How To Get Tattoo Ink Out Of Carpet (Step-by-Step Guide)

Heather Robbins
by Heather Robbins

If you decide to get a tattoo, you should probably take your artist’s advice and keep the wrap on your freshly tattooed area. However, sometimes, the wrap can slip off. When this happens, the residual ink can land on the floor, staining your carpet. As we all know, tattoo ink is permanent. So how do you get it out of your carpet?

Soak up the tattoo ink with a clean cloth and pour denatured alcohol on the stain. Let the alcohol sit for 5 minutes and pat the carpet dry. You can also remove tattoo ink from the carpet with a mixture of ginger ale and baking soda.

This article will provide you with several ways to get tattoo ink out of your carpet. However, keep in mind that the most critical step will be dabbing the ink as soon as it spills. Not catching it in time can result in a stain that you cannot remove, no matter the method used.

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Removing Tattoo Ink From Your Carpet

As with all stains, your first course of action is to remove any excess ink which remains. Use a dry cloth to absorb whatever ink hasn’t already soaked into the fibers of the carpet. An alternative is to use a paper towel. Paper towels may be more convenient, as you can discard immediately without transferring the stain onto another area.

When the excess ink has been soaked up, the next step is to pre-treat the remaining stain, using a product that will dissolve the bonds between the ink and the fibers of your carpet. An ideal product to use is denatured alcohol. Just pour it over the stain and let it soak in for around 5 minutes.

Important Note: Do not leave it on for more than 5 minutes, or it could damage the latex carpet backing.


The advantage of OxiClean is that it contains powerful non-bleaching ingredients; therefore, it can be used to remove dirt and stains from virtually anything in your home. It is considered safe for natural and synthetic fibers, as well as colored and white carpets or rugs. OxiClean also has other products that remove stains from grout, concrete, and tile. So, you know OxiClean can pack some power!

Always be sure to check the instructions on the side of the bucket before applying the stain remover, as your instructions may slightly differ from ours.

  • Mix with water. For every 16 ounces of water, you will want one scoop of OxiClean to the ‘fill’ line. Make sure you’ve taken the time to clean up the extra ink before applying the product; otherwise, it won’t work as great.
  • Apply the product. Only use enough to saturate the stain and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Do not let the mixture dry on your carpet.
  • Wipe the stain. Take a cold, wet cloth and blot the area to remove the OxiClean.
  • Repeat. You’ll want to continue this process until the stain is no longer visible.
  • Rinse the carpet. Once your ink stain is gone, wash your carpet down with some cold water and then blot the area with a clean rag until it’s mostly dry.

Resolve Professional Strength

Resolve is one of those tried-and-tested products that’s stood the test of time. With little effort, it can dissolve and remove almost any stain from natural or synthetic fibers. While Resolve doesn’t claim to be an organic product, it’s safe for kids and pets so that it can be used as a multi-purpose home cleaner with confidence.

  • Spray Resolve onto the ink. Allow the formula to penetrate and dissolve the chemical bonds between the carpet and the ink. 
  • Soak up the moisture. Take a paper towel and dab the area until it feels dry.
  • Repeat steps 1 and 2. Continue repeating the previous steps until the stain has completely disappeared.

Method Stain Remover

The Method product range consists of powerful cleaners that are 100% natural and safe for your family, including your pets. Method Stain Remover, formulated to remove stains on clothing, is also exceptionally effective at removing the tattoo ink and other ink stains.

Method Stain Remover is formulated with enzymes extracted from plants and minerals. It breaks down stains removes them. Only a bit of scrubbing is required. The one downside of the product is that it works less effectively on synthetic fibers than natural ones. You would apply the Method stain remover in the same way you do Resolve, and follow those same steps.


Strange as it may seem, hairspray is very useful for removing the tattoo and other inks. It’s especially useful for ballpoint pen stains. However, do not use hairspray for ink stains inside of your dryer.

  • Spray a generous amount of hairspray. You will want to find firm-hold hair spray and empty about ¼ to ½ of the can onto the stain. Make sure you’re doing this in a well-ventilated area.
  • Let it sit for 10 minutes. In about 10 minutes, the hairspray should have detached the ink from the carpet fibers. The stain should have started dissolving at this point.
  • Blot with a paper towel. As soon as the stain begins to dissolve, you will need to start blotting with a folded paper towel. While you’ll be tempted to scrub the stain, this is not recommended as it’s a surefire way to spread the ink further into your carpet.
  • Let the carpet dry. When you are satisfied, the ink has gone, allow the carpet to dry, then brush or vacuum to remove any remaining particles of hairspray. This will avoid its bonding to your carpet’s fibers, which can happen, especially if it’s synthetic.

Baking soda

If keeping harsh chemicals out of your home and sticking to natural products is your priority, you can try using baking soda instead. Its efficacy will depend to some extent on the type of ink you want to remove and the fibers of the carpet, but, in an ink-spill emergency, it’s good to know that this is an option.

It’s also important to use diet ginger ale here because regular soda will make your carpet backing sticky and gum up your carpet fibers. Why diet ginger ale? Well, regular soda will soak the backing of your carpet and make it sticky.

  • Pour warm water on the stain. You will want to dilute the stain with water and then soak up the excess liquid using a kitchen towel.
  • Sprinkle baking soda onto the site. The baking soda needs to sit for at least 2 minutes.
  • Pour diet ginger ale onto the baking soda. Gently scrub the mixture into the carpet using a toothbrush. Meanwhile, you will still want to dab up the excess liquid.
  • Sprinkle the area with tepid water. When the ink had dissolved, and you soaked up all the excess, give the site a final sprinkling with tepid water. Make sure to remove any excess moisture and dry it as best as you can. This will help to prevent any odor issues.

Related Questions

How does vinegar remove ink from the carpet?

Vinegar can remove ink from the carpet, but it’s not the best method compare to the others in this article. If the ink stain is fresh, you’ll have an easier time using vinegar. If it’s old, you’ll want to use something else.

What is the best ink remover?

Using rubbing alcohol, hair spray, or hand sanitizer works great! However, if you need something more powerful, it’s a good idea to purchase a commercial stain remover from the store.

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In Summary

When tattoo ink hits your carpet, it will want to set in immediately. This is why you need to remove the excess ink as soon as you notice the stain. Your best choice for removing the stain will be denatured alcohol. However, there are several other methods you can use.

Always remember to test an inconspicuous area on your carpet before going full force with any cleaning product, no matter what it is. That way, you can remove the stain without running the risk of damaging your carpet even more than it already is.

Heather Robbins
Heather Robbins

Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.

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