When dealing with ink stains, the most important thing to keep in mind is to take steps to remove it as soon as possible because old, dried stains are stubborn and extremely difficult to get rid of.

Most ink and permanent marker stains can be removed with the help of the following:

  • Dishwashing Soap
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • White Vinegar
  • Milk
  • Hair Spray
  • Baby Wipes
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Non-Gel Toothpaste
  • Sunscreen

Here are a few suggestions to help clean ink stains from clothes, carpets, leather items, wood, plastic, sofa, LCD screen, and cement.


If you are bothered about ink stains on your hands, you can use baby oil, rubbing alcohol, toothpaste, baby wipes, shortening, and even grape jam.

Clothes: When trying to remove ink stains from clothing, make sure you consider the type of fabric you are dealing with. For example, you can use white vinegar on acrylic, nylon, polyester, etc. but it should not be used on cotton or linen. Cotton fabrics, nevertheless, can tolerate acetone nail polish remover.

Besides, you can use rubbing alcohol on most fabrics. Dab rubbing alcohol on the affected area and leave it for about 30 minutes so that it can penetrate the surface. Next, dampen a white paper towel in warm water and blot it on the stain. You may use a thick paste of rubbing alcohol, baking soda, and water.
ink stain on clothing

Alternatively,  soak the clothing in a quart of water mixed with one teaspoon of ammonia and a tablespoon of dishwashing detergent for half an hour.

For light-colored clothing, consider using a mild hydrogen peroxide solution. For stains on white clothing, you may dip a cotton swab in bleach and dab it on the affected area.

Soaking the stained area in warm milk overnight or at least for 30 minutes may also be helpful. If these methods do not clean the stain, consider using a hair spray. The hair spray, however, may be damaging for certain fabrics.

After using the different methods, wash the stained cloth in your washing machine in cold water. Before moving it to the dryer, make sure that the stain is removed completely, or else the heat from the drier may cause the stain to set permanently.

For non-washable clothing that can only be dry cleaned, dip a cotton swab in glycerin, apply it on the ink stain, and dab some water on it to help fade the stain.

Do not use rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover on rayon, acetate, or triacetate fabrics.

Carpet: For ink-stained spots on a carpet, you may apply a paste of cornstarch and milk. Leave it for a few hours before brushing it off. Finally, clean the residue with a vacuum cleaner.
ink stainon carpet

Leather: Try using a leather shampoo or a leather ink remover for removing ink stains from leather items. If this does not work, put a little white sunscreen or any face cream and a few drops of white vinegar on a clean cotton cloth, and try to remove the stain with it.

For tough ink stains, you may use a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol/surgical spirit and rub a moisturizer afterward.
ink stain on leather

Besides, you may put Vaseline on the affected area liberally, spray a hair spray on a clean cloth, and rub it on the stain. If the stain is old and resistant to treatment, you may have to get the leather re-dyed professionally.

Wood: Ink stains on wood finishes can be gotten rid of by using a mix of white toothpaste and baking soda. After using this home remedy, remove the residue from the surface with a clean damp cloth.
wood ink

Besides, you can use a dollop of shortening on a vinyl surface and wipe off the stain with a rag. In case of polished wood, soak a piece of cloth in rubbing alcohol or hair spray and dab it on the affected area. Sand it lightly with sandpaper and then, buff and polish the surface.

For surface stains, you can also use a paste of baking soda and water. As for stains on the wood, consider using household chlorine bleach and leave it for about 10 minutes before cleaning and drying the surface. Do not use ammonia, though, especially on hardwood.

Plastic: To remove ink stains or print ink from plastic, you can use an all-purpose cleaner. If it is ineffective, then try rubbing alcohol, ammonia, distilled vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or simply an acetone-based nail polish remover.
plastic stain

Sofa: Ink stains on suede or microfiber couch can be removed with the help of baby wipes as they contain alcohol. Moreover, you can spray a hair spray on the spot and wipe it off with a slightly damp microfiber cloth after 30 seconds.
sofs ink stain

LCD Screen: To clean an ink stain from an LCD screen, mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and distilled water, spray it lightly on a microfiber cloth, and gently wipe off the stain without applying much pressure.
lcd ink stain

Cement: For removing ink stains from cement, prepare a cleaning solution by mixing a tablespoon of ammonia in a cup of water. Saturate the affected area with water, dip cotton batting in the cleaning solution, and apply it on the stain until it dries. Next, put some scouring powder on it and scrub the stain using a stiff bristle brush. Finally, rinse the area to clean it and dry it with a towel.
removing ink stains from cement

Additional Tips

  • Do not rub the ink stains as it can spread the stains further.
  • Make sure you test the cleaning solution on a small, hidden area to check if it is suitable for the material.
  • In case an ink stain has become old and dried, the above mentioned home remedies may not be effective. Thus, you will have to rely on commercial stain removing products like Magic Eraser, WD-40, Goof-Off, Oxi-Clean, etc. You may also try dry cleaning fluids. It has been observed that black ink, in particular is difficult to remove.
  • While cleaning the stain from clothing, it is suggested to keep a white towel under it so that the stain does not seep through to other layers.