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How to Remove Ink From Your Carpet

TLDR: Ink contains a numerous amount of chemicals and additives, making it a challenging substance to remove from carpet fibers. While natural carpet is best left to the professionals, synthetic fiber carpets can be freed of ink stains using a bit of hairspray, some patient blotting and a bit of patience. 

As one of the most common tools for writing, ink pens and markers can be found in almost every business, home, or various facility around and often en masse. Ink can be a fantastic substance for putting words to paper but when it manages to get out of its receptacle it can stain anything around it, sometimes permanently. Carpet specifically is vulnerable to ink stains, but we have some tips and a time-proven process for removing ink stains from your carpeted areas.

What’s In Ink & Why Does It Stain?

Well, the simple answer is that it’s supposed to. Ink is comprised of several different chemicals that are meant to stain whatever they come into contact with. While this is exactly what we want when ink meets paper it can be challenging to remove it from the carpet. Ink can be either water or oil-based but can also contain:

  • Surfactants
  • Pigments
  • Solvents
  • Resins
  • Fluorescents
  • Lubricants
  • And more…

Depending on the type of ink the process for removing it can change as well. Oil-based ink such as those from a ballpoint pen or permanent marker can be tricky to deal with and require the use of other chemicals to break down their makeup.

The bottom line on removing dog urine from your carpets!

Owning a pet means it’s not a matter of if, but when, as all dogs will eventually have an accident on your carpet. As a conscious pet owner, it’s important to have these products available to you, so that you’re ready at a moment’s notice to remove, neutralize and deodorize any dog urine that you find on your carpet.

Luckily with a few things laying around the house, and some simple ingredients, you can spend less time cleaning up messes and getting back to loving your furry family friend!

Know Your carpet Before You Start

Because Ink has so many chemicals in it, it often requires other chemicals to remove properly. It’s important to know what material or fiber your carpet is made of so you can avoid using something that may just damage it further.

Protip: When in doubt it is always better to call a professional. Carpet Advisors can easily remove stains and give you the best recommendations for taking care of your carpet, ink stains or not!

Here are a few of the more common carpet types and what to avoid using on them:

Natural Fiber Carpets

This fiber type usually comes in the form of wool carpets and while more sustainable and fairly sturdy it needs some special care when removing stains. You definitely want to avoid any alkaline cleaners and be aware that wool is extremely absorbent. Be patient and considerate when drying this kind of fiber as well! With natural fiber carpets, it’s always better to seek professional help when removing ink stains.

Synthetic Fiber Carpets

This is the more common type of carpet found in homes and most likely what you will be working with. Synthetic fibers include:

  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Olefin
  • Triexta

Synthetic carpets are much more durable when it comes to store-bought cleaners and tend to resist stains well, even when they penetrate deeper into the fibers.

Now that you know what to look out for, let’s look at how to actually remove an ink stain from your carpet. 

The Best Method For Removing Ink Stains

Before you do anything be aware that spot testing any cleaning solutions (hairspray included in that) is imperative to make sure you do not make the stain worse. As another precautionary tip, hairspray can also stain your carpet if left on it and allowed to dry.

Protip: Clean a small area completely before moving on to the next. This will make sure nothing dries or gets missed while you are trying to focus on a larger area.

With those things in mind here are the steps for removing ink stains from your carpet:

Protip: Water based ink and markers can be removed simply by applying soapy water and gently blotting it up.

  1. If the ink stain is from a permanent marker, apply a bit of rubbing alcohol to moisten it. Blot the area gently but avoid rubbing it in further. Using rubbing alcohol alone, followed by a washcloth with a bit of water, is usually enough to remove permanent marker stains.
  2. When dealing with oil-based ink or that of a ballpoint pen, skip the alcohol and instead apply a small amount of hairspray to soften and break down the ink.
  3. Once the hairspray is applied, use a clean cloth or towel to gently pat the lacquer, again avoiding any rubbing. The stain should disappear but DO NOT allow the hairspray to fully dry. 
  4. Once the stain is gone, gently pat with lukewarm water to remove any excess hairspray then allow to dry.
  5. Once dry, vacuum the area to remove any remaining particulates and you are good to go!

Key Takeaways:

Ink stains can seem like a hassle but with a bit of knowledge on your side, these stains are easy to tackle. Just keep in mind:

  • Natural fibers can’t stand up to chemicals well and should be handled by professionals.
  • Spot test any cleaners you use to make sure they won’t ruin your carpet.
  • Apply small amounts of the cleaner at one time before moving on to ensure nothing is missed.

Logan Allen Baker
Logan is a home-service enthusiast that uses, promotes, and helps connect consumers with carpet cleaning companies across the globe.

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