had inspired me to have children in the first place!!! Anyway, thank god for this sight. I couldn't find %10 Benzoyl Peroxide, only 5%, and it only worked under the light for me, especially if it was 2-3" away. I also tried some gel cleaner first with the 2% acid in it, but it was too runny, and didn't work, although I got too impatient and ran out for the cream the next day. I smeared it on thick so I couldn't see the pen and then it kind of turned clearer and bubbly. I then washed it off with warm water. Now it is pretty much gone. I could have gotten it all out with a bit more work, but I thought I'd keep a faint bit on...just as a reminder. Thanks to this site so much. However, has anyone asked what this stuff does to the skin? I've told my family to stop using it, unless its for pen removing! (11/18/2006)

By Christina

Cleaning the body of Mrs Beasely

I have a Mrs Beasely doll from when I was 3 (now 44) and the body itself needs a cleaning. There is no ink on her, just the blue cloth is dirty. Also her hair needs to be restyled correctly. Does anyone have anything out there that works.?
Toni (12/08/2006)

By Toni

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

If you get it right away, the Salicylic Acid really works! (12/23/2006)

By John

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

You are never sure if things are going to work but the acne cream is a dream! Thnx everyone (04/16/2007)

By debbie

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

I am a longtime collector of vintage G.I. Joes. The vinyl of the bodies and faces tend to absorb dyes from darker clothing if stored over the years. We Joe collectors have used the benzoyle peroxide 10% technique to remove the dyes from vinyl for years. A bonus is that it leaves the paint on the doll alone like eyebrows, mouth etc. It works like a charm but for some tough cases it takes up to 10 sessions. However...we leave the treated doll in direct sunlight (inside on a window sill is fine) This eliminates risking burns from light bulbs and also seems to "kick" the power of the benzoyle peroxide more than artificial lighting does. (05/14/2007)

By Steve

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face (baby born)

My daughter has a baby born, she got it for x-mas. It was her fav doll until she had a friend over whom drew with blue felt tip pen all over the face. I am so grateful for this site as it has helped me out a lot. Thank God I don't have to spend another £35.00p on getting a new doll. She is now over the moon thanks everyone. I appreciate it. (01/17/2008)

By kate

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

I have found the cure for my old hairdressers doll head. Someone had drawn blue thick eye lashes on this vintage doll. I am so excited that I found this sight that I could not wait to join in. I just put the 10% benzoyl peroxide on even as we speak. I will get back to you and give you an update. (03/28/2008)

By Anne

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face etc

Wow, thank you so much for the tip of using acne cream to remove ink off a doll. I was gutted when my delightful three year old drew all over three of her dolls, one of which was Baby Annabel, who was quite expensive. I brought PanOxyl which had Benzoyl Peroxide 10% and covered all the ink and placed on a window ledge and within an hour and a quarter I could see the ink had completely gone once I used a damp cloth to remove the dried cream. Fantastic, thank you so much.(b)(/b) (04/13/2008)

By Lorna

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

I have a Littmann stethoscope.. baby pink tubing that I got 2.5 years ago. Shortly after I got it, it was in my backpack and a pen exploded all over it and it was marked. Nothing I tried worked. I used all kinds of cleaning agents and nothing worked. I figured I was stuck with the ink marked stethoscope. I came across this website with the suggestions about using benzoyl peroxide, I laughed but figured it was worth a try. I laid it in the sun and it took a few sessions but all of the ink is off my stethoscope. I am completely in awe. I contacted 3M and they told me that nothing would take it out. Guess they were wrong. The stethscope looks brand new again. I had to use 5% benz. peroxide because I could not find 10% at the drugstore. Thanks so much for the information. (08/06/2008)

By Jen

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

Oh my goodness!!! I can't believe it - this actually works!!! I was desperate to find a way in which to remove ball point pen off a dolls face as we had borrowed it. And voila!!! The pen marks have come off after a couple of applications of benoxyl peroxide 10% (Benzac AC 10% Gel - in New Zealand) and by placing the doll under a halogen lamp for a couple of hours! Thank you so much as this doll would have cost a small fortune to replace. (09/05/2008)

By Aleisha

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

I have had success removing ink from certain surfaces with rubbing alcohol. Have also used acne med. and it worked - haven't tried the peroxide. For the 11 year old - I would have a parent do it for you.

