That printer cartridge wasn’t as empty as you thought. Perhaps your pen leaked, or fluffy decided to use it as a chew toy. Or maybe the pandemic restrictions reignited your passion for authentic calligraphy, and you tripped. Whatever the case, unforeseen circumstances resulted in ink meeting your carpet.
Even with today’s digital options, every household has an ink pen somewhere around to fill that rare need – anything from taking down notes to looking prepared for a job interview. Ink has been a household component since 2,500 years before our common era, readily used by Egyptians, Chinese, and other cultures as they discovered the usefulness of written records. They likely spilled ink on their floors and carpets as well.
The three most common types of ink are water-based, permanent, and for lack of a better term, ballpoint ink. Unfortunately, not all removal methods turn out successfully. Depending on the ink, your best bet is to contact stain removal experts, like Preferred Carpet Care. We can give you tips and pointers depending on the specific type of ink. However, here are a few ideas when it comes to promptly dealing with ink stains on your carpet.
The main goal when addressing any stain on carpet is to avoid smearing it. All attempts should follow the principle of blotting and dabbing from the outside edge inward. Ballpoint pen, permanent, and water-based ink typically follow the same standard, but water-based ink is usually the easiest to come out.
As always, remove any excess. Gently dab the stain with a clean white paper towel to soak up as much of the ink as possible. Use more paper towels if necessary and continue the process until there’s no more transference of ink from carpet to towel.
Pour rubbing alcohol onto a clean white cloth or paper towel. Don’t pour it directly on the stain, as the alcohol could easily get through the backing under your carpet, damaging the latex bond. Continue blotting the stain until there is no more color transference.
A Word of Advice
Some DIY remedies call for using hairspray to break up and absorb the ink, and then relying on the rubbing alcohol to dissolve the hairspray along with the ink. We do not recommend this. Many hairsprays contain additives that can be harmful to your carpet. Also, this merely adds up to another “middleman” in the procedure. Other methods call for using ammonia mixtures. However, using ammonia poses a significant risk to your health and is not recommended.
If the Stain Persists
Try mixing a quart of warm water with a teaspoon of laundry detergent. Many laundry detergents are designed to remove ink stains. However, make sure it doesn’t have any bleach, so it doesn’t discolor your carpet fibers. If you do not have laundry detergent available, another option is using liquid hand or dishwashing liquid with the quart of water instead, but make sure it doesn’t have bleach or lanolin. Dab and blot the stain with the mixture using a clean white cloth until there is no more color transference.
Afterward, use a spray bottle to apply warm water onto the area, rinsing it. Apply a stack of weighed-down paper towels to soak up the moisture.
Keep in mind that water-based inks might easily come out of your carpet, but permanent inks are designed to live up to their names and become a permanent mark. If the stain is still persistent, or if you’d like to leave it up to the professionals, give Preferred Carpet Care in Redding a call, or fill out our online form. We know many tricks of the trade, as well as having full access to different solvents and safe chemicals to remove all kinds of ink stains. We’re happy to schedule a time for our technicians to see what kind of stain you are up against, and help remove it.
- Posted by Rod Barth
- On September 17, 2020