What Is Blotter Paper Used For? Uses, Alternatives & Beauty Hack 

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What Is Blotter Paper Used For

What is the use of blotter paper? A definition of this unique paper will make its usage clearer. So, what is blotter paper? It refers to an unglued, minimally pressed, and unbuffered white-colored paper. Plus, it’s also called bibulous paper or blotting sheets. 

Blotter paper’s structure enables it to absorb liquid via capillary action. It also contains a rich amount of cotton fibers, making it highly absorbent. Let’s discuss blotting paper’s uses, alternatives, beauty hack, how to make blotter paper and more. Read on! 

What Is Blotter Paper Used For

Blotter paper, also called blotting paper, is highly absorbent. It is used for ink or oil absorption from writing materials and was widely used years ago when fountain pens or quills were popular. 

Blotting paper’s ability to absorb liquid (oil or ink) makes them useful for many things. It is also used to test the amount of oil a product has. 

Today, blotting papers are widely used in the beauty industry. People use it to soak up oil from their faces. Thus, it’s commonly used by people with oily skin. 

The blotter paper used in cosmetics can help to clean oil off one’s face without messing up the makeup on the person’s face. 

Most people might be eager to know if the blotting papers used in cosmetics are the same as those used in writing. The simple answer is this: the ideas behind blotting papers used for cosmetics and writing are the same, but the technology is different. 

The blotter paper used in cosmetics does the same job as the one used in writing. That is, the papers absorb liquid. While blotter paper used in writing absorbs oil and ink from writing materials, the ones used in cosmetics absorb oil and sweat from one’s face, keeping the makeup intact. 

Summary of the uses of blotter paper:

  • Used as a desk blotter
  • Protects handwriting works
  • Used for making herbariums
  • Used for stamp collection or framing
  • Drying drawings and ink-based documents
  • Restoring drawings and ink-based documents

So, blotter paper has a broad list of uses. It helps protect the desk pad’s writing surface, providing a slightly softer surface. 

A Handy Tip: You can use blotter paper for any purpose requiring an absorbent material. It contains cotton, making it highly absorbent. 

The History of Blotter Paper

The history of blotter paper shows why it’s a blessing to humanity or the people that use it the most. Firstly, they are produced from diverse materials of different softness, thickness, etc., based on the intended use. 

Blotter paper was named in the English language around the 15th century. But how was it invented? 

According to a tradition in Norfolk, England, the paper was accidentally invented in Lyng Mill, located on the River Wensum. 

History has it that a worker at the Berkshire paper mill made a mistake, which led to the discovery of blotter paper. He failed to add the appropriate sizing to specific paper batches during production. 

The company had to discard the batch of paper since it didn’t meet the specification. Fortunately, someone in the company picked up the paper and tried writing on it, but it didn’t work. 

The paper absorbed the ink and made writing on it impossible. And that was how blotter paper was born. 

The company started producing blotting paper to absorb ink from writing, which it did perfectly. The sand was used to absorb superficial wet ink at the time. But when blotting paper production started, people stopped using sand to absorb wet ink. 

Blotter Paper Substitutes That Works

Are you seeking alternatives to blotting paper? Here are some great options you should consider. The main job of blotting paper is to absorb or soak up excess oil or ink. 

For this reason, you can use any absorbent paper instead of blotter paper. So, here are blotting paper alternatives. You can use them to clean nibs, wipe your face to reduce the shine or oil and remove ink from your writing desk.   

1: Paper towels as an alternative to blotter paper:

Paper towels are good alternatives to blotter paper. But how should you use them? Firstly, get a paper towel and fold it in half. Then use it to blot the stain until it absorbs it. 

You can use some paper towels multiple times because they are absorbent. You can also use some paper towels as a desktop blotter and for other purposes. 

2: Paper napkins as an alternative to blotter paper: 

How good are paper napkins when used in place of blotting paper? Paper napkins can absorb ink or oil as blotting paper. However, you must fold them before use. 

Unfolded paper napkins can easily tear up, mainly when used to wipe. So, the best thing you should do is bloat and endeavor to fold the paper since they’re pretty thin.  

3: Toilet paper as an alternative to blotter paper:

Toilet papers make good blotter paper alternatives. But keep in mind that quality (and thickness) matters.  

