How to Remove Ballpoint Pen Ink From a Vinyl Purse

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Though it's convenient to keep a ballpoint pen in your purse, it's not so convenient when that pen leaves errant scribbles all over the material, and you have to clean the purse. Thankfully, ballpoint pen ink isn't that hard to remove from vinyl handbags. Rubbing alcohol usually does the job well without harming the material. It also works on many other purse materials, but for delicate fabrics or expensive bags, it's best to test your cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area first.


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Rubbing Alcohol Ink Remover

Rubbing alcohol does a great job of removing ballpoint pen ink from surfaces such as vinyl or plastic because the ink won't bleed or bloom on the material as it may on absorbent fabrics, such as cotton. Alcohol also removes many other types of ink from purses, so it's worth giving it a try if you notice assorted colors of scribbles anywhere on or in your favorite vinyl clutch.


For minor ballpoint pen scribbles, wet a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and then rub the wet swab over the ink marks. The ink should transfer from the bag to the cotton swab. Once the swab tip absorbs the ink, switch to a fresh swab dipped in alcohol, as the goal is to remove ink rather than rub it around the purse.


If there's loads of ink all over the purse, use a cotton ball or folded paper towel in place of the cotton swabs. Soak either material in rubbing alcohol and then blot and rub the ink spots. For stubborn areas, saturate the cotton ball or part of the paper towel in alcohol and then rest the wet material on the ink stain for a minute or two. Rub the area with a damp sponge and a little dish soap and then wipe the area again with a paper towel. Continue blotting and rubbing the stain with alcohol to remove as much as possible.


Magically Erasing the Ink

A melamine foam sponge, such as a Magic Eraser, removes scuffs and ink from many types of handbags. Wet a corner of the foam, wring out most of the liquid, and then rub the wet part of the sponge over the ink spots on your purse. As the sponge becomes dirty or starts to come apart, switch to a fresh, damp area of the melamine foam.


Test the foam eraser on an inconspicuous area first if you're concerned it may discolor the vinyl. It shouldn't harm the material, but it's never a bad idea to test the product on any surface before using it all over highly visible areas.

Homemade Baking Soda Scrub

Sometimes, a little scrubbing power comes in handy to remove those last bits of ink clinging to the purse. Make a scrub by mixing a tablespoon or two of baking soda with just enough water to achieve a pastelike consistency. Dab a damp cloth or sponge in the paste and then scour the inked areas of the vinyl purse. Wipe away the paste with a fresh damp cloth from time to time so you know when the ink is gone. Remove any remaining pasty residue with a fresh damp cloth.