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How to Remove Ink Stains From Carpet


Follow the steps here and you can get out most marks made from pens or ink-based markers. Removing ink stains from carpet isn't as tough as you might think, especially if you get to them before they have been there for too long. But if they do turn out to be permanent or can't be lightened enough to make them unnoticeable, you can explore the options on our page covering carpet repairs. Small spots can be repaired relatively easily. (If the spot is smaller than a pea you can use the same technique described for cigarette burn on our burn repair page).

You can remove many ink stains from carpet using rubbing alcohol. It will work better if it is 90% isopropyl alcohol, but you can try the ones that are 70% if that's what's available. In either case, ink will come out much more easily if you catch the spill and treat it shortly after it happens.

First of all, don't pour rubbing alcohol on your carpet. Apply it to a white cotton cloth and dab the stain carefully, so you don't spread the ink. Suck it out after a few minutes using a shop-vac, or, if you use a cloth, blot carefully. Don't rub!

Repeat the process until you remove the stains from the carpet, or until you get no more transfer to the cloth. In the latter case it may not be possible to remove the stain completely, although you can try a commercial cleaning solvent.

This video might help you understand the basics of how to get ink out of your carpeting, whether it came from a pen or marker:

Something Else to Try

If the steps above were not enough you can try using WD-40 lubricant. Here's the routine:

1. Spray it on the ink spot and work it into the fibers with our fingers (it is best to wear protective glove for this, or wash your hands immediately afterward). Let it stand for a couple minutes.

2. Mix a half-teaspoon of unscented dish washing liquid into a cup of warm water and use this to carefully wash out the WD-40. Use a little, blot it up with paper towels, then add a bit more and repeat until the mixture is used.

3. Rinse several times with tap water, extracting the water each time.

4. Dry your carpet quickly.

Always Rinse and Extract Carpet Stains

When you remove ink from carpet, or any other stains, using a solvent other than water, be sure to rinse the area and extract the water. Again, vacuuming out the water is quicker, and less likely to damage your carpet, but you can use a clean white cloth to blot the moisture out also. Rinse, extract, repeat.

Finally, dry the area quickly. There may still be some ink hiding deep in the fibers. Quick drying prevents this remaining ink from wicking up to he surface of the carpet where it can become visible again. Paper towels work well to get the moisture out, and a fan left blowing on the area will complete the process.

Remove Carpet Stains | Remove Ink Stains From Carpet