I have scribblings on a old box cover with what seems like ballpoint pen ink. The toy box itself is a thin printed cardboard coated with a layer of laminate. The pen marks themselves are rather old.

Was wondering if anyone has experience removing the ink scribblings?

Im considering some of the following below:

  1. vinegar and baking soda mix
  2. rubbing alcohol or zippo
  3. WD-40 (abit wary of this since it may be a little too strong)
  4. magic erasers? like those sponge with solvents

Picture of scribblings

  • Have you tried any of the 4 items listed? Also, what condition it the laminate layer in?
    – J. Musser
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 13:38
  • its a very very thing layer of laminate ...it looks as if the paper and laminate is a single piece of paper. However its glossy so hence I think its an additional layer of plastic.
    – Thinkerer
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 16:02
  • Do you have a picture of it?
    – holroy
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 16:32
  • #3 can be applied lightly with a cotton-tipped swab.
    – Stan
    Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 18:14

2 Answers 2


I prefer you to use cooking oil like coconut oil or any other colour less ones.Take a piece of cloth, dip it in this oil. Rub firmly over the affected area until your result appears.

  • Will it leave any oil stains? Im worries it might either smudge the ink or wear the laminate layer thin
    – Thinkerer
    Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 7:50
  • @Thinkerer Not at all as I preferred coconut oil or any other colour less ones. Most preferably, a few droplets of uncooked oil will do the job.Moreover, it can give your surface a nice smell of oil that you use.Also please note, over usage can cause the surface to become slippery. Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 8:21
  • I was going to suggest peanut butter, but it's the oil in the peanut butter that does the work. This should work with any vegetable oil -- olive, canola, corn, soybean, etc.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 13:11
  • @Zeisslkon Exactly man, it is the oil that does the trick. Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 5:51

Baby wipes.

They're extremely gentle (in terms of abrasion) so are unlikely to damage the box in any way. If the biro is water soluble, then it should come straight off.

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