Also, I'm sure if you called the Bitty Baby manufacturer they would be very helpful. My daughter had a Bitty Baby. (09/05/2008)

By mariebal

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

Wow. It does work and I am impressed! I was really hoping that all the reviews were right. Thank you everyone for posting your results on here as I would have been skeptical otherwise. My 3 year old drew on her baby born in a number of spots and it was a gift from her Nan when she was born, so now she looks like new again. THANKS HEAPS! (09/25/2008)

By Sam

RE: Ink off a barbie dolls legs and face

I would like to know if anyone on here knows how to get this off? Actually my granddaughter went crazy with ink and did about five of her dolls. (09/26/2008)

By Clairee

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

Wow this really works. I was a bit of a skeptic in the beginning, but after buying Clearasil Ultra which has benozoyl peroxide 10% and putting a layer of the cream over the pen mark and placing under halogen lamp for a couple of hours, the pen mark has disappeared. Ever so grateful for this tip. (10/07/2008)

By Karen (NZ)

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

Ok, who do I kiss? Whoever thought of this deserves a million bucks! I was so skeptical to try this. After trying to remove the ink from my baby dolls face with everything imaginable. It was the 10% benzoil peroxide gel that really removed all of it! I just used a store brand..and put her out in the sun for a day, and I just couldn't believe my eyes. The ink is gone! Try truly works! (10/30/2008)

By Nana Val

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

Ya'll are right the acne medicine did it. I put it on the dolls face last night put it under a light. This morning ink is all gone. Benzoil peroxide is a wonder drug. I had this doll it came from my aunts store it's the kind that had stockings shoes earrings. It's old. I was so aggravated when I saw it I didn't know what to do so i googled it boy am i ever happy this morning i am gonna put the doll back in the closet not on the bed "THANK YOU PEOPLE VERY VERY VERY MUCH" WITHOUT OUT YA'LL I WOULD JUST HAVE A MESSED UP DOLL. (11/12/2008)

By Karen

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

This really does work! Thank you so much! My 4yr. old niece brought me her doll with tears asking for help. She had written on the face with pen. I tried everything at first, ie. Oxyclean, degreaser, Fantastic, nail polish remover, hairsparay. Nothing worked until I tried your suggestion of Benzoyl peroxide. Used a tube of clearasil cream and put the doll up to a light. I did have to repeat the process a couple of times before all was completely gone. But now, the doll looks brand new again. Thank you! My niece is going to be so happy when she sees her doll! (12/05/2008)

By Aunt saving niece's doll

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

Thank you, thank you, thank you! We bought our daughter an Our Generation doll for Christmas and she already accidentally marked the arm with pen somehow. I tried almost every all purpose cleaner and was about to give up. I googled this subject and came across this page. It worked great! The only benzoyl peroxide I had was my Proactive cream which only had 2.5% solution, but it still worked. (01/24/2009)

By Melanie

RE: Ink off a Doll's Face

I had a doll with sharpie all over her body and face (thanks to a charming child =) ..) and I searched the internet after trying every cleanser known to mankind. I seen your post and thought..what can it hurt? I too had some acne free 2.5% and started with this. Magically it was gone in a couple hours from her face! I went to the store and bought the 10% thinking it would work faster and better and I think the 2.5% works just as well and as fast. You deserve a huge Thank You! My doll is working its way back to good as new! Still have the legs and feet to do but you are a Godsend! (02/09/2009)

By West Coast Mom

Archive: Removing Ink From Vinyl Dolls

For removing ink from vinyl dolls, use acne cream. Spread on inked area and put in sun for a while and when you go back the ink will have vanished.

Source: Found on internet tried it and it worked like a charm.

By Donna from Waynesville NC

In This Guide
Vinyl Doll
Removing Ink from Vinyl Dolls
Home and Garden Cleaning MiscellaneousSeptember 23, 2010
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