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How to get ink out of carpet

Don't fear spilt ink! Fight ink stains with this simple guide on how to get rid of ink on carpets and what cleaning products to use.

Updated Reading Time: 5 minutesBy Cleanipedia Team

carpet with ink stains on it from colouring in
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No matter how ink ends up on your carpet, you’ll want to deal with the ensuing stain as quickly and effectively as possible. Choosing the most effective cleaning method largely depends on the type of ink (water-based, permanent and so on), the size of the stain, and the material from which your carpet is made – wool being a particularly delicate example.

The good news is, with the right know-how, and a little elbow grease, removing ink from your carpet can be a quick and stress-free experience. Try some of these top tips for removing ink from carpet fibres.

The most important thing to remember when dealing with an ink stain is to avoid smearing it outwards: blot or rub in small movements to confine the stain to the already-affected area.
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How to get rid of ink stains using detergent: water-based inks

You can use specialist carpet cleaning products to treat stains on your carpet – just read the directions on the label and test it in a small area first. Laundry detergent can be your best friend when it comes to removing ink from your carpet – particularly water-based ink. Follow these three simple steps to leave your carpet soft and fresh.

  1. Fill a bowl with warm water

    Fill a bowl with warm water, water-based inks can be removed simply with water.

  2. Add laundry detergent

    Add a teaspoon of detergent (such as Persil) and mix.

  3. Dab the stained area

    Dab the stained area with the solution until the stain surrenders – and voila!

How to remove ink from carpet fibres using ammonia: permanent inks

Again, you can try using a carpet cleaning product for these stains – just follow the directions and test in a small area first. Permanent ink stains from marker pens can be a little trickier to budge. Try this solution, which combines detergent and ammonia for double the cleaning power.

  1. Fill a spray bottle half full with water

    Fill a spray bottle half full with warm water

  2. Add a tablespoon of ammonia

    Ammonia can usually be found in the laundry section of the supermarket.

  3. Spray from a distance and blot with a damp cloth

    Spray the stain from a distance of approximately 20cm to avoid damaging the pile, then blot with a damp cloth.

  4. Follow the previous method

    Finally, follow the three steps in the method for water-based inks above to get rid of any harsh ammonia residue, and use a fresh cloth to dry the area.

Remember: Lightly dab the stain rather than scrubbing it to avoid forcing the ink deeper into the pile of your carpet. For more sensitive wool carpets, use half a tablespoon of ammonia, and fill the spray bottle with water for the best results.

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How to get rid of ink stains – the DIY approach

Though modern washing detergents are the undisputed champions when it comes to removing ink from carpet fibres, homemade remedies can be helpful when dealing with truly stubborn ink splodges. Remember to read the instructions on the back of any new product, as well as testing on an inconspicuous area of carpet before applying, and check your carpet label for manufacturer’s guidance and advice prior to tackling the ink stain.

  • Distilled white vinegar

Fill a spray bottle with equal parts of water and distilled white vinegar. Dab the stained area, and then rinse with warm, soapy water. For a carpet that smells as good as it looks, add a couple of drops of concentrated lavender water or lemon.

  • Rubbing alcohol

Pour rubbing alcohol onto a cotton wool ball, and allow it to fully absorb. Gently dab the stained area and leave for five minutes. Finally, rinse the area with warm water and dry by pressing the area with a clean cotton towel.

Ink stains may look scary, but removing them doesn't have to be difficult. For tips on getting ink out of clothing, read our article for more information!

Originally published