How to Remove Ink from Countertops

Dear Home Ec 101:
The other day, I set a wet a receipt on the bathroom counter to dry. (The cat has gotten a bunch of things wet.) It was one of those older fashioned ones with purple ink. The next morning, I discovered I’d put it ink side down and now had a nice copy of the receipt on the countertop.

I first tried Basic H, something my Mom used when I was a kid. Although my bottle is probably 20 years old now so that might have been a problem. Between that and just putting a wet rag on it for 24 hours, it’s a bit lighter. Unless you know it’s a receipt, you probably wouldn’t guess. I also tried a Magic Eraser, having read in other posts some of the amazing things it can clean up. It didn’t seem to affect it at all however.

I’m wondering if you have any other ideas for me?
~I said I wanted a copy of the receipt, but this is ridiculous!

how to remove ink from countertops

Heather says:

I have been in your shoes before.  I would first try blotting with rubbing alcohol.  While alcohol is great for removing fresh ink, I have had limited success with dry.  This is when we pull out our old pal Bar Keepers Friend®.  Of course you will want to test this in an inconspicuous area.  Make a paste and spread it over the stain, give it a few minutes to work before wiping with a damp rag.  Use a back and forth motion to rub out the mark, you may need to use some elbow grease.  In my experience there are few stains that this product won’t fix.

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6 Comments

  1. bridgett on July 18, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Depending on the countertop (mine are the old gold-fleck formica), straight bleach on a rag (left for about 10 minutes) works like a charm. I’ve also been known to use a paste of Comet cleanser, as it has both the grit and the bleach.

  2. Amy on July 16, 2007 at 10:23 am

    The best remedy I have found is making a paste out of baking soda and a little water and scrubbing the heck out of it with the rough side of a sponge. If that doesn’t work, try a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and see if that will take it out. If that doesn’t work, try a squirt of WD-40. Those are my solutions to everything, of course, but maybe that will help 🙂

  3. x117236 on July 15, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Lysol Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner, sprayed on and left for around 10 minutes. None of the other Lysol cleaners worked except this one.

  4. Paula on July 15, 2007 at 11:56 am

    I have heard of Bar Keepers Friend, but never tried it! I will have to now! I have tried baking soda, even making a paste with vinegar, but on those ink copies from receipts (and I have had it happen from plastic bags too), it just didn’t work. I have found Bon Ami to be WONDERFUL! As gentle as baking soda, but a little more power with less elbow grease! 🙂

  5. Jamie (Blonde Mom) on July 15, 2007 at 8:50 am

    We have white countertops in our kitchen (NEVER AGAIN) and constantly get coffee drips or red wine drips. I use baking soda and an old toothbrush. I also just bought some Soft Scrub gel and it is awesome!

  6. Jackie Leeper on July 14, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    I guess it depends on what the counter is made of but I have great success with baking soda. Just use it like cleanser. It may leave a lighter spot on the counter but it usually fades away. Failing that, bleach sometimes does it for me. My counters are, I forget the name but, melamine comes to mind.

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