Molecular dynamics computer simulations are used to investigate the ejection process of molecules from a benzene crystal bombarded with keV large Ar clusters. The effect of projectile size, the kinetic energy and the impact angle on the sputtering efficiency is investigated. The results show that although the sputtering yield depends on all projectile parameters, this dependence can be greatly simplified if the sputtering yield per projectile nucleon is expressed as a function of projectile kinetic energy per nucleon. A different dependence of the total sputtering yield on the impact angle has been observed for small and large projectiles. This effect is attributed to a ‘washing out’ mechanism. For large projectiles most of the organic molecules are ejected by gentle collective action of argon atoms. Proper selection of the projectile parameters allows for achieving conditions where only intact molecules are emitted. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.