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How to Swiftly Remove an Ink Stain from Your Sofa

How to Swiftly Remove an Ink Stain from Your Sofa

It’s one of those stains that feels disastrous when it occurs. An ink or texta mark looks nasty on your favourite fabric furniture and can be tough to remove.

Don’t fear though, your sofa is salvageable if you follow the below steps with just a few household ingredients!


Rubbing Alcohol

(like Isocol, available at most supermarkets)

Clean, white, dry cloths or paper towel

Non-acetone nail polish



Dishwashing Detergent

White Vinegar



How To Remove An Ink or Texta Stain From Your Lounge

Dishwashing Detergent Method

If it is just a minor stain, dishwashing detergent should be enough to get rid of the stain. Here’s what you need to do.

Mix one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water.

Dab at the stain with the detergent solution on a cloth, blotting it with a separate dry cloth or towel.

Once the stain has gone, flush with clear water and stay off the couch until it’s dry.

The Rubbing Alcohol Method

Is it a large stain or has the detergent not quite removed the stain for you? You may need to use rubbing alcohol.

Note – Test this method on an inconspicuous area of the lounge before you start as rubbing alcohol may pull colour from some lounge fabrics.

Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to one of the clean white cloths.

Blot the stain with the cloth, ensuring that you don’t press too hard. Too much pressure (or scrubbing) may spread the stain or push it into the fabric fibres. Add more alcohol as you go if you need to. Why does rubbing alcohol work? It does a great job of breaking down the oils present in permanent markers and pens.

Blot until the stain is completely gone. You will need rinse the stain with fresh water, before using a clean towel to dry the lounge.

Nail Polish Method


If the detergent and rubbing alcohol methods haven’t done the job, try the same process as above with non-acetone clear nail polish. Test it on a small, hidden section of your couch before proceeding, though.

Got a leather lounge? We have tips on cleaning ink stains off leather lounges, too.

Can Hairspray Remove Ink from my Lounge Fabric?

It’s an ‘old wive’s tale from years ago – hairspray was great at removing lounge stains. However, these days it isn’t as effective, mostly because today’s hairspray solutions don’t include as much alcohol (the active removing ingredient). Most hair companies started minimising the amount of alcohol in their products because it can dry hair out.

What if I can’t get the Stain out of my Couch Fabric?

Give the team at E-Dry a call. We’re upholstery cleaning professionals and know what’s needed to treat most stains. Throughout the years, we’ve treated many types of lounge fabrics. We tailor our practises and solutions depending on your type of fabric and what kind of stain it is. It really helps our technicians if you know what the stain is, how long it has been there and what you’ve done to try to remove it. That’s how we know how to best treat it.


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