How to Get Ink Stains out of Carpet

Even if you had carpets installed in your home with the intention of them never getting dirty, this intention is quickly reversed once that carpet is fitted. Especially if you have children.

It is almost impossible to prevent your children from getting dirt or ink onto your carpet, and even though it is frustrating, there is nothing you can do to stop it. 

How to Get Ink Stains out of Carpet

Getting dirt up from your carpet is one thing, but removing ink is a completely different ball game, and it is incredibly difficult. But just because it is difficult doesn’t mean that it is impossible.

So if you or your child have accidentally got ink onto your carpet, you’re in the right place because in this guide we’re telling you some of the best ways to get ink stains out of your carpet. 

Please Note: Before we take a look at how you can get ink stains up from your carpet, let’s quickly note that there are 2 main types of ink that you might be trying to remove from your carpet. These are water-based ink and printer ink.

In this guide, we’ll tell you about both of these types of ink and also give tips on the best way to remove both types.

Water-Based Ink

Let’s start with the type of ink which is easier to remove from your carpet, and that is water-based ink.

Water-based ink is the main type of ink that you might encounter, as it is the type of ink that is found in most pens.

So if your child has left a pen open on your carpet which has resulted in a stain, the chances are that this stain was caused by water-based ink. 

This type of ink is the easiest type to remove from the carpet as water is easier to dissolve than some chemicals which are found in other types of ink. The best way to remove any water-based ink is to mix a bowl of lukewarm or room temperature water with a dishwashing detergent in a 1:1 ratio.

Once this is thoroughly mixed, you should then pour the mixture directly onto the stain on your carpet before gently patting it dry with paper towels until all of the water mixtures have lifted. This should also lift the ink from your carpet and leave it stain-free. 

Permanent Marker and Ballpoint Ink

One type of ink which can be daunting if you find it has spilled onto your carpet is a permanent marker.

Its name suggests that it will be impossible to remove, but in fact, it is no harder to remove than the ink that is left in your carpet by a ballpoint pen.

The one major difference you may notice between the two is that the stain left by a permanent marker is likely to be much larger than the stain left by a ballpoint pen which can make cleaning up difficult. 

To remove ballpoint ink it is recommended that you buy any regular carpet stain remover, but for a permanent marker, it is recommended that you use isopropyl alcohol with a concentration higher than 93%. But other than the type of cleaner that you should use, the method is the same.

With your mixture in a spray bottle, you should spray it on the stain at a distance of about 10-12cm. You should then take a clean, white cloth and begin to pat the area dry.

You might find that you need to apply more of the mixture, but you should also see the stain beginning to lift the more you pat it.

Once you are satisfied with this, you should apply lukewarm water to any residue left on the area to get up any leftover ink. 

Printer Ink  

One final type of ink that can easily stain your carpet is ink that is designed for use in your printer.

Changing both the ink and toner cartridges in your printer can be a messy job if you are not careful, but most of the time you can get these stains out of your carpet.

Printer ink is liquid-based, and toner tends to be in powder form so let’s take a look at how you clean them up. 

If you tip printer ink onto your carpet, the first thing you need to do is seal the cartridge so that no more leaks. You should then place it in a plastic bag, seal it and label it for recycling.

With that out of the way, you should then try and soak up as much ink as possible with a towel. Following that, add some rubbing alcohol to a sheet and try and soak up some more ink, working from the outside in.

If this doesn’t work, you can try the same method using hydrogen peroxide to get the ink up. 

Alternatively, if it is a toner that you spill, the first thing you need to do is try to vacuum up as much of the powder as possible. The most important thing with toner is that you do not press it into the carpet, as this can cause permanent stains.

Once you have vacuumed up as much as possible, you should then use a detergent to get up the toner that is left. 


In short, while ink spilling on your carpet can seem like the end of the world, most of the time it is possible to get this ink out of the carpet with no stains left.

Follow this guide to find out how to lift different types of ink from your carpet.

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