Removing ink from paper

  • Thread starter OrbitalPower
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  • #1
In this case, on the top corner of the book.

I occasionally buy some of my books used, and they have stickers and stamps on them. I generally don't mind but this one is on the top of the book when the book is closed (on the top of the page), and it is some ink stamp.

I tried removing it with water, and I even tried to sand it off but it doesn't seem to want to budge. Does anybody know a good solution that would get this off?
 

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  • #3
I tried Hydrogen peroxide and Isopropyl alcohol and it won't budge. I guess it's just the color of the paper now.
 
  • #4
Moonbear
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You get a box of matches, a propane torch...um, nevermind. :uhh:
 
  • #5
Evo
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Bleach will remove ink, but it will leave a yellow discoloration.

Dab a q-tip in bleach and touch a spot of the ink with it and see what happens.
 
  • #6
rewebster
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It depends on what type of ink it is. I've been restoring artwork (prints, paintings, etc.) for about thirty years now--mostly part time. There are different types of ink. Some dissolve in different types of alcohol (iso, denatured, grain), some in kerosene, acetone, turpentine---some even in water, or xylene even. So there are a few to try--some need precautions to work with. If the stamp bothers you, take it to a restorer, or maybe your chemistry teacher.

----

it mostly depends on the original solvent in the ink and the original vehicle in the ink (its similar to the solvents and vehicles in paints).

-----

and, yes, you can try bleach then rinse/soak really well ---if that doesn't work also try ammonia then rinse well----you may have to combine some of the above even (more than likely)
 
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  • #7
rewebster
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when I mention 'combine' --don't combine ammonia and bleach (bad--very baaad)----what I meant was you may have to combine working with one first then another with drying step in between. If you aren't careful though, you may end up with pulp. It takes quite a bit of experience to do a 'good' job.
 
  • #8
Danger
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How about a laser tuned to the absorbtion frequency of the ink? That seems to work reasonably well for tattoo removal.
 
  • #9
GCT
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Acetone is a wonder for most types of ink and yes it works at times where isopropyl alcohol is not compatible. You may be able to obtain one at Lowe's or at Home Depot.
 
  • #10
Moonbear
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Acetone is a wonder for most types of ink and yes it works at times where isopropyl alcohol is not compatible. You may be able to obtain one at Lowe's or at Home Depot.

Or go to any local drugstore or grocery store and find nail polish remover (just avoid the ones that say "non-acetone" on them). It may have other stuff in it as perfumes and such, but it's strong enough and cheap enough without having to hunt through home improvement stores for pure acetone.
 
  • #11
Hmmm... Thanks. I guess I'll try acetone and then maybe bleach if worse comes to worse. It's actually a library stamp on the top of the pages so I thought it'd be easy to remove.
 
  • #12
rewebster
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Hmmm... Thanks. I guess I'll try acetone and then maybe bleach if worse comes to worse. It's actually a library stamp on the top of the pages so I thought it'd be easy to remove.

what?!
 
  • #13
Evo
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Hmmm... Thanks. I guess I'll try acetone and then maybe bleach if worse comes to worse. It's actually a library stamp on the top of the pages so I thought it'd be easy to remove.
I'm going to post a picture in a second showing results with ball point pen, which IMHO, is the hardest ink to remove. Regular ink will be completely removed by bleach, ball point is left so faint as to barely see it. I've been using regular bleach to remove ink for years.

the letters blea at the top - the bl was treated with a commercial ball point ink remover, the letters ea were treated with a drop of bleach.

the "ea" below that is untreated and the "ea" below that was treated with acetone.

The bleach wins.
 

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  • #14
rewebster
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very scientific approach, there, Evo--and I can see how and why you suggest bleach

if it was ballpoint, I'd say, go for it ---and, it may work--and if he has bleach


The first thing that I would tell him, though,...







is to check the library, as it may be a overdue book.


ps---blea? is that, like, yuck?
 
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  • #15
Moonbear
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is to check the library, as it may be a overdue book.

He said he got it at a booksale. I have old library books from such sales too. The libraries will sell off old books that don't get much circulation to make a little money toward buying newer books (sometimes they get a bunch donated too and sell those off as well).
 
  • #16
rewebster
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yeah---I'm a book collector too (1500-2000). It just depends on what the 'library stamp' is and says---whether or not its has and is a 'withdrawn' stamp or 'property of' stamp.

I've bought used books before and returned them as they were still active.
 
  • #17
Moonbear
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yeah---I'm a book collector too (1500-2000). It just depends on what the 'library stamp' is and says---whether or not its has and is a 'withdrawn' stamp or 'property of' stamp.

I've bought used books before and returned them as they were still active.

I figure if for some reason the book really is an overdue library book, the person selling it will be buying the library a new one through overdue fines anyway, so don't worry about it. If you don't return it, you've bought it anyway.
 
  • #18
Danger
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He said he got it at a booksale. I have old library books from such sales too.

That's where I got my favourite 'Freddy the Pig' book (Freddy and the Ignormus). :biggrin:
Speaking of which... Evo, did you happen to notice how much your illustration resembles a one-eyed pig?
 
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  • #19
Wow. Thanks evo I appreciate the comparison and I think bleach will work.

As for the Library stamp, it says McMillen Library and the address of the library in Indiana.

I bought it off Amazon from a company called "alibris," who have sold over 20,000+ books through the site. So I doubt that they go around checking out books and selling them on the internet, although I guess will check with the library. I had bought a Martin Gardner book on mathematical puzzles just before this book from the same company, and it was not ex-library.

