Cleaning Guides

Easy Ways to Get Ink Stains Out of a Carpet

Did your latest art project get a little bit out of hand? Or maybe your dog has chewed up your favourite pen. Not only is the ink all over your pet now, but your carpet, too! Put away your art supplies, add a new pen to your shopping list, and put on your cleaning gloves! It’s time to get that pesky ink stain out of your carpet.

If you:

  • Have accidentally spilt ink on your carpet;
  • Are struggling to remove the stain;
  • Want to know how to clean up dried ink spots,

Then read on! This post will answer your questions.

Why does ink stain?

Ink is literally made of dyes for staining the surfaces they touch. In addition to dyes, ink contains other ingredients such as lubricants, resins, solvents, surfactants and others. That’s why it can be harder to remove ink once it has settled into the carpet fibre. Ink can also be liquid or paste, oil or water-based, so no shortage of stain types.

Most common types of ink stains

  • Water-based ink – Water-based inks, such as Indian Ink, are one of the easiest to clean up. They use water as a solvent base and don’t need any harsh chemicals to break them down. You can make a DIY cleaning solution from products you have around the house.
  • Permanent inks – Ballpoint ink, printer ink, dried-up stains, gel pens and sharpies fall into this category. Some ballpoint pen ink shouldn’t prove too difficult to remove from a carpet. However, with printer ink and the rest, you may have a bit more difficulty.
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Easy ways to get ink out of carpet

If ink has stained your carpet, it is important to act quickly. Letting it dry will only make it harder to remove, resulting in more tedious work for you. Blot out as much of the liquid as you can before proceeding.

How you clean your carpet will depend on several factors.

  • The type of ink
  • The carpet fibers
  • How old the stain is

They all make a great difference in how you should handle it. Some more delicate materials, such as wool, require more careful cleaning. That being said, here are some of the most common ink stain types and how to remove them.

How to remove water-based ink

As mentioned before, these types of inks are among the easiest to remove from the carpet, so here is how you can do it.

What you need

  • Water
  • Dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent
  • White cloth

So, here is how to easily remove water-based ink stains from your carpet:

  1. Create a cleaning mixture.
    Mix one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent with some warm water.
  2. Dip a cloth into the solution.
    Use a white cloth or towel to avoid transferring colour onto the carpet.
  3. Dab the cloth on the ink stain.
    Work from the outside towards the centre of the stain so as not to spread the ink around.
  4. Repeat.
    Keep dabbing the stain until it disappears.
  5. Soak up any extra moisture.
    Use paper towels or a dry, clean cloth.
  6. Vacuum.
    Once the carpet is dry, vacuum it to restore the fibres.

Dish soap can help you remove water-based paint stains from your carpet, too.

How to get permanent inks out of the carpet

Dishwashing liquid and water could be enough to lift some ballpoint ink stains from your carpeting. However, if they don’t do the trick, you can move on to the methods below. To remove printer ink, gel pens and other more stubborn permanent inks, you will need something to break down the ink. This is where rubbing alcohol comes in.

Make sure to always rinse away any leftover alcohol to avoid damage to the carpet fibres. You can use a mixture of water and white vinegar, or water and dish soap.

What you need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • White cloth

Follow these steps to remove more stubborn ink stains from your rug:

Time needed: 15 minutes.

  1. Dip a white cloth into some rubbing alcohol.

    Use a white cloth to minimise the risk of transferring dirt or colour onto the rug.

  2. Dab the stain.

    Blot the ink stain with the cloth, working from the outside towards the centre. Make sure to turn the cloth occasionally to avoid reapplying the ink to the carpet.

  3. Repeat until the stain disappears.

    This might take a while, depending on the type of ink and age of the stain.

  4. Make a solution of white vinegar and water.

    This will help remove the excess rubbing alcohol and prevent damage to the fibres.

  5. Rinse off the rubbing alcohol.

    Dab the spot with a clean cloth, dipped in the vinegar solution.

  6. Vacuum.

    When the carpet is dry, vacuum it to restore the look of the fibres.

White vinegar works wonders when it comes to removing nasty carpet odours, as well.

Still struggling to remove the stain?

As much as you try, some stains simply won’t go away. Why not let the professionals help? Fantastic Services offers a carpet cleaning service that is sure to leave your favourite rug looking and smelling fresh.

The fully insured cleaners come equipped with everything they will need to restore your carpet to its former glory. They are prepared to tackle any type of material and stain you may be faced with. The service is done using the effective, child- and pet-safe hot water extraction method. Rest assured – your rug is in the right hands!

Need a carpet cleaner?

Book now to enjoy a professional and reliable service.

Add a valid postcode e.g. SE1 2TH


  • Try to deal with the stain as soon as it appears, as dried spots are more difficult to remove.
  • Water-based ink is easier to clean up than other types.
  • You can use a homemade solution of water and dishwashing liquid to remove water-based ink stains.
  • To deal with ballpoint, printer and dried ink stains, you can use rubbing alcohol. Just make sure to rinse it off afterwards.
  • Always test your chosen cleaning method on an inconspicuous area first.
  • Some stubborn stains may require professional cleaning.


Did you manage to get the ink stains off your carpet? Do you have any additional cleaning tips? Let us know in the comments below!

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