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Removing Ink from Book Pages

Removing ink from paper, without damage, can be very difficult if not impossible. This is a guide about removing ink from book pages.

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November 15, 2008 Flag
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I have a thirty-year old book that I've decided to sell on eBay. When I first bought it all those years ago I wrote my name and address in it with a ball-point pen, because I never thought I'd sell it. How can I remove my name and address without ruining the book? The words are written on the inside of the front cover. Thanks for any advice.

Clare from Gloucester, MA

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November 17, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Use nail polish remover. When I worked at a bank there was a scam going around where the "crooks" would steal already written checks and then wash the ink out with nail polish remover. I was doubtful so I tried it and it worked and didn't damage the paper. Try a very small area first using a q-tip and if that works use it for the rest. It should work even though the ink is very old. Nail polish remover DOES NOT work on gel ink. Anyone still writing checks should use gel ink to protect the check info.

Good luck. Margaret from Denton, Texas

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Anonymous Flag
November 17, 20080 found this helpful
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Go to a book store ... Ask them the safe way to do this so as not to ruin the paper ... If all else fails they sell special book name/owner stickers you could place over your writing and the new owner can write their own name on the new book sticker ...

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November 18, 20080 found this helpful
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If your address is not the same as what is in the book, I'd just leave it and say in the description that "previous" owners name and address written on inside page. I have bought many books with a previous owners name written in it. For me it is part of the charm of a book, especially an older book. It shows a history, so to speak, of the book. Someone who is looking for a pristine book would not buy it with writing erased or covered over. A a buyer of lots of books on e-Bay, I'm betting leaving it there, but noting it in your description, will not hurt your sale.

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March 9, 20090 found this helpful
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You can use a book plate to cover it, but be sure to mention this in your ad. I have sold many used books, and if there is a name written inside, I offer the buyer a name plate to use.

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June 15, 2010 Flag
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I'm a teacher who is trying to clean up textbooks from this past year. Anyone know how to get ballpoint ink and Sharpie ink off textbook pages without erasing all the other print?

By MissC from Minneapolis, MN

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June 17, 20100 found this helpful

Can't be done.

If it is just one or two marks, you could white it out. I have tossed textbooks if the marks were obscene or profane, or if there were just too many.

If there is just something terribly inappropriate on just one page, I have torn that page out and replaced it with a xeroxed page. I wouldn't do this for more than one or two pages. You don't get paid enough for that.

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June 17, 20100 found this helpful

Only suggestion I have is the magic eraser. Also, try rubbing some corn starch on the pages. I know this works with games, puzzles, etc to help clean them up. Even playing cards, makes it like a new deck. Toss parts into plastic bag with CS.

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April 9, 20110 found this helpful

Deep woods off aerosol is the best and least destructive ink removal solution. Aerosol hairspray is second. We discovered this when a pen exploded onto maple kitchen cabinets. We tried everything including aerosol hairspray for months with marginal results. after ordering new doors from the company, one of the kids ran in the room complaining of mosquito bites. Not wanting to pass up a opportunity, we sprayed the deep woods off thinking"what the heck". The ink dispersed before our eyes like magic and didn't harm the finish in any way! I have since used the product to my friends amazement on every single surface including a leather couch that I thought for sure was destroyed!

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March 11, 2010 Flag
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How can I remove ink marks from a page in a book?

By Maria from Berwyn, IL

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March 11, 20100 found this helpful

I read some where that you can use the green outer part of a cucumber to get rid of ink marks.

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March 11, 20100 found this helpful

To remove from parchment or paper stains made with ordinary writing ink, apply spirit of salts (hydrochloric acid) diluted with five or six times its bulk of water. Solutions of either oxalic, citric, or tartaric acids are said to produce the same results; but in any case the acid must be washed off with clean water a minute or two after application. Experiment on odd pieces of parchment or paper before touching any valuable work, as some little skill is required. To remove ink stains from imitation ivory, wipe over several times with 1 oz. of oxalic acid dissolved in 1/2 pt. of hot water.

Should this be of no avail, rub the surface with fine glass paper till all marks are removed; then repolish with putty powder and oil, applied with felt or cloth: finish with dry powder and chamois leather. A solution of 1 oz. of citric acid in 4 oz. of water will remove all traces of writing ink from paper. This does not touch printers' ink, which indeed cannot be removed by the mere application of a bleaching agent. To remove ink or ironmould stains from linen, moisten the latter by holding it in steam, then apply weak hydrochloric acid on a piece of stick. Wlien the stain is dissolved out, wash the article well to remove all acid. Good luck.

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March 20, 20100 found this helpful

Try a Magic Rub Eraser. You can buy them at places that sell art, office, and school supplies.

http://www.dickblick.com/products/sanford-magic-rub-eraser/

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