How To Get Ink Out Of Carpet
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How To Get Ink Out Of Carpet: An Unskippable Guide 2024

How to get ink out of carpet? If you have children, you know that they love to paint from here to there and everywhere. Indeed, your carpet is no exception when their passion for painting is raging.

So, what to do when this unfortunate event happens? Don’t freak out. This post will offer you plenty of tricks to save your carpet, and rest assured the result is more than just satisfactory. Without delay, let’s get down to work!

Vacuuming Clean Ink
Nothing is more dreadful than waking up to see your carpet covered in colored inks

Ink, Your Carpet’s Formidable Enemy

Sure enough, ink has given many of you a real headache when it gets on fabric, garment, or carpeting. Whatever you do, it just stays there, watching you desperately finding tricks to get rid of it.

The success of your work depends on various factors, as not every ink is created the same. If you are beset with tattoos or permanent ink, it is often more painstaking, even to the point that you have to seek help from an expert.

Meanwhile, water-based inks are more willing to come off, sometimes with just the help of a washcloth and a splash of water or dish soap. However, set your worries aside because the methods I’m going to show you can remove most types of ink.

A Detailed Guide To Say Goodbye To Ink On Your Carpet

When you or your children happen to knock over a bottle of ink, prompt actions are required. Even a few seconds can have a say in the result of your cleaning job. That said, gather your cleaning implements and get down to business right now!

1. Vinegar

With relatively high acidity, vinegar is often involved in many of your cleaning projects, like removing baked-on grease from cooking pans. In addition, it’s non-toxic and safe to use on different surfaces, including your silk or satin carpet.

Vinegar Clean Ink Stain
Vinegar is no doubt your best household cleaning buddy

What You Need

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Cloth rags
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Essential oil (optional)
  • Vacuum (optional)

What To Do

Step 1: If you have got an enormous ink puddle, cover it with baking soda. You can remove the encrusted ink later with a vacuum.

Step 2: Straight white vinegar is a little too strong, so you will need to dilute it with an equal part of water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and give it a good shake to dissolve. You can also add a few drops of essential oil into the solution if you want to freshen up the odor.

Step 3: After a few minutes, pat the stains gently with a light-colored washcloth. Repeat the process until the ink stain disappears.

2. Cornstarch And Milk

It’s interesting to see cornstarch and milk here. Much to people’s surprise, this duo has long been used to bring ink out of your garments. The role of cornstarch here is to absorb the ink, whereas milk helps thicken its partner, allowing you to apply the mixture to the stain easier.

Corn Flour Spoon
Cornstarch is the latest addition to your stain cleaning team

What You Need

  • Cornstarch
  • Milk
  • Spoon
  • Shop vac

What To Do

Step 1: As mentioned, you will create a paste with 2 parts cornstarch, 1 part milk. Smear it on the stain with the back of a spoon and wait for a few hours. 

Step 2: Once the paste has dried up, remove it using a shop vac. You can rent it at a Home Depot in your neighborhood if you don’t have one.

Step 3: To ensure that the starchy paste is gone, flush the carpet with water.

3. Dishwashing Detergent

You can’t forget dish soap when talking about getting stains out of your carpet. This product can also bring the shine back on your floor, disinfect household surfaces, and kill weed from your garden.

Dishwashing Detergent Clean Ink Stain
A mild dishwashing soap will have your back when you come to grips with ink

What You Need

  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Water
  • Cloth rags

What To Do

Step 1: Combine a teaspoon of dish soap with a cup of lukewarm water. Keep in mind that your dish soap should not contain bleach or harmful chemicals.

Step 2: Dip a washcloth into the solution and apply it to the ink stain. Do not apply too much pressure, or you will cause the ink to set in the fibers. Repeat the step until the ink spot is no longer visible.

Step 3: Rinse the soapy solution with clean water and let the carpet dry. 

Note: This method works best for water-based ink stains.

