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How to Remove Ink From a Doll's Face

By Louise Harding ; Updated April 18, 2017

Ink on a beloved doll’s face can mar the doll’s beauty and cause the owner much distress, not to mention drastically lower its collectible and resale value. Several types of household cleaners can remove ink from a variety of doll faces, including vinyl, rubber, plastic and porcelain. While permanent ink is not removable, ballpoint pen and markers are more likely to come off. Depending on the ink, the method to remove it may differ; try removing the ink using one solution at a time. If the ink does not come off, it is most likely permanent or has been on the doll too long to make removal feasible.

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Wash the ink on the doll's face with a mild detergent and water.

Moisten cotton swabs with window cleaner and spot clean the ink.

Moisten cotton swabs or cotton balls with furniture dusting spray and gently wipe. This method works best with vinyl, plastic or rubber dolls.

Apply an oil-based cleaning solution to a cotton swab and gently rub the ink until it disappears.

Make a paste of baking soda and water and gently rub ink spots with an old toothbrush.

Cut a magic cleaning eraser into small rectangles and moisten as a last resort. Wipe ink stains with a small side of rectangle. Take extreme caution: cleaning erasers also remove the paint from a doll’s face, so avoid painted areas such as eyes, mouth and eyebrows.

Things You Will Need

  • Mild detergent such as hand soap
  • Window cleaner
  • Furniture dusting spray
  • Oil-based cleaning solution
  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush
  • Cleaning eraser
  • Scissors


If your doll is of great monetary or sentimental value, always test an area not readily seen. If you’re in doubt at all, don’t try it at home. Take the doll to a professional doll restoration clinic or find a doll master.


Always take caution around painted areas of the face. Eyebrows, eyes, mouths and cheek-blushing paint will come off with the use of magic cleaning erasers. Some porous material dolls also don’t do well with oil-based products and an oil blot might be left behind. Test on an inconspicuous part of the doll first.

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About the Author

Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.

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