According to the company, Ink-B-Gone will remove most kinds of ink – even Sharpie – from a wide range of surfaces, including plastic, leather and vinyl and furniture. You can see it in action in this video by Casite.
We decided to check it out for ourselves, using a Sharpie to write on a formica table top, a vinyl chair and the plastic lid of a freezer container, and then using Ink-B-Gone to try to remove it. The solution worked on two out of three.
First, the table. Following the directions, we shook the bottle well, then applied several drops to the Sharpie ink. After giving it a moment to soak, we rubbed at the spot with a dry paper towel. The ink smeared and came off, for the most part. A second application of Ink-B-Gone removed the last of it.
It worked even faster on the plastic container top. All it took was a few drops and a quick swipe to clean off the Sharpie ink within seconds.
The real problem came when we tried to remove the ink from the vinyl chair. We applied the Ink-B-Gone to the stain and let it soak for at least a couple minutes before rubbing. None of the Sharpie ink came off the chair.
We repeated the process, with the same result. As you can see in the photo, the Ink-B-Gone discoloured the area, but did not remove any of the ink. Given that, we decided not to try testing the Ink-B-Gone on leather.
However, to the solution’s credit, it performed very well on the ink from a Pentel EnerGel on the same vinyl chair. All it took was a few drops and two passes with a paper towel to remove the ink.
Given its mixed success, we figure Ink-B-Gone might not be the silver bullet against ink stains that we were hoping, but it certainly seems to have its uses, so we’ll keep it around to help deal with those inevitable ink accidents.