4. Windex

No hope with dish soap? Take your cleaning game up a notch with Windex. To most people, it is just for cleaning glass, but its applications are more extensive than you think. If you have doubts about my words, grab your Windex bottle and see it for yourself!

Windex Window Cleaner
Windex does more than just keep the shine on your windows

What To Do

Spritz the ink stain with Windex, letting it sit for a few minutes. Next, you will give the stain a thorough rinse to get rid of the residue. If you don’t succeed at the first attempt, try again.

WLet’s use Windex to get rid of that huge splash of ink on your carpet:

Watch this video: How to remove ink stains from carpet

5. Shaving Cream

Another household product you can consider for this cleaning project is shaving cream. Yes, it sounds unbelievable, but you will be convinced on the very first attempt. And, thanks to its foamy nature, the post-cleaning work is done in a breeze.

Shaving Cream
Shaving cream, an unexpected choice for removing ink stains on your carpet

What You Need

  • Shaving cream
  • Sponge

What To Do

Squirt a dollop of shaving cream on the stain and use a sponge to give the affected fibers a good scrub. It should foam up a little, which is normal. Once the ink pigment has lifted, rinse the treated area with clean water and dry it properly. 

6. Carpet Shampoo

Using carpet shampoo is a no-brainer when your precious carpet is stained with embedded dirt, debris, or, in this case, a huge splash of ink. To determine which one works best for the carpet, make sure to read the label on the product before purchasing it.

What To Do

Apply carpet shampoo of your choice as instructed on the label. If it does not specify rinsing as a necessity, feel free to leave the shampoo on.

7. Denatured Alcohol

Denatured alcohol should be the very first thing that springs to your mind when you are in a battle with ink. This cleaning agent possesses amazing cleaning properties, so rest assured that even the toughest stains will have to let go of your carpet.

What You Need

  • Denatured alcohol
  • Cloth rags
  • Old toothbrush
  • Shop vac

What To Do

Step 1: Grab a washcloth (preferably light-colored) and suck up the ink as much as you can with gentle dabbing motions.

Step 2: Saturate the stain with an adequate amount of denatured alcohol. Avoid flooding, or the excess liquid will get to the carpet’s backing and cause delamination. Give the alcohol 5 minutes to perform its magic before sponging it with a washcloth. Repeat this step if needed.

Step 3: For a more rigorous treatment, use an old toothbrush to scrub the affected fibers.

Step 4: Run the shop vac to soak up the remaining fluid. The strong suction should help you lift the final traces of ink as well.

8. Rubbing Alcohol

If you can’t find denatured alcohol, rubbing alcohol can fill in its absence with no problem. It is also known as isopropyl alcohol and has several applications in daily life, such as healing wounds, deodorizing shoes, and disinfecting household surfaces.

Rubbing Alcohol
Ink stains will go away when rubbing alcohol is on your team

What You Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton ball
  • Cloth rags
  • Protective gear
  • Dish soap (optional)

What To Do

Step 1: To begin with, put on an air mask and a pair of gloves. These items will minimize the contact with rubbing alcohol, preventing you from feeling dizzy, nauseous, or out of air.(1)

Step 2: Moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and apply it to the stain. You can also pour the alcohol directly on the stain, but you will find that it takes more time to dry than denatured alcohol. Replace new cotton balls when the old one is saturated.

Note: You can mix dish soap with rubbing alcohol in a 2:1 ratio as a substitute.

Step 3: Finally, rinse the affected area with plain water. Don’t forget to blot it dry!

Note: This method works wonders on stains left by permanent ink.

Nothing can resist the power of rubbing alcohol, including permanent ink. Watch this video:

Watch this video: How to Remove Ink From Carpets

9. Hand Sanitizer

The problem with the last two options is that they haunt your house with a chemical odor. If it makes you feel sick, hand sanitizer will make an excellent alternative. It contains only 60% of alcohol and even leaves your carpet smelling greater than ever.

