How to Remove ink From Fabric Sofa

Having an ink stain on your fabric sofa can be frustrating. Whether it's from a leaking pen or accidental scribbles, ink stains can leave an unsightly mark on your furniture. However, with the right techniques and a bit of patience, you can successfully remove ink from your fabric sofa

In this article, I will provide you with step-by-step instructions and tips on how to effectively remove ink stains, ensuring your sofa looks clean and fresh once again.

Precautions Before Starting the Ink Removal Process

Before you begin removing the ink stain, it's crucial to take certain precautions to avoid spreading or worsening the stain. Here are a few precautions to keep in mind:

Act quickly: 

The longer the ink stays on the fabric, the more challenging it becomes to remove. Address the stain as soon as possible.

Blot, don't rub: 

Use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot the stain gently. Rubbing can cause the ink to spread and penetrate deeper into the fabric.

Test cleaning agents: 

Always perform a spot test on a hidden area of the sofa to ensure the cleaning agent doesn't cause discoloration or damage the fabric.

Read manufacturer instructions: 

Check the manufacturer's guidelines or care label for any specific instructions regarding stain removal.

Testing a Hidden Area

To avoid any potential damage to your fabric sofa, it's crucial to test the cleaning solution on a hidden area before applying it to the ink stain. Choose a small, inconspicuous spot and follow these steps:

  • Dampen a clean cloth with the cleaning solution.
  • Gently rub the cloth on the hidden area.
  • Check for any adverse reactions such as discoloration or fabric damage.
  • If there are no negative effects, proceed with the chosen cleaning method.

Removing Fresh Ink Stains

If the ink stain is still fresh, you have a better chance of removing it completely. Follow these steps to tackle fresh ink stains:

  • Blot the stain gently with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb as much ink as possible.
  • Avoid rubbing the stain, as it may cause it to spread.
  • Create a solution of mild dishwashing detergent and lukewarm water.
  • Dampen a clean cloth in the solution and blot the stain gently.
  • Continue blotting until the stain starts to lift.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry with a towel.

Removing Dried Ink Stains

Dealing with dried ink stains requires a slightly different approach. Follow these steps to effectively remove dried ink stains from your fabric sofa:

  • Mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water in a bowl.
  • Moisten a clean cloth with the alcohol-water solution.
  • Gently blot the dried ink stain, ensuring not to scrub the fabric vigorously.
  • As the stain transfers to the cloth, rotate it to a clean area to avoid reapplying the ink.
  • Continue blotting until the stain fades.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry.

Using Commercial Stain Removers

If the ink stain persists, you can try using a commercial stain remover specifically designed for fabric. Follow the instructions on the product carefully and test it on a hidden area before applying it to the stain. Remember to blot rather than rub the stain, and rinse the area thoroughly after using the stain remover.

Natural Remedies for Ink Stain Removal

If you prefer using natural remedies, there are a few household items you can try to remove ink stains from your fabric sofa. Here are a couple of effective methods:

  • Lemon Juice and Cream of Tartar:
  • Mix equal parts of lemon juice and cream of tartar to form a paste.
  • Apply the paste to the ink stain and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • Gently scrub the stain using a soft brush or toothbrush.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry.

Milk and Cornstarch:

  • Create a paste by mixing milk and cornstarch.
  • Apply the paste to the ink stain and let it dry completely.
  • Once dry, scrape off the paste with a blunt object.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry.

Cleaning and Conditioning the Fabric Sofa

After successfully removing the ink stain, it's essential to clean and condition your fabric sofa to restore its appearance and texture. Follow these steps for a thorough cleaning:

  • Vacuum the sofa to remove any loose debris or particles.
  • Mix a small amount of mild detergent with warm water.
  • Dampen a clean cloth in the soapy water and wipe down the entire sofa, paying attention to any remaining stains or spots.
  • Rinse the cloth with clean water and remove any soap residue from the fabric.
  • Allow the sofa to air dry or use a fan to speed up the drying process.
  • Once dry, fluff the cushions and use a soft brush to restore the fabric's texture.

Preventing Future Ink Stains

To prevent future ink stains on your fabric sofa, consider implementing the following preventive measures:

  • Establish "no eating" and "no writing" rules near the sofa.
  • Keep pens and markers away from the seating area.
  • Place washable covers or throws on the sofa to provide an extra layer of protection.
  • Educate children and guests about the importance of keeping ink-related items away from the furniture.


Can I use hairspray to remove ink stains from my fabric sofa?

Hairspray can be used as a quick fix for fresh ink stains on fabric. Spray the stain with hairspray, let it sit for a few minutes, and blot it gently. However, it's important to follow up with proper cleaning methods to remove any residual hairspray and prevent damage to the fabric.

What should I do if the ink stain doesn't come out after several attempts?

If the ink stain persists after multiple attempts, it's advisable to seek professional upholstery cleaning services. Professional cleaners have specialised tools and knowledge to tackle stubborn stains without causing damage to the fabric.

Can I use bleach to remove ink stains from my fabric sofa?

Bleach is not recommended for removing ink stains from fabric sofas. It can cause discoloration and damage to the fabric. It's best to use appropriate cleaning methods and products specifically designed for fabric stain removal.


Removing ink stains from a fabric sofa doesn't have to be a daunting task. By acting quickly, using appropriate cleaning methods, and taking preventive measures, you can successfully eliminate ink stains and restore the beauty of your sofa. 

Remember to always test any cleaning solutions on a hidden area and seek professional help if needed. With patience and the right techniques, your fabric sofa can look clean and fresh once again. I hope this article has provided you with good information.

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