Removing Ink From Vinyl Dolls


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


By Jean Cheesman 2 24 08/09/2011

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

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By Carissa 1 09/21/2012

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 125 743 01/21/2014

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.


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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: 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. Julie

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.


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.


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.


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