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How To Clean Ink and Marker Stains from Painted Surfaces

Ink, marker, and paint all seem to be from the same family. Still, it's possible to remove or alleviate ink and marker streaks from painted surfaces. All you need are cleaning solutions tailored to this specific situation. Test all cleaning solutions and application techniques in an inconspicuous  location before using them in a wider area.

Ink and marker stains are best treated when fresh, to avoid allowing the pigment to seep deeper into the paint layers. Prepare a cleaning solution of mild pH neutral dish  liquid or shampoo diluted with water. For a quart of lightly sudsy cleaning solution, add 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1 TB of borax and 1 TB of glycerin. If there is particular concern regarding dark colored walls, the borax can be omitted. Set aside. Soak the tip of a clean cotton swab in rubbing alcohol. Apply the alcohol-soaked cotton swab directly to the ink marks. Rub gently in a back and forth motion along the length of the mark. Use fresh cotton swabs as needed to ensure that the ink and marker isn't being spread around. Work in small sections, about two inches at a time.

Once the alcohol swab treatment is complete, retrieve the dish liquid and additive cleaning solution that was set aside. Use a clean sponge to apply the cleaning solution to the areas that were discolored with ink and marker to remove any removing residue. Avoid over wetting, and allow the wall to dry. If a large area was affected, you may wish to use fans to help facilitate drying and prevent lingering moisture that could  encourage mildew growth.

Another good approach for ink and marker streaks on painted surfaces is the Tide to Go StainPen. This commercially available stain remover is sold in a pen applicator, and contains ethyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. The applicator is especially convenient for narrow pen marks. Flood the tip with cleaning solution according to the manufacturer's instructions. Apply directly to the ink marks. Rub gently in a back and forth motion along the length of the mark. Because of the light bleaching effects that can potentially result from contact with hydrogen peroxide, this remedy may be best suited for light-colored paint surfaces.

Caution: Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material. Wear appropriate clothing such as gloves and protective eyewear, and work in a well-ventilated area. Accidental inhalation or ingestion of cleaning agents can be hazardous and even fatal, particularly to pets and children.





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