How to Get Ink Out of Canvas

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Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels

  • Hairspray (no fragrance)

  • Dry Cleaning solvent

  • 1/2 cup of cream of tartar

  • 1 quart of hot water

  • Jug

  • Sponge


Do not bleach the ink on the canvas as it will turn yellow and create another unsightly stain.

Do not let the ink dry as it will become really tough to remove.

Ink is a tough stain to remove.

If you have spilled or spoiled canvas with ink, you will want to remove it to avoid ruining your picture or painting. Reacting quickly to the spillage is crucial to successfully remove the stain because the ink spreads and soaks into the canvas fabric. It is highly absorbent, so canvas will suck up the liquid. Even though it will be difficult to remove the entire stain, make several attempts using different techniques to lift as much of the residue from the surface as possible.

Step 1

Spray the ink stain with hairspray to prevent it spreading too far across the canvas surface.

Step 2

Blot the stain with paper towels. Sandwich the canvas between two sheets of the towel and press firmly to do this. The towel will soak up excess ink, so keep applying new ones as the towels stain with ink.

Step 3

Dab dry cleaning solvent onto the affected area of the canvas using a clean paper towel. It will dissolve the ink and help release it from the fibers of the canvas. Keep blotting using the paper towels to collect the ink liquid. Check the solvent manufacturer's user instructions before you use it.

Step 4

Mix together 1/2 cup of cream of tartar and one quart of hot water in a jug.

Step 5

Put the sponge in the jug to absorb the water, and then squeeze out the excess.

Step 6

Sponge off the ink stain using the cream of tartar. Don't forget to continue to blot the ink away using paper towels. When the ink has been removed as much as possible, dampen the canvas with the water and leave it to soak further

Step 7

Wait for 30 minutes before removing the water with more paper towels. Then, leave the canvas to dry.


Philippa Jones

Based in Bristol, Philippa Jones has been a music journalist and script writer since 2007, working across a range of radio programs in the U.K. and Australia. Her articles have appeared in "Impact Magazine," "The Mic" and in local newspapers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics from the University of Nottingham.