Removing Ink From Your Carpet

Picture of Labrador Retriever on the rug

If you’ve ever come home to a gigantic indigo blue stain on your carpet, you know the horror.  Fido has done some doozies over the years, but this one takes the cake.  Ink on your carpet!  If ink stains clothes, what does it do to carpet fibers?  You hope and pray you’ll be able to get it out because new carpeting just isn’t in the budget.

Stains on carpet are a part of pet ownership.  You’re quite used to that, and you’ve become a master at removing the darnedest things.  But ink is in a class all of its own.

What can you do to get ink out of your carpet?

Why ink stains

Why does ink stain?  It’s an important question.  Understanding precisely what it is about ink that causes it to leave a “lasting impression” is key to figuring out how to remove it.

Ink is actually a jelly like dye that has oil as part of its basis. Its chemical composition is part of what makes it so difficult to remove.  What you’re actually trying to do is erase permanent colour AND oil, and these two components require different processes to eradicate.   This is what makes it so difficult to remove ink stains on clothing that has been through the wash.  If an article of clothing has been through a wash and dry cycle, the stain is “set”, and therefore, much more difficult to get rid of.

Removing ink stains from carpet

Thankfully, carpet stains are a little different than clothing.  Since carpets generally are glued to the ground, you can’t pick them up and throw them in the washing machine, and in this case, that is a good thing!

So, if you’ve come home to find a fresh ink stain on your carpet, what can you do to remove it?

There are several different proven methods for restoring your carpet to its original state.

Here are some things you can try:

  • Shaving cream

While experts can’t pinpoint why it works, they simply agree that it does.  Ordinary, white shaving cream has been known to take out the most stubborn ink stains.  For best results, coat the area liberally with shaving cream and allow it to sit for a minimum of fifteen minutes. Once the shaving cream has had sufficient time to penetrate the stain, blot with a dry towel, and the stain should magically disappear.

  • Automotive lubricant

If you’ve watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you know that Windex fixes everything.  Well, Windex won’t fix your ink stain for you, but WD-40, America’s  favorite home remedy, just might.

Grab a can of WD-40 and spray the stain well ensuring the entire area is covered. Allow the lubricant to sit for several minutes.  During this time, the stain might appear to intensify.  This is normal.

Making use a of a sponge and some water that is warm and soapy, gently wipe the soap into the stain.  You may then rinse well; again using warm water, then allow the carpet to air dry.  Voila!  Your carpet should look good as new!

  • Homemade detergent solutions

Sometimes the best home remedy IS a homemade remedy.  A mixture of Dawn or Joy and water followed by dilute ammonia then finally a dilute vinegar solution can work wonders on ink stains.

To use this method, mix 1 tsp of Dawn or Joy into 1 cup of water.  Spray over the affected area and allow to sit.

Mix ½ cup of water with 1 tbsp of ammonia.  Mist this solution over the spot then gently blot the stain with a clean cloth, taking great care not to rub it.

Finally mix a solution of half water to half vinegar and spray over the stain. Blot the area with a clean cloth.

Repeat the detergent solution to remove any trace of ammonia then rinse and allow to air dry.

  • Rubbing alcohol

If a stain is fresh, rubbing alcohol just might do the trick.  Begin by blotting the stain with the corner that has been wet with alcohol.  Always start from the outside and work your way in.  Re-wet the cloth as necessary until the entire area is saturated.  Allow the alcohol to sit on the stain for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Rinse the affected area with a highly dilute solution of warm water and vinegar to prevent any damage from the alcohol to your carpet.

If the stain has not been removed using this method, apply a layer of shaving cream and proceed with the directions for stain removal with that agent.

  • Hairspray

None of the other methods do the trick?  There is one more thing that you can try before calling up your local flooring company to place an order for new carpet.  HAIRSPRAY!  Yep, it’s not just for holding your wife’s bee hive in place.

For best results, you need to choose a hairspray that is high in alcohol content.  In theory, it works much the same way as using rubbing alcohol.  Instead of blotting with a moistened cloth, you would saturate the area with hairspray then allow it to set on the stain for half an hour before rinsing with the dilute vinegar solution.

This remedy is not as effective as others mentioned, but in a pinch, it might be the only thing you’ve got in the house to attempt stain removal, so it’s worth a shot!

Fido left you an ink stain present on your favorite carpet?  Don’t despair.  Try one of these great tips to get your carpet looking good as new!



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