How to Get Ink Off of a Hard Surface Like a Desk

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Things You'll Need

  • Water

  • Dish soap

  • Rags

  • Baking soda

  • Bowl

  • Plain white toothpaste

  • Hairspray

Image Credit: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

An ink mark on a hard surface can look intimidating to remove. Whether the ink mark is on a desk, table, countertop or other hard surface, you want it gone. Several products can be used to remove ink from hard surfaces. It may require a bit of trial and error to find the right product for the specific surface you are dealing with. With a bit of persistence, however, you can successfully remove ink from hard surfaces.


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Step 1

Mix water and a few drops of dish soap into a bowl. Dip a soft rag into the mixture and wring it out well.

Step 2

Wipe the ink mark with the rag and soapy water. Sometimes this is all that it takes to remove ink from hard surfaces. Even if it does not remove the entire ink mark, it may lighten it.

Step 3

Sprinkle some baking soda in a bowl. Mix it with just enough water to form a paste. Use your fingers to spread the baking soda paste directly onto the ink stain.


Step 4

Rub the paste gently with your fingers. Do not scrub too hard--baking soda is slightly abrasive and may scratch the surface.

Step 5

Dampen a rag with plain water. Scrub the ink-stained area of the surface with the rag while wiping up the baking soda paste. It may be necessary to reapply more of the paste and scrub a few more times to completely remove the ink.

Step 6

Apply a generous amount of plain, white toothpaste to the ink spot. Rub it in gently with a rag. Rinse the area clean with a rag and plain water and allow it to dry. Repeat if necessary.


Step 7

Spray hairspray onto the surface. Apply the hairspray generously and allow it to sit on the surface for a few minutes. Carefully rub the ink spot with a dry rag, applying more hairspray as needed. Wipe down the surface with a rag and plain water once the ink stain is gone.


Always test the product you are using on a small, inconspicuous area of the surface prior to applying it to a more noticeable spot. Some products may damage the surface or finish.