All inks are made with a liquid, which is either oil or water based. In this liquid, there are different pigments, which gives the ink its color. The stain you see is the pigments attaching to your carpet fibers. Each type of stain from ink requires a different approach to remove it. Follow the steps below for tips on how to remove both oil based and water based inks from your carpets.
Remove Oil Based Ink
If you have natural-fiber carpet, follow these steps to remove oil based ink stains. This method works best for ballpoint ink pens.
One of the most surprising techniques for cleaning ink from carpet, in particular from natural fiber carpets, is to use lacquer hair spray.
- Purchase one or two cans depending on the extent of the stain and aim them directly at the ink stains. The chemicals within the hairspray will soften the ink.
- You can then use a clean white towel or cloth to blot the lacquer away. It’s important to blot instead of scrub so you don’t wipe the ink further into the carpet fibers.
- Continue to blot and spray until the ink stain disappears, and allow the area to dry.
- Wrap up the process by hand-brushing the area with a toothbrush, then vacuuming.
Remove Water Based Ink
If you have natural-fiber carpet, follow these steps to remove water based ink stains. This method works best for rollerball pens or washable markers.
Rollerball pens and washable markers can stain your carpet, but these types of stains are much easier to remove since the inks are water based.
- Start by mixing one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with a bowl of lukewarm water. Common dishwashing soaps usually work just fine for this method.
- Dab a clean towel into the mixture and blot the ink stain with the towel, being careful not to rub.
- As you keep blotting, you’ll notice the stain start to disappear and transfer to the towel.
By acting quickly and using the right cleaning methods, you can remove most types of ink from your carpets. Whichever cleaning solution you choose to use, be sure to color test a small inconspicuous area of your carpet to check for the colorfastness of the carpet. You don’t want to turn a small stain into a larger spot if the carpet reacts to the cleaner of choice. If you’re unsure of the material of your carpet or the type of ink stain on your carpet, it’s always best practice to bring in a professional to get the job done since expert carpet cleaners have access to quality stain-fighting products and methods that can remove even the toughest ink stains.