How to Remove Ink Stains from Carpet


Blanca asked: I tried to remove wax from carpet with a newspaper and now there is ink from the paper on the carpet. Unfortunately, I did not read the bit of “do not use paper with letters or they will get into the carpet.” So, I ironed a newspaper into my carpet. Can you give me a tip to remove it? Thank you.

It can be so frustrating when you fix one problem, only to realize you’ve created a new one. It’s not a hopeless case, the ink can be removed from the carpeting with a few simple steps. Here’s what you need to do know to get your carpet free of print and ink.

You Will Need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Oxy-Clean
  • Small bowl
  • Clean cloths
  • Water

Steps to Remove the Ink:

*Different carpets will react differently to various cleaning solutions. Always test a small, hidden area first to ensure there is no damage to the fibers or coloring of the carpet.

  1. If the ink is fresh and still wet, begin by blotting at the stain with a clean moist cloth to remove as much of the ink as possible. Always blot (do NOT scrub) the area to keep from spreading the stain or pushing it further into the fibers. For larger stains, it is best to work from the outside towards the center.
  2. Moisten a cloth with rubbing alcohol and blot at the stain. As you are blotting, the ink should begin to transfer to the cloth. Use a clean piece of the cloth with each application to prevent adding the removed ink back in. If there is no rubbing alcohol available, spray the area well with hairspray. The cheaper the better as they contain higher levels of alcohol in them.
  3. Many times, the rubbing alcohol is sufficient to remove the stain. If the stain remains, make your cleaning solution a bit stronger by following these guidelines.
  4. In a small bowl combine one part of OxyClean and one part rubbing alcohol.
  5. Moisten a clean cloth with the solution and blot the stain as before.
  6. Continue to use clean portions of the cloth each time until all of the stain is removed.
  7. When the stain is gone, blot the area with clean water to rinse. Ensure that all of the cleaning solution is removed as the residue can leave a sticky layer that will quickly collect dirt and dust.
  8. Use a dry, clean cloth and press firmly over the area to absorb any remaining liquids. If the stain is large, place a couple of dry, clean towels over the cleaned area and cover with a heavy book or weight for a couple of hours. This will help draw the water out of the fibers so the area can dry more quickly.
  9. When the area is dry, check for any areas that may still show staining and repeat the procedures above to remove them.
  10. Once all the stains are gone and the carpet has dried, vacuum the area to restore the fibers to their original texture.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Folex is a spray-on cleaner that is readily available at Wal-Mart, Lowes and similar stores. It works as a great pre-treatment for hard to remove stains such as ink.
  • Avoid saturating the carpeting with the rubbing alcohol. If it goes too deep and soaks through, it will break down the adhesive that holds the fibers to the backing.
  • If the stain has dried or has a significant amount of ink, it may be helpful to allow the area to soak for a minute or two in the solution before blotting to remove.


  1. You can also try to use 1 part D-limonene and 3 parts dishwashing liquid. Soak the stain with the solution for 10-15 minutes. Then blot with clean cloth soaked in hot water. Blot dry with paper towels.

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