How to Remove Printer Ink From Paper

Removing ink from paper is kind of a hassle, especially if you don’t know how! And if you’re dealing with printer ink, that can be a whole different story. Printer ink is especially hard to remove once it’s on a page.

However, if you’ve accidentally spilled some of it on important papers, then luckily, it doesn’t mean the end of the game.

How to Remove Printer Ink from Paper Without Damaging The Paper

There are several ways you can get rid of the ink without damaging your precious work and documents.

But following the right technique is equally if not more crucial in this case. To help you with that, I’ve laid out this tutorial on how to remove printer ink from paper without damaging the paper.

Removing Inkjet Printer Ink from Paper

Inkjet printers use either dye or pigment-based ink. These types of printers are commonly used by many people for being reliable and cost-efficient.

But like all other machines, they do have a chance to malfunction and spill the ink on papers. If that ruins your important documents, there’s a solution to that!

Use a Soft Cotton Ball

Use a Soft Cotton Ball to remove printer ink from paper

This should be your first move if ink messes up your document. In the case of inkjet printers, the ink remains wet for a few seconds before it’s permanently there.

You need to take this chance, and use a small cotton ball to remove the ink where you don’t want it to be. Do not rub aggressively as it will ruin the whole thing. Simple dabbing motion is your trick here.

Use a Razor Blade Carefully

Use a Razor Blade Carefully to remove printer ink from paper

This is another method that works quite well. If you don’t have a cotton ball, razor blades can come in handy. Simply scrap the top layer slowly and gently to remove the ink from the paper. Again, it’s better to get down with it as soon as you can.

Use a Sandpaper

Use a Sandpaper to remove printer ink from paper

For this method to work, you need to use extra-fine textured sandpapers that aren’t going to damage the page. It’s an excellent way to get inkjet printer ink out of thicker papers. However, it’s the trickiest method as well.

You must be super gentle with the wipes and make sure you don’t apply too much pressure. Also, go in a single direction with the sandpaper and avoid going all over the place.

Use a White Correction Fluid Pen

Use a White Correction Fluid Pen to remove printer ink from paper

All the methods shown above are appropriate for immediate implementation. But what if it’s completely dried and stained deeper?

In this case, you’d have to use white paper correction liquid. It doesn’t actually remove the paint, but it covers the stain and allows you to write over it. So it could be a great alternative to all those tricky steps if you wanted to skip them.

Removing LaserJet Printer Ink from Paper

Laser printers are very popular as they can print a lot of documents at once. They don’t require too much maintenance compared to inkjet printers. And the ink type is toner cartridges. Consequently, it might also ruin your pages by spilling.

As they use a different mechanism, the removal techniques are somewhat different from the other. So how do you do that?

Combine Acetone with a Cotton Ball

Combine Acetone with a Cotton Ball

Acetone works like a magic dissolving some of the ink from the paper. You should use this method before you try anything else. Grab a small cotton ball and dip it into acetone. Then slowly rub the trouble area with this combination, and you’ll see results immediately.


Acetone is a very toxic chemical. So, make sure to wash your hands before and after you use acetone. Wear protective hand gloves if you can, and don’t inhale this or get it in contact with your skin. Also, it’s a highly flammable substance. So, keep it away from heat, and be careful while using it.

Rub the Area with Acetone and Tissue Paper

Rub the Area with Acetone and Tissue Paper

If you don’t have cotton balls near you, using tissue papers will be just fine. Dip a piece of clean tissue paper with acetone and rub it gently on the area.

You should see the ink is dissolving pretty fast.  Remember, rubbing too much can ruin the whole document. If you see that the method is not working, you are more likely to have to reprint it.

Try Correction Tape on the Area

Try Correction Tape on the Area

This is the last thing you could try to recover the ink-stained paper without damaging it. Also, this could be a great alternative to all those tricky chemical applications.

So what you do is just get some paper correction tape. Press it down on the affected area. This will hide the area allowing you to write over it. Now, this method could be used for both ink/toner cartridges.

One of the most beneficial parts of using correction tape is that it doesn’t require drying to write over like correction fluids. Besides, there’ll be no damages and harsh effects to the pages.

And here is a good post about correction tape for watercolor paper.

Additional Tips for How to Remove Printer Ink from Paper

How to Remove Printer Ink from Paper

In this segment, I’ll give you a few additional tips you need to consider while trying out one of these methods. Following these key points will significantly help you restore a piece of paper with more success.

  • Before you start printing a document, always do a test print beforehand. It’ll ensure the printer is functioning properly and won’t ruin your pages.
  • Getting to remove the ink as soon as possible is the best possible strategy. Because once it dries out, you’ll have much more trouble with it.
  • Don’t be aggressive with the paper. No matter what you use, fast motion on the paper will rather damage it completely. Be gentle, and go with a very slow approach for the best result.
  • Don’t use too much acetone or other chemicals. You just want to get the unwanted ink out of the surface. Using too much of anything will just worsen the case.
  • Use a heat iron machine to dry out the page after using acetone on it.
  • If any of the methods fail, consider reprinting the document. Spending your whole day restoring a few pages is probably not the most productive use of your time. Remember, these methods are for restoring a small ink accident. So, keep that in mind and know when to start over.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. How do you remove printer ink from paper?

First of all, it depends on whether it’s ink or toner. Next, you’ve got several ways to remove it from papers. These methods will come in handy based on the essential ingredients you have at your disposal.

Besides, the methods are different for ink cartridges and toner cartridges. You can check all of these in the above-discussed sections.

#2. How do you remove ink from a check without damaging it?

Acetone and cotton swabs might give you a good result in this case. You just dip the cotton swab in acetone and rub it around the area slowly and gently. However, always remember that a check is more sensitive than a normal page.

So if you’re not confident of what you’re doing, the best alternative here could be the use of correction fluid/tape. That’ll allow you to overwrite and fix the error.

#3. Does acetone remove printer ink?

Yes, it does help to remove printer ink from papers still ensuring no damage to them. However, use a small amount as you get into the process. Don’t rush or rub hard on the surface. If you do, that might totally damage the affected portion instead.


Hopefully, now you know how to remove printer ink from paper without damaging the paper. With the help of using the right tools and hacks, it isn’t very hard to reverse the damage.

But as you can tell, prevention is better than cure in this case. So, make sure to do regular checkups to see if your printer is working properly or not. That’s the key to keeping your documents safe in each printing job.

However, if any accidents happen, don’t hesitate to use the methods shown in the article. It might be extremely helpful to save you a lot of work and expenditure.

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Expertise: Content writer

My goal in life is to always be learning. I've spent 25+ years working with my hands and have found the art of building something new to be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience. Through my writing I aim to share some of what I've stumbled upon with the world in hopes others can benefit from my own experiences!