Hand Sanitizer
When in a pinch, a hand sanitizer can help you put the problem to bed

What You Need

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Cloth rags

What To Do

The process is overall straightforward. You will apply a small amount of hand sanitizer to the ink spot, blot with a washcloth, and wash it with water later. Hand sanitizer is safe for human skin, so you don’t have to worry if it gets on your hands.

10. Acetone

Should you have acetone or a nail polish remover at hand, it should be of use to remove the ink stain. Besides cleaning nail polish from a carpet, this solvent can cut through grease and other stubborn stains with minimal effort.

Acetone Clean Ink Stain
Acetone is here to perform miracles, and you won’t be disappointed

What You Need

  • Acetone or nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls
  • Protective gear (optional)

What To Do

Like the rubbing alcohol method, dampen a cotton ball with acetone or a nail polish remover. Then, apply it to the ink spill with utmost caution and replace new cotton balls when the old one loses its effectiveness. Rinse once finished.

Note: When working with pure acetone, wearing a mask and gloves are strictly required.

11. Lacquer Hairspray

With permanent or ballpoint ink stains, some people think that it’s the end of the world. Yet, the damage left by such inks can be reversed with ease. For this method, I’d like to introduce you, lacquer hairspray, the ultimate ink remover you wish that you knew sooner.

What You Need

  • Lacquer hairspray
  • Soft brush
  • Shop vac

What To Do

Step 1: Spray the ink stain with your lacquer hairspray. Depending on the ink, you will need more than a can, so stock up some spare ones. After a while, the stain should be dissolved and eventually go away.

Step 2: With a soft-bristled brush, scrub the area gently to break down the hairspray.

Step 3: Vacuum the area, and your carpet should be looking like new again.

Take your lacquer hairspray and give the ink stain some good spritzes. Watch this video:

Watch this video: How To Remove Permanent Ink Stains From Carpet

12. Dry Cleaning Solvent

If you have used a dry cleaning solvent before to wash your fabric or other textiles, you know how amazing it is to deal with stubborn stains like blood or grease. In addition, since water is not contained in this product, you can be assured that shrinkage or distortion won’t occur.

To use a dry cleaning solvent, you just need to follow the instructions written on the label.

13. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide deserves the hype, and you can’t deny it. The 3% percent solution works like a charm in cleaning or disinfecting household items and surfaces. It is up for purchase at many drug and grocery stores for just a couple of bucks.

Hydrogen Peroxide Bottle
Everything is under control when hydrogen peroxide is at hand

Note: To a certain extent, hydrogen peroxide can decolorize your carpet. Thus, I recommend not using this method if you have a colored carpet.

What You Need

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Water
  • Cloth rags
  • Protective gear

What To Do

Step 1: Keep yourself safe until the last minute of the project with an air mask and gloves.

Step 2: Combine 1/4 cup of ammonia with a cup of lukewarm water. Stir well.

Step 3: Like previous methods, you will apply the solution to the affected area with a cloth. It should be a light-colored cloth; a dark-colored one can transfer its pigment to the carpet, and you will end up with double trouble. Let the hydrogen peroxide solution sit for 30 minutes.

Step 4: As the ink loses, rinse the carpet with clean water without soaking it.

14. Ammonia

Yes, ammonia can cause your carpet to stink up, but you have to admit that persistent stains are no match to this household supply. From glass windows, stovetops to your lovely carpet, ammonia can restore them to their former glory in no time.

Ammonia Solution Clean Ink Stian
A few drops of ammonia is just the thing you need to fight ink stains

What You Need

  • Ammonia
  • Water
  • Cloth rags
  • Protective gear

What To Do

Step 1: Although it’s a moderate alkaline, ammonia is detrimental to your health if inhaled or contacting your skin in excess. Therefore, you are well-advised to arm yourself with a mask, a pair of gloves, and a respirator if you have breathing issues.

