Ink stains can be caused by several common culprits: broken pens, bleeding print, leaky toner cartridges, or tipped-over ink bottles. Regardless of the cause, there are many methods that people can employ to get rid of ink stains.
Ink was first developed in ancient Egypt and China around 2500 B.C. as a means of providing a permanent record when writing or painting on parchment or walls. To create the first inks, a carbon particle called lampblack was used as a colorant and combined with glues and gums, which acted as adhesives to hold the colorant to surfaces. Extensive drying time and poor durability made working with early inks problematic, and new materials were soon utilized to develop inks that could have color, faster drying times, and long-term permanence.
The use of ink expanded as advanced technologies in printing were achieved. Once limited to pens and brushes, ink’s applicability became mechanical with the arrival of Gutenberg’s printing press. Today, there are four common types of ink available which fulfill a wide range of functions, from creating painted ink artwork to printing computer-generated documents.
Types of Ink
Aqueous : their properties are Water- based ink with dye colorants they are used for water based inks, roller ball pens.
Liquid : their properties are Gel-based ink with dye colorants they are used for Ballpoint, roller ball, and fountain pens.
Paste : their properties are Petroleum or resin-based ink with pigment colorants and used for Painted brush work.
Powder : their properties are Powder ink set with adhesives and they are used for Toner cartridges, embossing stamps
Stains made from aqueous or liquid inks are easiest to remove without the aid of a solvent, but paste and powder inks need a solvent applied to them to break down the chemicals used in the manufacturing of the ink.
Removing Ink Stains from Surfaces
Chemicals like rubbing alcohol and lubricant can be used to remove ink stains from skin, but there are a number of natural alternatives that can also be applied which are gentler for the skin. Baby oil or toothpaste can be rubbed onto an ink stain as a non-toxic stain remover, as can grape jam. The cleansing solution imbued in baby wipes has stain-lifting properties, so these handy wipes can be used if they are readily available. Whichever natural product is used, be sure to wash it away thoroughly with soap and water after the stain is gone.
Rubbing alcohol, hair spray, lubricant, or white vinegar can be applied to ink-stained fabrics to eliminate a stain; simply apply to the stain with a cotton ball or paper towel and allow it to sit for about thirty minutes. After the waiting period, apply a liquid detergent directly to the stain and rinse with water.
Ink stains on tabletops with synthetic finishes, like fiberboard, are much easier to remove than stains left on finished wood. Synthetic finishes can use the same removal methods that are appropriate for walls, but finished wood needs extra care to avoid ruining the finish. If possible, test out a stain removal method on finished wood by applying it to an area that is not seen before applying it to the stain.
The baking soda method must be applied using caution because the abrasive properties within the baking soda can scratch a wood finish surface. Start off by combining water and baking soda to form a thick, but spreadable, paste. Spread the paste onto the ink stain and rub it in gently by hand using the finger tips. Dampen a soft cloth with room temperature water and lightly scrub the area to take away the paste. If hazing occurs on the surface from the baking soda, moisten a cotton ball with a small amount of rubbing alcohol and wipe the haze to remove.
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