Easy Ways to Remove Printer Ink Stains from Clothes, Carpet or Hands

Ink stains blue

While replacing your printer cartridges, ink can sometimes spill on your hands or into your clothing or carpet. During this instance, it’s easy to panic and become overwhelmed. However, if you know what to do and how to deal with the situation, you might be more relaxed and composed. Here’s some advice from the pros at YoyoInk when it comes to removing printer ink stains from your clothes, carpet, or hands.

How to Remove Printer Ink from Carpet

Did the ink spill happen a few minutes ago or something as recent? If it did, then you may be able to salvage your carpet from a major clean-up project. Get a vacuum cleaner and direct the nozzle on the affected area. It should remove the ink stain quickly if the carpet fabric is made of wool. Aside from that, here’s what you need to do to remove ink stains on your carpet.

HP 902XL
Epson T288 XL
Canon PGI-280 XL & CLI-281 XXL
Brother LC203 XL

Prepare the following cleaning materials:

  • Dry stain remover (make sure it’s appropriate to your carpet’s material)
  • Detergent solution or vinegar solution
  • Water
  • A clean, dry cloth
  • Vacuum cleaner

Steps to Remove Printer Ink Stains from Carpet

  1. Vacuum the area that’s stained with printer ink.
  2. Apply dry stain remover on the affected spot.
  3. Soak the dry cloth on a detergent or vinegar solution and dab on the stain. Keep dabbing until you achieve the desired results.
  4. Rinse the cloth in clean water. Continue rinsing until the cloth is free from ink and detergent or vinegar solution residue.
  5. Allow the carpet to air dry.

How to Remove Printer Ink from Hands

Ideally, you want to remove an ink stain from your hands ASAP. If you accidentally spilled printer ink on your hands, here are three ways to easily clean them off. 

  • Rubbing Alcohol. Rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol is highly effective at removing ink stains from your skin. Pour an adequate amount in your hands and start rubbing away until every trace of ink is gone. Please wash your hands with soap and water and then wipe it off with a clean, dry towel. Try putting some lotion on your hands after cleaning to keep it moisturized.
  • Tea Tree Oil. The oil works great at removing ink stains and is also gentle for use and doesn’t dry out the skin. Apply a few drops of tea tree oil on a piece of clean, dry cloth and then start rubbing the stain away. Continue rubbing until your hands are free from ink. Rinse off any residual ink and oil with running water from a faucet.
  • Bleach. If you don’t have any rubbing alcohol or tea tree oil, then bleach will do just fine. Prepare a solution of 1 part bleach and ten parts water and wash your hands with it. Keep washing until every ink stain is completely removed. Wash your hands with soap and water after. If you don’t like the “afters-smell” of bleach, squeeze orange or lemon on your hands and rub it in.

How to Get Printer Ink Out of Clothes

Having ink stains on your clothes is sometimes unavoidable if you’re handling printer cartridges. The stains can be quite a headache to clean and can become even more problematic to remove if they settle in. 

Removing Fresh Ink Stains from your clothes

  1. Start by dabbing the affected area with a clean towel or sponge damped with water.
  2. Continue dabbing until there’s no more ink sticking to the towel or sponge.
  3. Allow the dabbed area to air dry.
  4. Apply hairspray on the spot.
  5. Sandwich the stained clothing between two paper towels.
  6. Blot the backside of the stained clothing to force the stain out and into the other paper towel.
  7. Press the towel onto the cloth until the stain transfers to the other paper towel.
  8. Move the paper towel, allowing its clean side to absorb the stain.
  9. Keep on pressing and moving to prevent the stain from transferring back to the fabric.
  10. Replace the used paper towel with a new one if needed.

Once there’s no more ink stain sticking on the paper towel, you can put the cloth on the washing machine for final cleaning.

Removing Settled Ink Stains from your clothes

  1. Start by applying a small amount of liquid laundry detergent on the stain.
  2. Gently scrub the affected area using a toothbrush. The stain should begin to lift as you brush.
  3. If it doesn’t lift, prepare a solution of 1 part bleach and 1 part water. Dip the toothbrush into the solution and brush it on the spot.
  4. Wash the clothing as soon as you are done brushing. Never let it dry after brushing, or else the ink will only settle back into the fabric.
  5. Don’t use the dryer after washing to prevent ink residue from permanently setting into the fabric. Hang dry the fabric instead. If you spot any remaining ink stains, repeat the same steps above.

It’s harder to remove an ink stain that has already settled in on the fabric than a fresh one. For that reason, you may want to deal with an ink stain on your clothing immediately after it happens.

Check out our blog for more information about printer cartridges, including why printer ink cartridges are expensive and how to save on ink when printing.


  • Jayne Honnor

    What’s the best way of removing dried ink stain from carpet

    • Julia Page

      For any ink, rubbing alcohol will get the stain out. Just grab a clean sponge and load it up with a spoonful of rubbing alcohol. Gently blot the stain repeatedly until the ink lifts. Then, rinse the area with water. Isopropyl alcohol will work if you don’t have any rubbing alcohol around.


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