If you have an ink stain from a ballpoint pen or marker on your upholstered furniture or your car upholstery, do not panic. 

Take a minute to review your options before rushing to try and get the stain out.

There are many different methods for cleaning upholstery that are very effective. 

Here are several different methods for how to get ink out of upholstery. 

Be prepared to spend 30 minutes to 2 hours cleaning in order to remove the stain completely.

 

Tips & Tricks for Getting Ink Out of Upholstery

 

Contact Manufacturer
Always contact the manufacturer of your sofa, chair, car, or whoever made your upholstery to get their advice on how to clean it. 

Cleaning ink out of your upholstery without following the manufacturer's directions may void your warranty.

If your upholstery's manufacturer does not have any suggestions for you, then proceed with caution. 

Always check these cleaning methods in an inconspicuous place to make sure they do not hurt your fabric. 

Different fabrics react differently to different cleaning methods, so be very cautious.

Make sure to know the type of material your upholstery is made of - whether it is microfiber, leather, vinyl, cotton, linen, wool, silk, acetate, acrylic, nylon, olefin, chenille, faux leather, polyester, or rayon.

 

Work While it is Wet
Fresh stains are always easier to clean than set in stains, so attempt to remove the ink stain as soon as you notice it instead of waiting a few hours or days.

 

Blot Ink
First, remove as much ink as possible by blotting the stain using a disposable paper towel or old rag.

Make sure to not rub the ink and spread it around, else it will make a larger stain. 

Try to blot as much ink off of your upholstery as possible before proceeding to the next step. 

Keep blotting until your towel no longer absorbs any ink.

Blot from the outside of the stain towards the middle.

 

Remove Cover
If possible, remove the upholstered cover from your chair or sofa, but make sure to not have a clean part of the upholstery touch the ink stain. 

Removing the cover will make cleaning easier and more effective while reducing the possibility of the ink stain spreading.

 

Plain Water
Use plain water to flush the ink out of your fabric by blotting the fabric again using a wet rag. 

Do not pour water directly on the stain, else it may spread.

After that, if you have removed your cover, you can go to your kitchen sink and run water through the fabric upholstery from the back side of the fabric. 

Make sure to keep the clean parts of the upholstery out of the way so the ink stain does not spread.

Blot the fabric with a dry towel periodically to help remove the ink.

 

Hair Spray, Vinegar, or Rubbing Alcohol
Another upholstery cleaning method is to blot the ink stain with a rag soaked in hair spray, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol. 

Do not put the hair spray, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol on the fabric, but put it on your rag and blot the rag on the ink stain.

Make sure to test an inconspicuous place on your upholstery to ensure it will not discolor when using this method.

 

Baking Soda and a Toothbrush
You can use baking soda and a toothbrush to remove an ink stain on fabric upholstery, but it works best if you can remove your upholstery cover. 

Simply sprinkle some baking soda on the wet upholstery and brush the fabric vigorously with the toothbrush in all directions to remove the stain. 

Repeat over and over again until you get your desired results. 

Make sure to flush the baking soda off of your upholstery using water after you are done cleaning.

Make sure to test an inconspicuous place on your upholstery to ensure it will not discolor when using this method.

 

Commercial Cleaners
As a last resort, you can use commercial laundry stain removers to get the ink out of your fabric. 

Be aware that many commercial stain removers are very harsh and can bleach or damage your upholstery.

Some laundry stain removers might actually create a hole in your upholstery if left on for an extended period of time.

Make sure to test an inconspicuous place on your upholstery to ensure it will not discolor when using this method.

 

Let it Dry
Do not put your upholstery cover in the dryer since it may shrink (unless your upholstery manufacturer says it is OK). 

Blot as much of the liquid out of the fabric using a dry towel and let it air dry indoors since hanging it outdoors may bleach the fabric.

 

Professional Upholstery Cleaning Service
If you are too scared of damaging your upholstery, enlist professional help. 

Contact a professional upholstery cleaning service. 

The service may visit your home to clean the upholstery on site or they may take the upholstery with them to clean it at their office.

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