How to Get Pen Off a Wood Table

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Be it at home or in an office, tables and pens are often found together. Pens contain pigmented fluid ink which, when it comes into contact with any kind of wooden surface, leaves, what often seems to be, a permanent mark. Thankfully, it is often the case that these marks are, in fact, removable, using a variety of methods.

So,  if you have recently left on a mark on your otherwise unblemished wooden desk, read on, to find out how to get pen off a wood table.

Types of Ink Stains

Before trying any of the methods, you should first know the kind of ink stain that is imprinted on your wood. An alcohol-based marker stain differs from that caused by ball-point pens. Different ink stains react differently to the materials or chemicals used in the various cleaning methods. The effectiveness of these methods also depends on the kind of wood you have.

None of these methods should make matters worse if you use the wrong one. However, as a precaution, you might want to try any of the cleaning solutions on a piece of the wooden desk that is normally hidden from view. This way, you can check that there are no unexpected reactions between the type of wood the desk

 is made from and the cleaning solution.

Do It Quickly

Ink tends to spread on the surface of wood initially and then and penetrates into it with time. Depending on the size of your ink stain, time could be a crucial factor that determines whether you can ever remove that stain, or not. If the ink is given enough time to essentially dye the molecules of the wood, removing it can be a challenging task.

So, an important point to know is that if you see an ink stain, you should be quick to remove it and rather than waiting around and allowing it to do more damage than it should

Using Alcohol to Remove Stains

This doesn’t mean pouring cold beer on to the stain but instead involves using an alcohol solution with a paper towel and some water. Dip a paper towel in water and rub it onto the stained location to make the ink wet.

Blot the stain several times until ink stops transferring to the towel. Now, take some pure alcohol solution and using a moist cotton ball, rub the ink stain with smooth circular motions. The cotton should soak up the ink, and within a minute, your wooden table will be minus the stain.

Using Household Materials

There are a lot of products commonly found in houses that can help clean off ink stains. One common solution is baking soda. First, mix some baking soda with water until you have enough paste to spread over the whole stain. Rub the paste in with your fingers or an old toothbrush in circular motions for a few minutes. Using a damp cloth, gently scrub to remove the paste. This should get rid of ink stains not only from wood, but also from metal, plastic, and glass.

Another everyday item that doubles up as a stain remover is toothpaste. Coat the stained area with a dab of toothpaste and rub it until it is completely spread. Wait for 10-15 minutes, which is the settling time should let the toothpaste to soften the ink on the wood. Rub the toothpaste further with some cotton or a soft cloth, and you should be good to go.

Alternative Solutions

There are some alternate options that can do the job of cleaning a pen from a wood table or desk. These include nail polish remover, sunscreen spray, insect repellent, and perfumes.

The method of application is the same in all of them using either cloth, paper towel, or cotton. Making circular motion while rubbing these solutions is the most effective way to separate ink from the wood. As mentioned previously, It is smart to test a small first before applying any substance to the wood.

Tips to Prevent Pen Marks on Tables

As you know, prevention is better than cure, even in the case of pen marks on wooden tables. The easiest and most effective way to prevent this is quite obvious — every time you put down your pen after writing, put on its cap. This applies to ballpoint pens, and even more so to markers.

You will have to do this consciously for the first few days, but then it should become something you automatically do, without even thinking about it.

Another way to prevent ink and your wooden table becoming ‘acquainted’ is to use a desktop cover or giant mousepad. These can be purchased very cheaply, come in a variety of colors and designs, and act as a protective shield for the top of wooden desks.

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