Getting Ink Off a LCD
September 14, 2009 10:10 AM   Subscribe

Ballpoint pen + LCD monitor + 5-Year-Old Artist: Any hope for safe removal (of the ink, not the child)?

It seems that a small child got a hold of a ball-point pen and my brother's macbook and did some line art near the center the LCD screen. There are two black ink lines, one about 1" long and another about 3". He describes them as looking the hairs on the screen. There are no apparent cracks or dents in the screen.

My brother has done some research on removal but is nervous about advice to scrub vigorously with dish soap and warm water or to use
a paper towel (he wants to remove the ink, not scratch it so the ink is indistinguishable from the scratches). He has tried LCD cleaner with a Q-tip to no avail (but refused to scrub vigorously). Some have said that rubbing alcohol can damage the screen as can hairspray, but most people claiming success used one of those options. The ones that claimed the soap worked said they spent 3-5 minutes scrubbing.

Are there any safer options he should try? Is scrubbing and LCD screen vigorously ever a good idea?
posted by deadcrow to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Glossy screen or matte?
posted by Wild_Eep at 10:22 AM on September 14, 2009

Methyl alcohol dissolves ballpoint ink like magic. Isopropyl doesn't work as well.
I don't know what it will do to your screen. Try a small spot with a Q-Tip.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:26 AM on September 14, 2009

posted by deadcrow at 10:26 AM on September 14, 2009

Ballpoints score glass and metal quite neatly, so there may be more than just ink on the screen.
posted by scruss at 10:59 AM on September 14, 2009

When I put a ball point pen in the dryer where it melted all over the clothes and the dryer drum (sigh), I used non-acetone nail polish remover to take it off the dryer. Worked very well, not a spot left. What it would do to the monitor, I don't know. It would have to be the centre of the screen, wouldn't it?
posted by x46 at 11:30 AM on September 14, 2009

Aerosol hairspray is very effective at getting pen ink out of clothes. I have no idea how it would react with your monitor's coating, though.
posted by chrisamiller at 12:51 PM on September 14, 2009

I used water and a paper towel to remove fresh ballpoint, with much rubbing, but not enough to crack the screen. Since it's a macbook and I'm sure you're not the first to have this problem, you should probably contact the fine folks at a Mac Store and ask.
posted by davejay at 1:02 PM on September 14, 2009

I used to work at a furniture store and Lysol works wonders for removing ink stains. You may have to deal with the smell afterwards...
posted by wongcorgi at 1:29 PM on September 14, 2009

I would try the hairspray on a lint free soft cloth like a microfiber or shamwow type. Then rub the screen....
posted by Jinx of the 2nd Law at 10:29 PM on September 14, 2009

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