How to remove a pen stain from a hard surface

That mess on the wall might resemble a piece of abstract art – but removing it will be the real masterpiece

Three kids drawing with colourful pencil while lying on the floor

Whether it’s a painted wall, shiny floor or your favourite piece of furniture, knowing how to remove a pen stain is a useful trick to master – though hopefully you won’t have to use your pen stain removal knowledge too often. In this handy guide we’ll show you how to get rid of those nasty blemishes, including how to get rid of pen marks on wood, walls and floors. Read on to remove ink stain marks with ease.

1. Removing pen stain marks from wooden furniture

Whether it’s a mark on your dining table, the arm of your favourite armchair or your desk, knowing how to remove ink stain marks from wood will help you get rid of the blemish.

The quicker you jump into action the better. Blot up any excess ink with some kitchen paper. To lift the rest of the stain, soak a new piece of kitchen paper in hot water and leave it over the ink mark. Let it soak in before using another piece to dry.

For more stubborn stains, or to just finish the job, the following steps should help you remove pen stain marks from wood:

  • Use warm water and detergent, wiping on the soapy solution with a piece of kitchen paper.
  • Rinse off and thoroughly dry.
  • If that hasn’t worked, you can try a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to try to lift the stain.
  • If the stain still hasn’t gone you can lightly sand the affected area with fine grit paper and then oil or wax immediately after. Test this method on a small, hidden area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the finish.

2. Pen stain removal on hard floors

If you need to remove pen stain blemishes on hard floors, here’s how:

  • Start off by blotting up as much ink as you can.
  • Take your specialist floor cleaner or a little rubbing alcohol and gently wipe away at the stain.
  • Repeat as necessary, rinse thoroughly and dry.
  • With laminate flooring you can try spraying a little hairspray or make-up remover onto a kitchen towel and wipe.


Plenty household towels can take you through the whole task of removing pen stain marks from floors and furniture. First use it to blot the ink, and then soak a fresh sheet in hot water to clean without scratching. You can also use the super strong and absorbent paper to apply a specialist cleaning solution for stubborn stains.

3. How to remove a pen stain from walls

If you have any young members of your family then you might have experienced their urge to write on walls – especially freshly painted walls! Removing pen stain ‘accidents’ on walls can be achieved with a few easy-to-find household products:

  • Hairspray. A product that contains alcohol can do wonders. Spray a little onto a white cloth or kitchen paper and work at the stain gently. Be patient and repeat the process several times, wiping with a clean piece of kitchen paper with each attempt.
  • Toothpaste. White toothpaste on white walls! Rub a little toothpaste into the stain and leave for 10 minutes before wiping off.

With any cleaning solution, always test on small area first, whatever the surface.

Now you know how to remove a pen stain from different surfaces, the sight of pen on a fresh surface will never worry you again.

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