How to Remove an Ink Stain From Carpet

Removing an ink stain isn't such an easy task because of its chemical properties. But with a little patience and persistence, the stain will be gone before your eyes.

August 02, 2019
Ink Pen Stain on Carpet

Ink Pen Stain on Carpet

Removing an ink stain is easier than you think with our simple tips and tricks.

Photo by: Jalynn Baker

Jalynn Baker

How to Remove Carpet Stains 04:54

Remove impossible stains like nail polish, grease, ink and wine from carpet with these step-by-step instructions.

We’ve all been there. Either you’ve dropped an ink pen or stepped on one and the ink is everywhere. Ugh! Ink stains can be a pain to remove from carpet. Why? Ink contains chemical properties such as pigments, dyes and lubricants that make the removal tougher than most household products. The sooner you get to cleaning up the stain, the better. This way, the ink doesn’t have time to soak into the carpet, making it even more difficult to remove.

Denatured alcohol is a great secret weapon to get out tough ink stains because of its heavy-duty cleaning properties. Denatured alcohol also evaporates quickly, which will help avoid damage to the padding underneath the carpet. It differs from rubbing alcohol in that it contains roughly 10 percent methanol, which is very poisonous. However, denatured alcohol is better for cleaning than rubbing alcohol because it works and dries faster. Just make sure to keep it away from children and pets.

What You'll Need:

  • denatured alcohol
  • light-colored rags
  • wet/dry vacuum
  • old toothbrush

Step 1: Blot the Stain

If the ink stain is fresh, use a light-colored rag to blot as much of the stain up as possible. Be careful! Make sure not to press the fresh stain deeper into the carpet.

Removing Ink From Carpet

Removing Ink From Carpet

Blot the ink stain with a light-colored rag.

Photo by: Jalynn Baker

Jalynn Baker

Step 2: Soak With Alcohol

A dry stain will need to be soaked in denatured alcohol for at least five minutes. Do not pour too much alcohol on the stain. Apply enough to cover the stain, and allow it to soak down about half an inch. The alcohol will penetrate the stain but it can also go deeper and harm the padding under the carpet if you are not careful. Once the alcohol has soaked for a minute, take a clean rag and begin blotting more ink from the stain. Repeat this process a few times. Add alcohol, wait then blot.

Removing Ink From Carpet

Removing Ink From Carpet

Soak the carpet with denatured alcohol and blot.

Photo by: Jalynn Baker

Jalynn Baker

Step 3: Use a Toothbrush If Needed

If there seem to be some fibers that the alcohol is not reaching, take an old toothbrush and gently massage the alcohol into the stubborn fibers. Let the alcohol sit for five minutes, then begin blotting more ink up again.

Removing Ink From Carpet

Removing Ink From Carpet

Use an old toothbrush to penetrate the alcohol into the stain and carpet fibers.

Photo by: Jalynn Baker

Jalynn Baker

Step 4: Use a Vacuum

You may not be able to get all of the ink out of the carpet just by blotting and massaging. A wet/dry vacuum can make this process much quicker and much more effective. Add the alcohol, and let it sit for five minutes. Once it has had a chance to soak in, vacuum up the alcohol and ink with the wet/dry vacuum. Note: Be sure not to have a filter inside your vacuum. Filters are for dry cleaning only, and removing the filter will allow the vacuum to suck up liquids. This process of soaking and vacuuming is very similar to what professional carpet cleaners use. Repeat this process as many times as necessary. This should completely remove that pesky ink stain.

Removing Ink From Carpet

Removing Ink From Carpet

Use a vacuum to suck up the moisture in the wet stain.

Photo by: Jalynn Baker

Jalynn Baker

Be patient and persistent when tackling an ink stain. It may take several applications of alcohol and blotting or vacuuming for the stain to completely go away. If the stain still persists, call in a professional cleaner to do the job.

Next Up

How to Remove Coffee Stains From Carpet

With just a few household items and our simple tips and tricks, that daunting coffee stain will be no more.

How to Remove Wine Stains From Carpet

We've all been there — you've tipped over or splashed a glass of vino on the carpet and are left with a scary-looking stain. With just a few common household items, the stain will be gone in no time.

How to Remove a Grease Stain

Grease stains can be frustrating and intimidating. But with our four simple steps, you can say goodbye to those once ugly stains and hello to fresh, like-new carpet.

How to Remove Wax From Carpet

Don't let a little bit of candle wax on the carpet put you in a bad mood. The removal process is actually easier than you think.

6 Things You're Definitely Forgetting to Clean

It's time to talk about the dirty truth.

10 Things You Probably Forgot to Clean

Don’t let these easily forgotten germs lead to a dirty home!

How to Clean Carpet Stains

A good quality carpet could last for many years with proper care and maintenance.

10 Things People With Clean Houses Always Do

Find out what it takes to have the cleanest house on the block (and NOT feel like you're constantly cleaning).

10 Baking Soda Kitchen Hacks

This natural solution is perfect for many daily kitchen chores.

How to Get Fingernail Polish Out of Carpet

Before panic sets in, check out these tips that’ll save the day when someone (obviously not you) accidentally spills nail polish on the carpet.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows. Live stream HGTV now.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.