This may be a big reason to want to remove the stamp in the first place. :rofl:

The book was described as being in new condition, and they usually are, but while this one looks like it's never been used it is indeed ex-library. It's actually a calculus book. I decided to buy it after reading a recommendation in the "science book reviews" section of this site.

I'm somewhat of a collector myself, although I don't have anywhere near a thousand books. Mostly I have collected some philosophical and math books - and I usually try and get books that are in a series. For instance, if I got Rousseau's Discourses from Cambridge Press, and I decided to buy Locke's Two Treatises of Government, I'd also get the Cambridge Press edition. Sometimes a certain philosopher will have a series of books from a publisher like Routledge, and if I get one I will usually try and get the others from the same company. Of course, I try and match editions as well.

But again thanks for the help.
 
  • #20
Evo
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OrbitalPower, after you use the bleach, be sure to "rinse" that part with water several times. I would place absorbent paper towels under the page and repeatedly dab enough water on the spot to soak through and rotate the paper towel each time. The bleach can turn the paper yellow and it also may weaken the paper, as will most other things suggested here.
 
  • #21
rewebster
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I've bought quite a few from Alibris. Amazon uses Alibris's inventory, and Alibris is a dealer seller site (mostly dealers) where they sell their books through (sort of like ebay).


-----
On better quality artwork /paper after rinsing, its good to even neutralize any remaining bleach, and then rinsing again in RO or distilled water.
 
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  • #22
Danger
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I'd be inclinded to go with Re's suggestions about this. After all, he has the experience in real-life situations. One does not get to be an art restorer without knowing one's business.

(Does this mean that you can restore Artman to... never mind.)
 
  • #23
GCT
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With all due respect to Moonbear and Evo - nailpolish acetone is not worth it you actually need to buy the pure acetone itself. There's an EPA article that I had at work a while ago which describes various solvents for cleaning purposes however not quite sure where it is at the moment.
 
  • #24
Moonbear
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With all due respect to Moonbear and Evo - nailpolish acetone is not worth it you actually need to buy the pure acetone itself. There's an EPA article that I had at work a while ago which describes various solvents for cleaning purposes however not quite sure where it is at the moment.

For just removing ink? Acetone-based nail polish removers have a pretty high acetone concentration (some are nearly 100%, but that might just be at salon supply stores now). Don't use the ones that have all the extra additives, just REGULAR nail polish remover I was referring to (and not the non-acetone ones).

Edit: Well, since I had a stamp pad and nail polish remover handy, I gave it a test. Indeed, nail polish remover just smears the stamp pad ink, it doesn't remove it (or not enough of it to make it worthwhile...the smeary mess is more unsightly than a stamp). Don't know if pure acetone would work better or not, but I guess nail polish remover isn't the answer (it did do a great job of removing the roller ball gel ink that I also wrote on the paper with...the pen was out on the desk and why not add it while playing :biggrin:).
 
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  • #25
rewebster
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(Does this mean that you can restore Artman to... never mind.)

it depends...

did Artman get stamped on with ink or written on with ballpoint?
 
  • #26
Well, the bleach actually worked perfectly. No muss, no fuss. I myself was a bit incredulous at first, so I put a smidgen on the pages of one of the books from my University library, which has three stamps, one on each side with pages like the color of bleach itself, and it seemed like it would remove it. After that, I then put some bleach on a paper towel and rubbed the top of the book I bought about 15 to 20 times and the stamp was completely gone.

I then rinced it with regular cold water from the kitchen. I guess if you look closely, under the right light, you can still kind of see an outline of where the stamp was.

The first pic is of the top of the book and my camera isn't even good enough to pick any discolorization, but the ends kind of look like a different color of white, some of which may have been due to my previous attempts to get it off. The bluish stain was already there and I consider that just part of the book's history, whereas the stamp made it feel less like "my book."

The other two pics are of the pages, which are all clean, and the cover. It's a very pretty book, is doing fine but still drying, and definitely thanks evo for the recommendation.
 

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  • #27
I've bought quite a few from Alibris. Amazon uses Alibris's inventory, and Alibris is a dealer seller site (mostly dealers) where they sell their books through (sort of like ebay).


-----
On better quality artwork /paper after rinsing, its good to even neutralize any remaining bleach, and then rinsing again in RO or distilled water.


Interesting. I guess it's not Alibris's fault that it got listed as "like new," then. Most of the time people specifically note if a book is ex-library when described as being "like new" or "very good."

Even if I had bought another book (because I hate books with names on them other than my own) I still would have saved from the cost of a new book, though. For the most part I've had good luck with amazon.

Thankfully evo's solution worked, though, and the bleach was less than a $1.50, in a smaller bottle.
 
  • #28
Evo
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Thank you Orbital, I'm glad it worked. I often post solutions and no one listens to me. They will continue posting about how nothing works and I will say "hello? did you see my post about what to do 2 weeks ago"?

No one listens to Evo. :cry:
 
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  • #29
Everyone listen to evo, she's right. :tongue:

It was actually your own example that convinced me.

I would have tried it right away but I didn't have any bleach in the house. That's because I've been using Tide with Bleach Alternative for my laundry. And I didn't want to use that because I thought it might turn the pages blue, plus it's the "alternative" version. :rofl:
 
  • #30
rewebster
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Thank you Orbital, I'm glad it worked. I often post solutions and no one listens to me. They will continue posting about how nothing works and I will say "hello? did you see my post about what to do 2 weeks ago"?

No one listens to Evo. :cry:

hmmm, that reminds me... did you ever email 'what's his name'?
 

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