Household Cleaning Tips: How To Remove Ink From Plastic

Ink comes from different substances, making it tricky to remove from various surfaces if you accidentally get ink stains. Removing ink from plastic is particularly more difficult than other surfaces.

For example, ink from markers is so hard and resilient and can’t be removed only by rubbing. Also, rubbing isn’t a clever choice as it can damage the plastic surface.

Choosing the wrong chemicals for removing ink also does harm to the surface of plastic. That’s why you should utilize a mix of techniques to get rid of ink. 

In today’s article, we will walk you through the two main methods and other useful tips on “how to remove ink from plastic” to help you deal with the toughest pain. Let’s get started!

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How To Remove Ink From Plastic – Step-by-Step Tutorial

Now, if you’re having plastic stained with ink on hand, don’t get frustrated cleaning or disposing of it right away. Instead, by learning how to remove ink from plastic, you can utilize plastic containers for storing your ingredients, doing handmade projects, etc.

Utilize powerful solvents on surfaces, such as hydrogen peroxide or acetone, which can get away stains at ease. Or you can try soaking non-electronic items for robust stains if removing them by hand isn’t enough.

Method 1: Wipe Away Small Stains

Step 1: Hand Protection

Don’t forget to protect your hand from strong solvents that can cause skin irritation. Remember not to go for textile gloves or cloth as solvent can easily dip into the fabrics, and your skin will get saturated.

Step 2: Prepare Solvent

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The next step is to prepare the solvent: acetone or hydrogen peroxide, chlorine bleach are all enough for removing ink. 

If you opt for bleach, ensure it is weakened to a concentration that is safe for use. A safe ratio for diluting bleach is 15 mL (about one teaspoon) of bleach for 240 mL (about 1 cup) of water.

Step 3: Apply Solvent

Use a clean cloth or towel and fold them. Then apply the solvent with an adequate amount for saturating 1-2’’ section of your cloth. 

It would be best if you do your work in a ventilated area to avoid fumes from solvents. Or if you’re doing in-house, open the window or turn on an air conditioning or a fan to let some air ventilate.

Step 4: Dissolve The Ink

Rub the area of ink repeatedly. After that, apply the solvent again in a smooth circular motion to completely remove the ink.

You can wet your cloth again and apply the second solvent to the stain to eliminate any robust pigment.

Step 5: Rinse and Dry

After successfully removing the ink stain, rinse and dry your items before using. Wet another cloth and re-clean the surface to erase the remaining solvent. Use a clean and dry towel to pat on the surface for drying.

For outdoor items that are waterproof, you can save time by spraying them off with a garden hose. In case your items aren’t waterproof, you just let them sit for about 15 minutes, enough for most solvents to evaporate.

Method 2: Soak Stubborn Stains

Step 1: Prepare Solvent

Find a non-reactive container, which is important as reactive materials could be exposed to solvents and release toxic fumes. You can choose those made from glass, ceramic, stainless steel, or newer plastics. 

For solvents, you can pick acetone or distilled white vinegar. For robust stains, you can create a mixture of bleach and water in a 1:5 ratio. Add enough solvent so that you can soak the items completely.

Then fill the container with solvent. If the ink sticks inside your items, you can simply fill them with your solvents.

Step 2: Soak Plastic In The Solvent

Soak your item in the container with solvent for about 5 to 10 minutes while placing them outdoors or with a fan, near a window for ventilation. While soaking your items, you should ensure the solvent container is clear to avoid getting dizzy as breathing strong fumes. 

For bulkier items, you can soak half of them in the solvent container and cover the rest with a cloth that was soaked with solvent.

Step 3: Wipe Ink Away

Use a cloth to wipe the ink away. In case there are remaining inks on plastic after soaking in the solvent, take a little effort to get rid of it completely. Go for another clean cloth and dip its corner to your solvent container. Then scrub the cloth on your item until there’s no ink on it.

Remember to have your hands protected with disposable rubber gloves. When you’re removing inks, if your skin gets covered with solvent, you should wash your hands carefully as solvents can harm your skin. 

Step 4: Wash And Dry

When the last ink is removed from your item, take it out from the solvent container and wash it in-and-out with clean water. After that, dry your item with a clean towel, or shake off the water drop and let it sit to dry naturally by air.   

In case you go for bleach to remove ink stains from plastic, you should wash your items and the container under hot soapy water or put them through a cycle in the dishwasher to ensure that your items are free of bleach residue.

Having done everything with cleaning, you now want to dispose of the used solvent. Pour the solvents off the sink then flush it down with clean water.

Other Methods You Can Try 

Dry Erase Marker

Image from upsidedownsphere

A dry-erase marker can help do away with ink stains from various specific surfaces. When used on plastic surfaces, dry erase markers prove to be safe and effective. But remember, this method shows no effect on textured surfaces.

Your job is only to draw the dry erase marker over the ink stains. After letting it sit for a while, grab a cloth, and rub it on the surface. The solvents of markers will then get rid of ink stains on plastic.

Sometimes there will be some stains remaining. Now instead of drawing the marker again, you should go for a glass cleaner. This item helps you a lot in removing weakened ink stains on plastic. 

Toothpaste And Baking Soda

Toothpaste and Baking soda are visible almost everywhere; you can easily find them at local grocery stores. The combination of Toothpaste and Baking Soda is effective in removing ink stains.

You should go for completely white-colored toothpaste, rather than ones with colored. Also, don’t use gel-based toothpaste. The white-colored toothpaste is more capable of removing hard ink stains than ones with gel.

Because this combination brings an erosive effect for removing ink stains, you shouldn’t use them on painted surfaces. Otherwise, you can cause extensive damage to the surface and even remove the paint altogether.

Mix the two at the ratio of 1:1. You then have the mixture of a thick paste. Now spread out the mixture over the affected area and scrub it for a while. It would be best if you utilize a scrubbing sponge so that the stain can be removed completely. After completing everything, you now rinse your items and inspect if there is any stain remaining. 

In A Nutshell

Removing ink stains from different surfaces seems like a tricky to-do. However, using the right chemicals with proper techniques can help you get rid of ink easily. 

We hope you find it useful to apply a few simple methods on how to remove the ink from plastics today. Remember to protect your skin carefully as solvents are strong.

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned and see you again at our next articles!

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