You can use 2, 3, or 4-ply toilet paper as a substitute for blotting paper. Just know you have to fold the paper if it’s thinner. 

The 3-ply toilet paper is more absorbent and less likely to tear when blotting, though the 4-ply is thicker and more durable. 

A Handy Tip: If you’re using softer tissue paper as a substitute for blotter paper, be ready to fold it twice or thrice to make it thicker.  

Blotter Paper Must-Know Beauty Hacks

Most people with oily skin are closer to their blotter papers than their best friend. Anyway, it’s not any fault of theirs. Their skin’s situation is to blame. 

Keeping one’s oily and sweaty skin dry without messing up their makeup isn’t the only application blotter papers have in cosmetics. 

1: Sets your makeup:

Here’s how to use blotting paper to set your makeup. Firstly, apply your makeup, such as cream blush, foundation, or any creamy makeup you want to apply. Then get a piece of blotter paper and pat the face gently.

The job of the blotter paper is simple: absorb the product’s excess oil and help it remain on your face.    

Not just your face. You can use blotting paper to make your lipstick pop. How? The first thing to do is apply the first layer of the lipstick, then blot and apply another afterward. 

The blotting paper will help remove the oil, including emollients, from the product, ensuring the pigment stays intact. So, you can use blotter paper to set your makeup. Take the oil off oily makeup without compromising the quality of the makeup on your face. 

2: Clean your device’s screen:

It’s hard to tell how dust, grease, oil, and dirt accumulate on phones, iPad, and other devices’ screens. But the good thing is you can wipe them off with a blotting sheet. 

One piece of advice to pay attention to when wiping your device’s screen is to do it gently. The idea isn’t to mess the device’s screen up but clean off the dirt. 

3: Dry shampoo stand-in:

The issue with this hack is that you’ll need plenty of blotting paper if you’re doing your entire scalp. Additionally, blotting paper isn’t as effective as the actual product, but it will work fine anyway. 

How To Make Blotting Paper In a Few Minutes 

Blotting paper is also the same as blotting sheets and is a breeze. How? Here are a few steps to follow. 

Step 1: Gather the materials you need:

Here are the things you need to make your DIY blotting sheet. 

  • Scissors
  • Container or small envelope
  • Translucent setting powder
  • Unused paper toilet seat covers (you can also use thick tissue paper such as 3-ply tissue paper) 

Now that you have all the necessary materials let’s move to the next stage. 

Step 2: Time to flatten out your sheets:

You cannot use wrinkled sheets for this process. They must be flat and without wrinkles. So, what should you do in this case?

You can flatten the sheets by pressing them. Not with your hand, though. Instead, place a heavy book on the sheet for 24 hours. This will do the job. 

Step 3: Trim the seat covers/tissue to size:

It’s time to put your scissors to work. Trim your seat covers or tissue paper to size. They can cut them to sheet sizes or create any shape you fancy. 

Step 4: Use your setting powder:

Take your setting powder and sprinkle it all over the sheets. This is because the powder gives the sheet a mattifying effect and helps absorb the oil from one’s face. 

Step 5: Package the sheet:

You have done the final process: sprinkling the powder on the sheet. Now what is left to do is package your handmade blotting sheet.

The first thing you need to do before packaging is shake off the powder. You don’t want powder flying around when you remove your handmade blotting sheet to wipe your face. 


What is blotting paper used for? This highly absorbent paper helps absorb the oil and ink produced by writing materials. Blotting paper is also popularly used in the cosmetics industry. People use them to wipe the oil off their faces while keeping their makeup intact. 

Blotting paper is also known as a blotting sheet or bibulous paper. It is made of cotton and is highly absorbent. 

You can use blotting paper alternatives if you find the actual product or run out of supply. You can use paper napkins, toilet paper, and paper towels as alternatives. 

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Susan Tapia is an ambitious, savvy news writer with a vibrant personality and an eye for detail. She is highly experienced in crafting compelling stories and dedicated to seeking out the truth. With her inquisitive nature, she delves deep into every subject she touches, uncovering unexpected facts that help her engage her readers. Susan has an unbridled passion for writing, and she strives to inspire others through her work. She confidently shares her thought-provoking ideas with enthusiasm and candor, making sure the world can see the truth no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Simply put, Susan Tapia is a trailblazer in the journalism industry who never fails to deliver her readers riveting stories they won't soon forget.

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