Follow these steps to remove graphite and pencil lead stains­.

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How to Remove Graphite and Pencil Lead Stains

­Pencils are great because they allow you to go back and make changes to what you've written. The marks they leave on surfaces other than paper can be a different story. Follow these tips to erase graphite and pencil lead stains.

The first step in removing graphite and pencil lead stains is to identify the stained material.­­­

­Below are the most common types of materials that can become graphite-stained, with steps on how to remove graphite and pencil lead stains from each:

  • Non-washable fabrics such as Acetate, Burlap, Carpet (synthetic or wool), Rayon, Silk, Triacetate or Wool
  • Washable fabrics such as Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester or Spandex
  • Hard surfaces such as Acrylic Plastic, Aluminum, Asphalt, Bamboo, Cane, Ceramic Glass/Tile, Cork, Ivory, Linoleum, Marble, Paint (gloss), Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Porcelain Dishes, Porcelain Fixtures, Stainless Steel, Vinyl Clothing, Vinyl Tile or Vinyl Wallcovering
  • Stone surfaces such as Bluestone, Brick, Concrete, Flagstone, Granite, Limestone, Slate or Terrazzo
  • Grout
  • Leather or suede
  • Paint (flat) or wallpaper
  • Silver
  • Wood

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Non-washable Fibers

Follow these steps to remove graphite and pencil lead stains from Acetate, Burlap, Fiberglass, Rayon, Rope, Silk, Triacetate, or Wool:

  • Use a soft eraser to remove the excess stain, being careful not to distort the fabric.
  • Spray on a dry-cleaning solvent and apply a dry spotter.
  • Rub in the dry spotter with an absorbent pad moistened with dry spotter.
  • Cover the stain with a pad, also dampened with dry spotter, and let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Spray again with the dry-cleaning solvent and allow to dry. If any stain remains, sponge area with water and apply a wet spotter plus a few drops of ammonia (do not use ammonia on silk and wool).
  • Tamp (the method of bringing a brush down with light strokes on stained durable fabrics and materials) or scrape (the method of using a dull tool to gently lift off excess solid or caked-on stains) the area to loosen the stain.
  • Flush (the method of applying stain remover to loosen staining material and residue from stain removers) with water and repeat if necessary.
  • Allow fabric to air dry.

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Washable Fabrics

Follow these steps to remove graphite and pencil stains from Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester or Spandex:

  • Use a soft eraser to remove any excess stain.
  • Rub a little liquid detergent into the stain and add a few drops of ammonia.
  • Tamp gently, then flush with water to remove all traces of ammonia.
  • Launder as soon as possible.

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Hard Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove graphite and pencil lead from Acrylic Plastic, Aluminum, Asphalt, Bamboo, Cane, Ceramic Glass/Tile, Cork, Ivory, Linoleum, Marble, Paint (gloss), Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Porcelain Dishes, Porcelain Fixtures, Stainless Steel, Vinyl Clothing, Vinyl Tile, Vinyl Wallcovering:

  • Remove any excess marks with a soft eraser.
  • Wipe the surface with a cloth or sponge dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • Rinse well with water and wipe dry.

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Stone Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove graphite and pencil lead from Bluestone, Brick, Concrete, Flagstone, Granite, Limestone, Slate, Terrazzo:

  • Wash the stain with a solution of washing soda and water.
  • Scrub with a cloth or soft-bristled brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clear water and allow to dry.

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Grout

Follow these steps to remove graphite and pencil lead from grout:

  • Wipe the surface with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • If any stain remains, dip a wet toothbrush into baking soda or powdered cleanser and gently scrub the spot.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry with a soft cloth.

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Leather or Suede

Follow these steps to remove graphite or pencil lead from leather or suede:

  • Mix a solution of mild soap in lukewarm water. Swish to create a great volume of suds.
  • Apply only the foam with a sponge. Wipe with a clean dry cloth.
  • On leather only, follow with cleaners such as Tannery Vintage Leather Cleaner & Conditioner or Fiebing's Saddle Soap.

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Paint or Wallpaper

Follow these steps to remove graphite or pencil lead from paint or wallpaper:

  • Use a suede stone or a soft eraser to remove as many marks as possible.
  • With a clean cloth dampened with clear water, wipe the surface with overlapping strokes.
  • Gently pat dry with another soft cloth.

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Silver

Follow these steps to remove graphite or pencil lead from silver:

  • Wash as soon as possible in hot sudsy water.
  • Rinse in hot water and dry immediately with a soft cloth to prevent tarnish.

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Wood

Follow these steps to remove graphite and pencil lead from wood:

  • Use a soft eraser to remove any excess marks.
  • Mix dishwashing detergent in hot water and swish to make a great volume of suds. Dip a cloth in only the foam and apply to the stain.
  • Rinse with a clean cloth dampened with clear water.
  • Polish or wax as soon as possible.

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