How To Get Ink Out Of Carpet With Household Items

Ink can get out of hand, no matter who is wielding the pen. Every parent should know how to get ink out of carpet with household items. Children and adults can stain the carpet with ink, so you should have a solution ready. 

The good news is that ink stains are nothing to fret about.

How To Get Ink Out Of Carpet

You can remove ink stains like slime on carpet and dog pee. You’ll need elbow grease and some know-how. One is up to you, while the other can be taken care of now.  Besides, who couldn’t use a  few DIY ink stain carpet remover ideas?

Types Of Ink

How To Get Ink Out Of Carpet

While most ink is removed the same way, it helps to know what you’re dealing with before you start cleaning. After all, a standard pen doesn’t draw the same as a gel or ball-point pen, so why would removing their stains be the same?

Here are the most common types of ink stains:

Ball-Point Pen

Ball-point pens contain an oil-based solvent and pigment that adds color. The ink is oil-based. It can smear and dry after it hits the carpet. For oil-based ink, sprinkle cornstarch over the stain.

This may help absorb any surface oils before you start removing the stain. Although the ink may dry, cornstarch can stop it from setting in and becoming permanent. Let it sit for a few minutes while you ready the stain remover.

Gel Pen

Gel pens contain a colorful, thick water-based ink. They have gel pens often have metallics in them, you can try using stain removers that cut through grease and rust. This may help combat this type of ink stain.

If the gel pen has flakes or glitter in it, you can remove them with a comb or toothbrush before removing the ink stain. These can get tangled in the carpet if the gel pen breaks. Make sure you wet the carpet before brushing.

Fountain Pen

A fountain pen is a modern version of a quill and ink. Although it doesn’t leak as bad as other pens, it does bleed when the ink reserve is accessed. So if there is a mess, it may be a big one.

Fountain pens are water-based and can be removed the same way as a standard pen. If you happen to have an old-fashioned quill, then the ink stain will be just the same. Most of the methods below will remove a fountain pen ink stain.

Printer Ink

When you imagine an ink stain, your first thought is a stain caused by an ink pen. There are many types of ink stains. One of the most common is a printer ink stain.

Printer ink is dye-based. The special ink contains a colorant that is dissolved and suspended in a liquid. There are two types of printer ink stains to worry about. There is a powder ink stain and a liquid ink stain.

For a powder ink stain, vacuum the powder on top before using the techniques below. For a liquid ink stain, gently blot up any ink on top started from the outside. Then, use one of the methods below.

Permanent Marker

Almost every home in the US has one black Sharpie pen. Permanent markers contain the some of the strongest ink out of all ink pens sold over the counter.

Permanent marker stains on carpet can be removed with a non-oil based hairspray or rubbing alcohol. Whichever you choose, apply it to the stain and dab with a paper towel or piece of cloth. Apply water to the area after you remove the stain.

Solutions To Get Ink Out Of Carpet

How To Get Ink Out Of Carpet

There are many household substances that remove ink from carpet. You have one or more lying around. Find out which one you have to deal with the stain as fast as possible.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is the most common method to get ink out of carpet. The first thing you want to do is get a dry rag and wet the corner with rubbing alcohol. No scrubbing, just dab the stain. 

You will start on the outside and work your way in. If your rag starts to dry, rewet it. You may need to repeat the process a few times. When the stain gone, rinse with warm water. 

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer has alcohol in it. With hand sanitizer, the alcohol content is lower, so you don’t have to be quite as careful. Hand sanitizer will not damage your carpet. 


Like most stains, ink stains are no match for vinegar. Dilute vinegar with water before using it to avoid ruining your carpet. Although vinegar isn’t quite strong enough to damage most carpets. The process is the same as alcohol. 

For fresh ink stains, add baking soda to it before applying vinegar. Don’t worry if it bubbles, it’s normal and safe. Make sure you clean it well to avoid any damage or lingering residue. 

Shaving Cream

Shaving cream can work wonders on a dirty carpet. Use it like you would soap or carpet shampoo. Scrub and let it foam. Then wash it with water thoroughly. It is an easy DIY method and safe way to remove ink from carpet. 

