by Karen Jones
Keeping a carpet clean is never an easy task. It does not even matter whether the carpet is for the office or a household carpet.
From ink stains to food stains, to dust dirt, there are just so many things you need to keep out of the length and width of a floor carpet. Keeping track of all these can be a real hustle.
Unfortunately, ink stains are the worse of all types of dirt that can make your carpet dirty. The reason for this is because they are particularly difficult to remove. Not just that, they are also the easily overlooked stain that can make your carpet dirty. Since most of the time they occur, you are not even aware until you want to perform a general cleaning routine of your home or office.
There are different ways an ink stain can occur. When they do happen, they tend to quickly permeate any material they come in contact with. Whether it is writing ink or printing ink, they all behave the same way. This, of course, is due to the dye, used in making them.
The type of stain removal method you use to remove an ink stain depends on the composition of the ink. Alongside dyes, other materials found in ink include:
- Solvents (usually between water and oil)
- Particulate Matter (present in printing ink)
The most common type of ink stains that occurs come from one of three types of ink:
Each ink also stains different types of surfaces in different ways. As a result, you must identify the best approach to removing a stain before proceeding to do it.
We've all mistakenly dropped our ballpoint pen at one point or the other. At some point, it is bound to spill. When it does, the stain quickly dries up.
One of the best stain removals that remove ballpoint ink stain is Denatured Alcohol. It is very different from rubbing alcohol.
Denatured Alcohol is very aggressive stain removal. It is not suitable for just any type of surface or material. It is one of the best removal agents to remove ink stains from the carpet. It is not limited to only ballpoint ink. You can follow this process for any type of ink stain provided rubbing alcohol does not damage the material.
Asides from being an aggressive stain removal, it evaporates quickly. This in turn ensures that it does not leave the carpet wet. Thus preventing mold from setting in. In other words, you do not have to worry about any odor emanating from the carpet after using Denatured alcohol.
TIP: Rubbing Alcohol is also a good removal agent. It does work differently from Denatured alcohol. This is mostly due to the chemical composition of denatured alcohol. The implication is that Denatured Alcohol dries up much faster than rubbing alcohol.
Supplies you need to follow this process:
- Denatured alcohol
- Clean rags
- Vacuum machine
- Old toothbrush (any soft regular brush would also work just fine)
Follow this step only if the ink stain is fresh. Using the rag, blot up the ink stain as much as you can.
NOTE: Do not press the stain deeper into your carpet while doing this. To be on the safe side, gently blot the stain.
Whether the stain is fresh or dry, the next step is to soak it in denatured alcohol. Do not simply chug too much alcohol into your carpet. Only apply enough to cover and soak the stained area.
The major reason you don't want to allow too much alcohol in your carpet is that it can damage your carpet's padding.
Let the alcohol soak in for about five to seven minutes. (Depending on how much ink spilled)
After you are sure the alcohol has permeated the carpet, use a clean area of the rag and begin firm blotting of the ink.
Continue to do this for about a minute. Then add more alcohol. Wait for another 5 to 7 minutes and resume blotting.
In case you are using a natural fiber carpet, simply blotting the stain won't completely remove it. In such a case, you will have to pour a little more alcohol into the carpet. Wait the recommended 5 minutes for the stain to soak.
Next, gently massage your carpet fiber with a toothbrush or soft regular brush. This would help push the alcohol all the way down to the root of the carpet fiber. After massaging for 3 to 4 minutes, begin blotting up the ink with the clean rag.
This step is only viable if the stain persists. You can also follow this process from the start without blotting with a rag.
One of the advantages of using a vacuum rather than blotting is that it makes the removal process faster. It follows the same procedure as the rag and brush. You pour enough denatured alcohol into the carpet to soak the stain. Wait about 5 minutes for the spot to soak. Vacuum up the alcohol and the ink.
NOTE: Before vacuuming up the ink and alcohol, remove the filter in your vacuum. Asides from staining the filter, the ink and alcohol are not meant to be caught by the filters. They are only for dry vacuuming.
Another advantage of using your regular vacuum is that the process is similar to the technique carpet cleaners use. In other words, you can't go wrong! And if the stain persists, you need to repeat the process over and over again.
Rubbing Alcohol also works on this type of ink stain. Permanent ink stains include stains from gel pens, markers, and sharpies.
TIP: You might want to follow this step by combining the Ammonia with a laundry detergent.
Supplies you need for this removal procedure to work:
- Spray bottle
- Washing or laundry Detergent (optional)
- Clean rag
If you do not have cleaning ammonia at home, you can always get some at the supermarket. Also, adding a tablespoon of detergent is optional. The detergent only makes the process quicker and more efficient.
Shake the bottle to mix the content
Spraying from distance helps avoid any odor you might be getting from the ammonia. You can also use a face mask if you want to spray the affected area up close.
Continue to spray and blot until all the ink lifts onto the rag. To remove the after-smell of the ammonia from your carpet, here are some tips:
- Fill a bowl with warm water
- Add some laundry detergent and lather the water
- Using a clean rag, continuously dab the area.
NOTE: If you already combined detergent and ammonia in Step 2, you don't have to worry about removing the ammonia smell from your carpet. Simply dab the area with a clean dry cloth after all the ink stain is gone.
This type of ink stain is referred to as water-based. They are the easiest type of stain to remove. All you have to do is:
Laundry detergents are one of the best stain removals at home. It is gentle on carpet fiber and is always readily available. Using it as an ink stain removal is also quite easy. All you have to do is lather some up in the water, dip a clean rag into it and dab it on the ink stain. This only works on water-based ink.
That said, two other popular DIY stain removal methods also work for ink stains.
o Remove ink stains with Distilled White Vinegar
The process involved in using distilled white vinegar is the same as the steps described under the removal of ink stain with Ammonia.
NOTE: Once you remove the ink stain, you might want to add a few drops of lemon into water and sprinkle on the affected spot. This will help remove any residual odor from the use of Vinegar.
o Remove ink stains using Rubbing Alcohol
As stated under the use of Denatured Alcohol to remove ballpoint ink stains, rubbing alcohol is also a great removal agent. However, it is slow compared to denatured alcohol.
If you only have rubbing alcohol, follow the steps discussed under the use of Denatured Alcohol.
Ink stains, though tough to remove, are not as permanent as you would think. With the right procedures, you can have your carpet looking as good as it was before the ink stain again!
About Karen Jones
For the last decade, Karen Jones has worked as a freelance writer and social media marketing consulant. As an gourmand and avid traveler, she publishes cutting-edge articles about traveling that really attracting readers into her wonderful journeys. If you can't find Ms. Jones around her friends and family, she's definitely busy in her home office refining her writing composition and printing press.