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How to Remove Ink from your Carpet

Date posted: 24 November 2016

There are several ways to go about cleaning up an ink stain from your carpet, and most households will have one or more of the required ingredients used in the various methods below.

All of the approaches require you to first blot up as much of the ink as possible using some kitchen towel or a clean, white cloth. It is really important, however, not to rub the carpet – or you will push the ink deeper into the fibres, and may spread the stain further.
We would always recommend test an inconspicuous piece of carpet with your chosen cleaning solution/solvent before using it on the stain. This way you can check that the solvent isn't going to harm your carpet, or make a stain of its own!

Method 1:  Using surgical/white spirit or turpentine

  1. After initial blotting with a dry kitchen towel or cloth, blot the ink stain again gently using some turpentine, or surgical / white spirit, absorbing the ink into the cloth – working from the edge in towards the centre in gradually smaller circles to prevent the stain from spreading. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing at the stain or you just risk making it worse.
  2. Occasionally re-wet the cloth with a little more spirit and use it to repeatedly blot the ink spot.
  3. Leave the stain alone for 25-30 minutes to allow the solvent to do its work.
  4. Rinse the area with a solution made up of a litre of warm water mixed with a quarter of a cup of white vinegar. This “rinsing” prevents the white spirit drying out the fibres of your carpet too much.
  5. If you have managed to remove the stain completely, you can let it dry.
  6. If you can still see some ink in your carpet, cover it with shaving cream and leave for up to 15 minutes.
  7. Scoop away the shaving cream and blot the stain with your white vinegar and water mixture.
  8. Rinse again with clean water.

Method 2: Using a lubricant

  1. Spray some lubricant (e.g. WD-40) onto the ink stain (after initial blotting) and leave for a few minutes.
  2. Take a sponge soaked in a little warm, soapy water and massage the soap into the stain, removing both the ink and the lubricant.
  3. Rinse with clean, warm water to remove any remaining soapy residue.

Method 3: Using detergent

  1. Mix a teaspoon (5g) of washing-up liquid into 1 cup (240ml) of water to make a detergent solution.
  2. Spray the solution onto the stain.
  3. Use a clean cloth to gently blot the stain, and as for the other methods make sure you do not rub or scrub at the stain or you risk spreading it deeper and over a wider area of the carpet.
  4. Rinse with a little clean, warm water to remove any soapy residue.

Method 4: Using ammonia

(Unsuitable for natural fibre carpets such as wool, which can be damaged by ammonia.)

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon (15 g) of ammonia with 1/2 a cup of water to create a solution of ammonia.
  2. Spray the solution onto the stain.
  3. Use a clean cloth to gently blot the stain, and as for the other methods make sure you do not rub or scrub at the stain or you risk spreading it deeper and over a wider area of the carpet.
  4. Rinse with a little clean, warm water to remove any soapy residue.

Method 5: Using white vinegar

  1. Mix up a solution using equal parts white vinegar and water.
  2. Spray the vinegar solution onto the stain.
  3. Take a clean cloth and blot at the stain gently, again making sure you don't scrub or rub at the ink.
  4. Rinse with a little clean, warm water to remove any remaining vinegar solution.

Method 5: Using shaving cream

  1. Spray on and spread out some shaving cream over the stain.
  2. Allow to sit on the stain for about 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse off the shaving cream using clean water. It will become foamy in the process, but this is not a problem.
  4. Use clean, cold water to rinse off the foam.

You can also use any of the methods above to remove an ink stain from an item of upholstery.

 

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