How to Get Ink Out of Upholstery

Written by jayme lee
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How to Get Ink Out of Upholstery
Rubbing alcohol can be used to dissolve ink stains on upholstery. (Modern Sofa image by I-MAGIC from

Ink stains can turn a couch or other upholstered item into an eyesore. Generally, an ink stain occurs on upholstered items when an individual sits down with a pen inside a trousers pocket and it breaks or a child creates the stain by drawing on the fabric. Ink stains can be daunting--but fortunately not impossible--to remove from upholstery.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bottle of rubbing alcohol
  • Rubber gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton balls
  • Small dish

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  1. 1

    Fill a small dish with rubbing alcohol.

  2. 2

    Put on a pair of rubber gloves to prevent ink staining your fingers.

  3. 3

    Dip a cotton ball into the rubbing alcohol and squeeze out the excess.

  4. 4

    Dab the ink stain lightly a few times. Take a paper towel and gently blot the stain to remove the ink.

  5. 5

    Discard the cotton ball and paper towel. Wipe off the fingertips of the gloves to remove any diluted ink.

  6. 6

    Repeat the above steps until the ink is completely out of the upholstery.

Tips and warnings

  • Contact the manufacturer by telephone for ink stain removal tips. The company may sell a product that is specific for treating stains on upholstery items. Look for a company name on the upholstered item's tag and type it into your search engine. Click on the company's website link and scroll down to find a "contact us" or other similar link to find the proper telephone number.
  • Use a chemical-free spray bottle to disperse rubbing alcohol if you do not have cotton balls on hand. Fill the bottle with ¼ cup. Spray the ink stained area once or twice and blot gently with a paper towel.
  • Act very quickly to remove ink stains. Older stains are much more difficult to remove than fresh ink.
  • Hairspray can also be used in place of rubbing alcohol to treat ink stains on upholstered furniture.
  • Ensure that you use a new cotton ball and paper towel after dabbing the upholstery stain or stains a few times. Paper towels and cotton balls that are saturated with ink may redistribute back onto the upholstery.
  • Do not use bleach or peroxide to remove ink stains from upholstery. Bleach or peroxide may damage the fabric or remove the colouring.
  • Never rub the ink stains. Doing so will only spread the ink. Only blot the upholstery.

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