Dish Soap

How To Get Ink Out Of Carpet

Dish soap is a safe and effective way to remove ink from carpet. Simply wash the stain away like you would anything else. Dawn is a great brand that works especially well on gel pens. 


Windex with ammonia can work well. However, be careful when using ammonia. It’s best to dilute even the window cleaner with water before spraying it on your carpet. And never, ever use bleach and ammonia together. 

Carpet Shampoo

Sometimes, a standard carpet cleaner is all you need. If you have carpet in your house, then you need to keep carpet shampoo on hand. For general use and for stubborn stains. Use it as directed for spot cleaning carpet on ink stains. 


Test WD-40 on a piece of carpet before using it. You could damage the fibers or leave a stain. Then, spray the WD-40 on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes.

After a few minutes, wipe the area down with soapy water before rinsing. Let it dry and see if that did the trick. Chances are, it did! Just another wonderful use for the amazing WD-40!

How To Get Ink Out Of White Carpet

How To Get Ink Out Of Carpet
Bay Area Contracting Inc.

White carpet needs different treatment. You won’t disturb the carpet because it isn’t dyed. Make sure your carpet is white and not cream or beige before using any of the DIY methods. 


Bleach is meant to clean white fabrics. Carpet is no different. Because of its harshness, it’s recommended you dilute bleach before using it on your carpet. Use a spray bottle to protect your skin.  

After saturating the area, let it sit for less than five minutes. Use soapy water to wash the area. You may want to wash it a few times. Then, dry it and repeat if necessary. 

Denatured Alcohol

Denatured alcohol, also known as methylated spirits, is a powerful DIY carpet cleaning substance. You’ll need this for those blue or red ink stains.

It evaporates fast, so it won’t hurt your carpet. Unlike rubbing alcohol, denatured alcohol has methanol, which is poisonous. You’ll need to make sure to keep it away from children and pets.


Peroxide works like bleach, but less harsh. Use peroxide instead of bleach as it isn’t harmful to inhale or use around children and pets. 

kids drawing on the floor

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What if my ink stain is months old?

If your ink stain is old, the method to remove it is the same. However, you may need to let the substance sit a bit longer than usual. You can try it for a few minutes and if that doesn’t work, do it again and let it sit longer.

Can I Just Wash A Rug In The Washing Machine?

You can wash small rugs in a washing machine . However, it’s best to check the label beforehand. If you can, then make sure you use Spray and Wash or similar stain remove first. 

What About Acetone?

Acetone is a great way to remove ink stains from carpet. It works like rubbing alcohol and has the same risks. Make sure you test it as it can discolor carpets and cause permanent damage.

What Type Of Water Should I Use?

Warm or room temperature water is fine. Water from a bottle or tap work work well, but fresh water is best. Don’t use hot or cold water unless otherwise instructed as either on could help an ink stain set in. 

Can I Pour Bleach Or Alcohol On My Carpet?

No. Never pour a strong substance onto anything unless instructed by a professional. It can damage the carpet and even the skin as you work on the stain or walk over it later. Always dilute strong substances. 

How Do I Remove Hair Ink?

Some people use ink to make their hair brighter. If it stains your carpet, apply the same DIY methods.  Since it is water-based rather than oil-based, treat it like you would water-based ink pens.

Will The Ink Stain Spread If Untreated?

Only for a few minutes. After the ink stain dries, it will stay the size that it is. So if it’s already been an hour or two, you are free to run to the store and grab whatever you need to help with the ink stain. 

How Can I Remove Ink Stains From Synthetic Carpet Fibers?

You can use a DIY solution if your carpet has synthetic carpet fibers. You will need to combine equal measures of glycerin, water, and liquid dishwashing soap. All you need to do is mix the solution, wet the ink stain, and dab it on the carpet fibers.

Carpet Ink Stain Removal Conclusion

You have nothing worry about when removing ink stains from you carpet. With plenty of DIY remedies, the last thing you want to do is panic. Make sure you have a few remedies on hand, because with ink stains, it’s best to clean them as soon as possible.

A lingering ink stain can damage carpet, and to the point where you would need to enlist a professional to clean it.