How to Get Ink Out of a Carpet

Ink has a way of showing up in areas that you least expect, such as on the carpet. Instead of repositioning furniture and area rugs to hide that unsightly ink spot, remove the ink using one of several homemade treatments. The method that works best for you depends upon the type of ink and how long it has soaked into the carpet fibers; the quicker you act, the easier the stain may be to remove. Test any cleaning solution, homemade or otherwise, on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not change the color of the carpet fibers.

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Blot up fresh ink while it is still wet to make cleanup more manageable.

Dish Soap Solution

A soap-and-water treatment offers a gentle option to try on that ink stain before you resort to harsh alternatives, especially effective while the ink spill is fresh. Mix a generous squirt of liquid dish soap into a cup of water; then blot the ink spot with a white cloth dipped into the soapy solution. Blot, rather than rub, to avoid spreading the stain. Rotate the cloth to a fresh area as the ink transfers onto the cloth. Apply additional dish soap if necessary to loosen the ink; then rinse the soap away with a fresh cloth soaked in water and wrung out. Blot with a dry cloth afterwards,and allow the carpet to air dry completely.

Clear Cleaner

Rubbing alcohol removes some types of inks, including ball-point pen and permanent inks, from carpeting. Pour a little rubbing alcohol onto white, lint-free cloth and blot the ink spots, holding the cloth in place for a few seconds. Lift the cloth and check to see if any of the ink transferred onto it. If so, rotate the cloth to a fresh alcohol-moistened area and blot the stain again. Continue blotting with alcohol until you've removed as much of the ink as possible. Dab the area again with a fresh white cloth, this time moistened with water. Avoid using dyed towels or rags when blotting the carpet, as the dye may transfer onto the carpet.

Milky Marvel

Milk may not seem like something you'd willfully spill on the carpet, but when paired with cornstarch, it forms an ink-lifting paste that removes the stain without harmful chemicals. Mix a teaspoon or so of milk with enough cornstarch to create a paste; if the stain covers a large area, make a batch large enough to thoroughly cover the affected area. Scoop or dab the paste atop the stain, pressing the mixture down slightly with your fingers or a dry cloth. Allow the paste to sit for several hours; then scoop up the dried residue using the edge of a piece of card stock or the bowl of a spoon. Vacuum up any remaining debris. Blot the area with fresh water applied to a white cloth afterwards to remove any remaining milky residue.

White-Vinegar Wash

Douse the ink stain with white vinegar by dipping a white cloth into vinegar and blotting the ink, pressing down firmly rather than rubbing the spot. Lift the cloth and check it to see if any of the ink has transferred onto it; if so, reposition the cloth and continue blotting with a fresh vinegar-soaked area. Once the ink disappears, blot up the remaining moisture with a dry white cloth.