How to Remove Ink Stains
From Carpet

Ink stains can be trouble waiting to happen. Use these procedures and tips to safely remove ink from carpet.

Ink comes in many colors and types, any of which can present a problem to remove from carpet or many other surfaces. The staining material is concentrated and without taking the proper steps to contain the ink blob, it can spread to many times it original size.

Ink is non-water soluble and an absorbed stain that contains dyes, solvents, oils, resins, gums and binding agents such as varnish, shellac or petroleum.

Procedures for removing ink stains

The first step is to contain the stain and prevent it from spreading. Start by creating a barrier to surround the stain.

Without a barrier to stop it from spreading, ink will seek the surrounding dry unstained carpet area to move to once the cleaning procedure changes it from a thicker material to a more fluid substance.

  1. Surround the stain with a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. This barrier will stop the ink from spreading to the unstained dry carpet fibers.

    ammonia can cause damage to
    natural fibers such as wool, silk, cotton, linen, and others. Just use hydrogen peroxide as the surrounding barrier for natural fibers.
  2. Apply a volatile dry solvent such as a dry cleaning solvent.

    Apply this stain remover to a towel before applying to a fabric. Never over-apply or pour this spotter directly onto the carpet as it can dissolve latex and may result in carpet delamination.

    Always pretest any stain remover on an inconspicuous area of the carpet. Apply a few drops to each color in the carpet test area. Press a clean, white cloth on the wet area for approximately 30 seconds. Check both the towel and the carpet for color transfer, color change or any other damage. Repeat same procedure with another stain remover if you notice any change.

    Work from the edges of the stain to the center to prevent the stain from spreading. Continue as long as the stain is getting transferred onto the towel. Apply more solution to a fresh area on the towel and repeat the process as long as the stain is being removed. Patience is a virtue as far as this step is concerned!

    If available, utilize a carpet cleaning machine or as an alternative a shop vac may be utilized for extraction purposes. Extract to remove the ink stains from the carpet.
  3. Surround the stain with a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia to replace any mixture which was removed during the extraction step.
  4. Apply a non-volatile dry solvent also known as POG (paint, oil and grease remover). Apply same as the volatile dry solvent above, extract, then replace the barrier of the peroxide mixture.

    The peroxide/ammonia mixture will usually get the remaining ink out that the POG doesn't and works to keep the spot where it is when you surround it. Repeat process until ink is gone.
  5. When the desired results are achieved, thoroughly rinse any cleaning products from carpet with an alkaline cleaning solution (pH 9-10) and dry carpet as much as possible.

    When most of the moisture is removed, you may use clean, dry towels weighed down by flat, heavy objects like a book or brick on the damp area to absorb any remaining moisture. This helps prevent wicking of any deep staining material not removed that will move to the surface as the carpet dries.

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