Step 2: Now, dilute 1/4 cup of ammonia with a cup of lukewarm water. Stir well.

Step 3: Likewise, you will dip a cloth rag into the solution and start blotting the ink spill. With patience, the stain should be dissolved afterward.

Step 4: Finish the cleaning process with a quick rinse. You will want to keep your pets away from the carpet until the smell disperses because it can attract them to urinate.

15. Bleach

Like the previous two options, bleach can cause the carpet pigments to disappear for good, so it is your safest bet to use it on white carpets only. Also, preventative measures must be taken as you are working with this chemical – overexposure to its vapor can result in fatality.(2)

Note: Again, you should only employ this method if you own a white carpet since bleach can cause discoloration (it is even stronger than ammonia and hydrogen peroxide).

Clorox Bleach
Bleach should be your last resort for this job because it is somewhat corrosive

What You Need

  • Bleach
  • Cloth rags
  • Protective gear

What To Do

Step 1: Before jumping to action, don’t forget to don your protective gear!

Step 2: Pour a small amount of household bleach on a washcloth. As mentioned, bleach can strip away pigments from fabric, so you should only use a white-colored cloth. You can dilute it with water to mitigate its effects.

Step 3: Sponge the ink spill until it comes off. Be careful not to let the cloth touch other areas of the carpet.

Step 4: Once done, grab a damp washcloth and pat the area until dry.

Bring back your carpet’s curb appeal with a bit of bleach. Watch this video:

Watch this video: How to remove ink from carpet

Sadly, if all else fails or leaves you with a whole new problem, you have no choice but to call in a professional carpet cleaner. With specialized tools and cleaning solutions, they can help you reverse the damage and bring your carpet back to life.


Erase your doubts with this section, where every related question about getting ink out of the carpet will be answered clearly and concisely.

Can I use water instead of milk to make a paste with cornstarch?

Yes, you can, but you will find that water will make the paste runny and more difficult to apply on the stain. Still, it’s workable when you don’t have milk at your disposal.

Which kind of shaving cream should I use: foam or gel?

You can use either, but the former will be much more straightforward to clean from the carpet because it has an airy texture.

Can I use club soda to remove ink stains from my carpet?

Club soda is a carbonated beverage that can successfully clean pet poop from a carpet

. Still, it won’t be an ideal choice for treating ink stains as it can cause the ink to set in permanently, especially ballpoint ink.

I have a white wool carpet. Will it be safe if I use hydrogen peroxide to clean ink stains on it?

I recommend that you go with other options in place of hydrogen peroxide if you have a wool carpet. Its fibers are delicate and can be damaged easily when contacting harsh chemicals.

Should I rinse my carpet with cold or hot water after cleaning?

You should only use cold or warm water, as hot water will cause the stain to set in the fibers.

No More Thinking About Ink

That’s it, my friend, is how to get ink out of carpet. It’s easy, right? With more than ten tricks provided, feel free to experiment with them and find out which one is the best for you. I can tell that the answer will be more than just one!

So, what options did you like the most? How effective were they? Let me and other readers know via the comment section. Should you have extra questions, type them down and let’s brainstorm together! 

How To Get Ink Out Of Carpet


  1. Healthline. 2021. Isopropyl Alcohol Poisoning: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis. [online] Available at: <>.
  2. 2021. Bleach – Beyond Toxics. [online] Available at: <>.

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Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones

Home Cleaning Specialist

Expertise: In-depth Knowledge of Cleaning Agents and Their Uses, Advanced Home Sanitization, Techniques Expertise in Cleaning and Maintaining, Various Floor Types, Innovations in Home Cleaning Tools

School: American College of Home Economics

Kevin Jones is a seasoned home cleaning specialist with over a decade of experience in the industry. A stickler for cleanliness and organization, Kevin brings a systematic and innovative approach to home maintenance. His expertise ranges from traditional methods to modern cleaning technology, ensuring homes are not just clean but healthy environments too.

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