If you have a carpet in your house, you know how keeping it clean is not an easy task. Food, dirt, pets and sometimes ink, there’s no limit to what your carpet can be stained with. And if you have dealt with ink stains on trouser or shirt pockets, you are aware that cleaning ink can be a daunting task. But on the other hand, if you know what kind of ink you are dealing with, your task can be a little easier than you thought.
Your carpet goes through all kinds of rough use, though a thinning carpet may add to its “character”, a stain does not. Any kind of spill on it can add to its misery, but the one stain anyone is always dreading are ink stains that can be quite formidable. But with a little knowledge and a little more patience, removing these ink stains can be a breeze.
Largely speaking, there are two types of inks; water-based and non-water-based or permanent inks. Of these, the water-based inks are considered temporary because they can be dissolved by water and are fairly easy to clean using a soap or a detergent. You can find such inks in sketch pens or highlighters. Some brands might need more persuasion and can be removed by rubbing alcohol.
On the other hand, permanent inks are what you find in ballpoint pens, regular ink pens or permanent markers, otherwise known as sharpies. These would not go so easily and need agents such as acetone or alcohol for persuasion. So, for efficiently cleaning the ink stains from your carpet, you will need to know the type of ink stain it is. I will tell you some easy tips to remove these blots from the carpet.
Steps to Remove Temporary Ink from Carpets
Since we are going to be removing temporary ink from the carpet, we can use a simple product such as a shampoo for this job. For delicate fabrics, the use of baby shampoo is suitable because it is very gentle. There are other carpet cleaning products such as the carpet cleaning shampoo which can also be used for this purpose.
You Will Need:
- Baby shampoo
- A water bottle with a spray dispenser in it
- Paper napkins
Steps for Clean-Up
- Before you do anything else, brush the area of the carpet off for dust particles. You will do this only if the ink stain is old and has dried. Do not use a brush on the area where the stain is fresh.
- Start by spraying some water on and around the stain, but do not go overboard with it and do it enough only until it becomes a little damp. Now, use the paper towels on it to soak up the moisture and repeat if necessary. If the stain is fresh, you can simply start using the paper towels and wait for them to soak up the ink, and repeat the process.
- Once you have removed the paper towels, coat the stained area directly with a little bit of shampoo. Now let it soak for a few minutes; up to 15 minutes will suffice. What this does is that it will loosen the ink particles from the fabric. On ink that has dried completely and where the stain is older, this process will take longer than 15 minutes, so we will give it about 45 minutes. On much older stains, this can take as long as 2 hours.
- Carefully take a paper napkin and blot on the stain directly and give it a minute. What this is doing is soaking up the excess shampoo and absorbing the loosened particles. Lift the paper and you will see the stain being lifted off with it.
- Spray some water on this area using the can and place some fresh paper towels on it. You will need to repeat this process until the paper soaks away both the shampoo and the moisture and any traces of ink that were left behind. Leave the carpet for air drying.
Rubbing Alcohol and Dish Soap
Use this combination if the ink stains are old and were not removed earlier with shampoo. The rubbing alcohol will play an important role in dissolving the dried ink, and the soap will take care of the residual.
You will need:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Dish soap (better if liquid)
- Water bottle with a spray dispenser
- Paper towels
- Take the liquid dish soap and rubbing alcohol (a ratio of 2:1) and mix them thoroughly.
- Pour this solution over the stain and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Put the paper towel over it, and let it soak up the residual ink. You may need several paper towels for this purpose.
- Now simply spray water on this and then clean the remains of the already faded ink with more paper towels. Let the carpet dry naturally.
Steps to Remove Permanent Ink
Your normal hair spray contains alcohol which is one of the main ingredients for removing ink. If you have access to some hairspray that is non-greasy, you have everything you need to remove the stain. Simply spray it on the stained area and blot it away with paper towels, and repeat the process until the stain is completely gone.
This is another simple method to remove permanent ink from the carpet as acetone works at dissolving the ink. Simply saturate a cotton ball in acetone and dab it on the stain on the carpet. The acetone will gradually dissolve the ink and it will be absorbed in the cotton ball. Again, repeat this process until the stain is removed entirely.
Some Quick Tips
- While you are using paper napkins or cotton balls, avoid pressing too deep into the fabric as it may push the stains deeper and make them even more difficult to remove.
- Avoid using heat anywhere near the ink stain, because it will only help set it in and make it permanent.
- Clean the stain until you are satisfied and only then let it out for air drying. If there is any residual ink, it will not be easy to remove it.
You just read the easiest and the most common methods to remove ink stains from a carpet. There are many other such methods using ingredients you can find at home, such as mixing detergent and lemon juice and using that on a really tough stain. So, next time you spill ink on your carpet, don’t panic but set out to remove it then and there, because it is the best time to do so.