Q.How do I remove permanent marker ink from my carpet?
(Mrs M.W., 20 November 2008)
A.If your carpet or indeed other soft furnishings have been stained by ink, all is not lost. Many people advocate the use of hairspray as a method of removing ink stains. The general consensus is that to remove the stain it should be very liberally sprayed with hairspray, which is then allowed to dry.
The area is then doused with warm water (some recommend adding a drop of vinegar to the water) and scrubbed with a medium-firm bristled brush. Blot the area with kitchen towel or an old tea towel and allow to dry. This should remove most of the stain. Repeat the process again if any remnants are left behind.
Other solutions include using alcohol as a stain remover. Blot alcohol on to the area and blot with kitchen paper. Do not scrub the stain when using alcohol as this may cause it to spread. Try to buy some proper dabbing alcohol rather than drinking alcohol as this will work more quickly and effectively, but if you haven’t got any, you can try using cheap vodka or very pale white wine. Remember, it is vital that the stain is blotted and not rubbed or soaked with the alcohol solution.
If neither of these solutions works, try a stain removal product that specifically works on ink stains. It is worth remembering to try any stain removal methods on an inconspicuous piece of carpet first in order to see if it will bleach the fibres of the carpet, making the area even more noticeable.
It cannot be guaranteed that any of the mentioned solutions will work, and using hairspray or alcohol may cause damage to your carpet, but if you have tried everything to remove the stain, it is probably worth trying just in case.
Have a look in your local telephone book for a reasonably priced professional carpet cleaner, who can come to your home and use special equipment, such as very powerful and effective steam cleaners that penetrate right to the bottom of the stain.
Good luck, and if you find any other solutions to this problem, please let us know,