Would you like to just "erase" the bad mark on your math work or remove the marginal notes in a used book? Indeed, with simple budgetary means and the right technique, it is possible to remove most of the ink from a sheet of paper. While it's quite difficult to completely remove the ink, with a combination of techniques, your chances of getting the sheet of paper or page completely white again are good.
Method 1 of 3: With chemical household means
Step 1. Apply nail polish remover to the ink you want to remove
The main ingredient in nail polish remover is acetone, a powerful and flammable solvent. Just as it removes nail polish from nails quickly, it can also effectively remove ink from a sheet of paper.
- Apply a small drop of nail polish remover to the writing you want to remove and blot it off with a small paper towel or piece of cotton wool to remove any remaining ink.
- If you want to remove all of the ink from a piece of paper, you can try soaking the entire sheet of paper in nail polish remover to first loosen the ink and then remove it. Then let the paper dry completely.
- Depending on the type of paper you are using, it might be more effective to either put some nail polish remover directly on the paper or to dampen a cotton ball lightly with nail polish remover and then wipe it over the paper.
- Wait for it to dry. How long it will take for the paper to dry depends, among other things, on the size of the ink stain and the humidity.
- If necessary, apply more nail polish remover to the ink stain once the paper is dry.
- Spread out a few paper towels and place the sheet of paper on top so that any excess nail polish remover is soaked up. If you put it in a well-ventilated area, the paper should dry quickly.
Step 2. Use peroxide or rubbing alcohol
Antiseptic chemicals can be used to remove ink from textiles and are also relatively effective at removing ink from paper.
- Dab peroxide or alcohol on the area using a small cotton ball or paper towel.
- Dry the area and wipe off the ink.
- When the paper is dry again, you may need to reapply a little peroxide or alcohol to remove any remaining ink stains.
Step 3. Try hairspray
Hairspray is commonly used to remove stains from textiles, but it can also be used on paper.
- You should keep in mind that a sticky residue or even a slight discoloration may be left on the paper.
- Test it on another piece of paper beforehand to see if it works before spraying it on the ink you want to remove.
Step 4. Try bleach
Bleach works well to whiten areas that are already white, including removing ink from a sheet of paper.
Bleach is made up of harsh and potentially dangerous chemical compounds, so it should only be used in particularly well-ventilated areas and under the supervision of an adult
Step 5. Always use chemicals in a well-ventilated area or outdoors
Since the agents mentioned here contain toxic chemical substances, you must always be very careful when handling them and only use them in well-ventilated rooms or outdoors. Under no circumstances should you mix chemical compounds with other substances.
Always wear protective gloves when using these chemicals
Method 2 of 3: With non-chemical products
Step 1. Try toothpaste
Plain sodium bicarbonate-based toothpaste can be somewhat effective and is a natural way to remove ink from textiles and wooden surfaces. The method could therefore also work on thick, fibrous paper.
- Use an old toothbrush to rub the toothpaste onto the ink and gently wash it off with clean water. To make it a little coarser, you can try adding a tiny bit of baking soda (also known as baking soda, baking soda, or Bullrich salt) to the mixture you applied to the ink you want to remove.
- Avoid blue / colored gel-based toothpaste and toothpaste with lots of additives, as they could end up staining the paper more than removing the ink.
Step 2. Use vinegar
Pour a small amount of brandy vinegar or diluted vinegar essence directly onto the ink and let it sit for at least ten minutes before adding a little dish soap.
- Be especially careful not to use too much water, as it could weaken the paper so much that it will tear. Use a cotton ball or swab to gently rub the soapy area with some water, trying to loosen the ink.
- This method is generally better for removing ink stains from textiles, as these are usually more durable than paper. While this method may be worth trying, it is unlikely to be quite as effective as the chemical and other product methods.
Step 3. Try shaving cream
Some people have reported that they were able to successfully remove ink stains from textiles with shaving cream. It could therefore also work with paper.
Use ordinary shaving foam, not tinted or colored shaving gels, as they, as well as colored or flavored toothpaste, could stain the paper
Step 4. Try sandpaper
Get very fine sandpaper and try to carefully sand the ink off the paper. It is likely that ink that has penetrated very deeply cannot be sanded off the paper, but pale or thin ink or even printed matter can sometimes be easily rubbed off of thick paper.
Step 5. Invest in what is known as a "laser eraser"
While this technology is not yet widely commercially available, this new achievement in laser technology enables us to reuse paper almost infinitely by erasing the ink without significantly damaging the cellulose fibers underneath.
Experts believe that this method could significantly reduce carbon emissions and recycling costs
Method 3 of 3: With correction fluid
Step 1. Buy a correction fluid like Tipp-Ex®
The easiest way to erase something written with ink from a piece of paper is to cover it up with a tiny bit of whitening liquid. This way, the paper remains intact without leaving an overly visible trace on it.
You can apply a thin layer of it to the ink to cover it up and then write over it as you would with normal paper
Step 2. Put some liquid on the brush
Most products have a small brush on the inside of the lid that you can use for this purpose.
Make sure to wipe off excess correction fluid at the edge so that there is as little as possible on the brush. The corrected area is less noticeable if the white liquid is only applied very thinly to the paper and not smeared on thickly
Step 3. Dab the correction fluid on the ink
Use as little as possible and smooth out your blobs of paint into a thin layer, trying to cover only the letters or areas that you want to cover.
Step 4. Wait for it to dry
It will take a few minutes for the liquid to dry, but make sure it's completely dry before you try to write on it - don't be rushed.
Step 5. Write about the spot
Correction fluids work best when you write over the covered ink to distract from the overly white spot on the paper.