How to Get Ball Point Pen Out of My Sheets?

Updated on December 06, 2008
A.B. asks from Lathrop, CA
17 answers

My three year old found a ball point pen while we were in the shower and colored on himself and our 400 thread count expensive sheets. He used blue pen on our off white sheets and I have sprayed holy cow on it and soaked and then washed, it is still there. I also tried simple green. Growing up my Dad said hairspray, I do not have any in my house because I do not use it...I also do not generally use stain removers because holy cow always gets stuff out but not this time. Any suggestions to save my nice sheets.

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So What Happened?

So I used Holy Cow first (didn't get much out), then I let simple green soak on it overnight (got a lot of the ink out but not all of it), then since I did not have hairspray I tried rubbing alcohol. It seems to have worked, after washing it a third time after I scrubbed the heck out of it with a washcloth and rubbing alcohol. I can still see a little bit on my microfiber body pillowcases, but not nearly as much as was there and I cannot see any on the actual sheet. So thanks for the ideas, I never thought about rubbing alcohol even though alcohol is the main ingredient in hairspray. Now if I can only get the dried on nail polish off of our carpet....Oh the joys of parenting a three year old who likes to escape from his room.

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B.B.

answers from Phoenix on

LOC spray this on the dry sheets and let soak for a minute and hand scrub the fabric togather then hand wash with cool water. This usually will help take it out. LOC is a AMWAY product. I have used it since 1974. Hopefully this will do the job. I live in Goodyear so if you're near will help.
B.

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E.J.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi A., I have been through this one three times over (each kid always like to try to make their "mark"). I use zout, its a red spray bottle by all the other stain removers and it has always removed ball point pen - even off of leather! It is inexpensive and works great for all things, especially blood. Good luck with the washing!!

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B.B.

answers from Phoenix on

LOC spray this on the dry sheets and let soak for a minute and hand scrub the fabric togather then hand wash with cool water. This usually will help take it out. LOC is a AMWAY product. I have used it since 1974. Hopefully this will do the job. I live in Goodyear so if you're near will help.
B.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.J.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi A., I have been through this one three times over (each kid always like to try to make their "mark"). I use zout, its a red spray bottle by all the other stain removers and it has always removed ball point pen - even off of leather! It is inexpensive and works great for all things, especially blood. Good luck with the washing!!

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M.L.

answers from Phoenix on

Aerosol hairspray. Rinse and blot with paper towel until gone, then wash. It works.

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L.B.

answers from Albuquerque on

Spray hairspray on the pen stain. Then throw them in the washer. It will come out. If you have already washed them it will probably not come out. I don't use hairspray either but it is a cheap spray cleaner for this kind of stain.

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D.W.

answers from Phoenix on

Try Spray 'n Wash- it has not let me down yet... Or Murphy's Oil Soap - that has worked well on paint from daycare before and even on old stains.
Try not to tumble dry the sheets while you work on the stains so they do not get heat set until they are completely gone.

D.

L.C.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi A. -

OxyClean has worked wonders for me. Try that!

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D.P.

answers from Phoenix on

i'll reiterate, hairspray works wonders, I keep some just for that purpose next to the washer. :o)

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S.O.

answers from Phoenix on

Hairspray does work; you can get one of those little travel size bottles for a $1 at target or walmart and use that. :) Inexpensive and effective. Good luck!

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S.

answers from Phoenix on

Hairspray -- go get some! Good Luck!!

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C.W.

answers from Phoenix on

Hair Spray works because it has alcohol in it. Plain rubbing alcohol is the best thing. It may take a couple of tries especially if you have set it in with the other stain removers or by putting it in the dryer. We always used rubbing alcohol to get the pen marks off our white lab coats when I worked in the hospital. Put the alcohol on the stain let it sit a minute then rub the material together and rinse. Repeat if necessary. It should work.
C.

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T.R.

answers from Phoenix on

I forget what the name of it is, but there are little yellow bottles usually on the top shelf of most grocery stores, one of them is specifically for pen marks. They work wonders. I have used the pen one, and the rust ones, and they have completely taken outthe stains

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M.B.

answers from Las Cruces on

try De-solve-it.It even works on tar. It's great.

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V.R.

answers from Albuquerque on

Well maybe you and your husband should take turns taking a shower so while one's in the shower the other is keeping an eye on the kids, lol, I'm just joking with you! Try Holding the stain against a towel, spray closely from behind with hair spray. Good luck!

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W.H.

answers from Phoenix on

Aerosol hair spray, not the regular pump action hair spray works. Get a small travel size one for ballpoint ink removals. I'm sure you'll have other incidents ;-)

And dont throw anything in the dryer until the stain is out cuz heat sets most stains.

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K.S.

answers from Phoenix on

A., if you want to save your sheets, you may need to give in and invest in a bottle of Spray and Wash Dual Action Power. I swear by it. It has gotten out some amazingly difficult stains for me, so that is my advice. Good luck!

C.H.

answers from Flagstaff on

You could use rubbing alcohol instead. I use real soap to get most of my stains out. You might try Zote or Fels Naphta. Of course, I have a mini washboard to help me with my stains. Just love it.

As long as you didn't use a dryer to dry the sheets you should be okay to try again. Even then I would use a nice coconut based soap to remove it. But if it is set in, you may have a problem

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A.R.

answers from Albuquerque on

Not sure how it will work since you already washed them but I have had great success soaking pen stains in milk.

Good luck!

Next question: Ink!!