We have all made mistakes when writing before and if you are clever you will have written or drawn it out in pencil first so that you can correct any mistakes before making ti a little more permanent. However I am not in that situation and I make a fair amount of mistakes when writing / drawing and I don't like to have a page filled with scribbles and crossings out.

I was wondering if there are any methods of removing ink from plain or lines white paper or any other kind of paper for that matter?
I have previously tried using an eraser which does work to some extent but doesn't remove the ink without considerable effort and afterwards some of the paper rips up as well which is simply worse than the original problem.

I know that there are erasable pens that are out there but I don't like how they write and am very picky when it comes to my writing implements.

So if anyone knows and methods of removing ink from paper that would be just great.

  • Downvoted due to lack of research (the accepted answer is essentially a link to and summary of the first Google result). May 30, 2015 at 3:01

2 Answers 2


There are a few methods for removing pen ink from paper

White Out

You can use White Out to cover up pen marks. Sadly this does not remove the mark, it only masks it. It also only works (looks good) on white paper.

Household Chemicals

Nail Polish Remover

Apply a small dab of nail polish remover on the ink spot and dry it with tissue paper

You can also soak the paper in nail polish remover if the spot is large.


You can cover the spot in bleach.

This works similarly to white out, as it only works on white paper.

Other solutions


Applying baking soda toothpaste on the ink with a toothbrush and wash it off with water

Avoid gel toothpastes

Shaving Cream

Use regular shaving, not gel, in the same way as toothpaste


Sand off the ink with fine-grained sandpaper

Get more info on this WikiHow

  • 1
    What's a "non-chemical"? Of course all those things are chemicals…
    – bjb568
    May 30, 2015 at 2:13
  • @bjb568: If you say so, is that better?
    – michaelpri
    May 30, 2015 at 2:15
  • Yay, but "other" still isn't a good category name… I'd just use a bolded ul in this case, rather than a nested header struct.
    – bjb568
    May 30, 2015 at 2:21
  • 1
    The first Google result for "how to remove ink from paper" is the wikihow article that this answer essentially summarizes. This question is also in the top 5 Google results, now clouding the internet with redundant information. Are you sure it's helpful to the world to leave this question on this site? Sufficient evidence wasn't given to justify a life hack and minimal prior research was not done. May 30, 2015 at 3:00

I am an artist, and I use black India ink on watercolour paper. India ink is permanent and waterproof.

I learned that I could use a sharp exacto knife and gently scrape the ink away. It will rough up the paper a little, so you have to be gentle.

However, I use quality India ink and quality paper. The combination was that the ink would coat the surface of the paper, not seep down into it like when you use ink on plain old notebook paper.

When I am in a situation where I can't actually remove the ink, I use opaque white gouache to cover it. Gouache is better than white-out because you can paint over it, and it is also much thinner, so you can paint it onto fine lines instead of daubing it on with the typical white-out sponge.

If you are trying to erase ink from a typical ball-point pen, there is a such thing as an "ink eraser" - which is usually a silvery gray colour. It has a certain texture with some grit. This works well for ball-point pen ink on notebook paper. It can be a bit smudgy though.

  • 1
    Thank you, BGM! I also use black ink on watercolor paper and am currently working on a piece where I forgot to add a few foreground objects before drawing the trees in the background. Ugh! Many of my pieces have small areas that were victims of the X-acto knife scraping, so I'm anxious to get some gouache on the way home and try it!
    – user6901
    May 29, 2015 at 20:56

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