How to Remove Red Stamp Pad, Red Ballpoint Pen, and Red Ink Stains

Red ink stains can be very difficult to remove.
Red ink stains can be very difficult to remove.
Andy Crawford/Dorling Kindersley/­Getty Images

­Red ink stains, whether from a stamp pad or a ballpoint pen, can be a nightmare to remove. Follow these tips to treat these stains and prevent yourself from seeing red.

The first step in removing red stains is to identify the stained material.­­­

­Below are the most common types of materials that can become red-stained, with steps on how to remove red stains from each:

Non-washable fibers such as Acetate, Carpet (synthetic and wool), Fiberglass, Rayon, Silk, Triacetate or Wool

Washable fibers such as Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic,

Nylon, Olefin, Polyester or Spandex

Hard surfaces such as Acrylic Plastic, Aluminum, Bamboo, Cane, Ceramic Glass/Tile, Glass, Paint (flat and gloss), Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Vinyl Clothing or Vinyl Wallcovering

Alabaster or marble

Special surfaces such as Asphalt, Cork, Linoleum or Vinyl Tile

Stone surfaces such as Bluestone, Brick, Concrete, Flagstone, Granite, Masonry Tile, Sandstone, Slate or Terrazzo

Grout

Leather or suede

Wood

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Non-washable Fibers

Follow these steps to remove red stains from Acetate, Carpet (synthetic or wool), Fiberglass, Rayon, Silk, Triacetate, Wool:

  • Sponge (the method of using a dampened pad to apply light strokes, moving outward from the center of the stain) the area immediately with water to dilute the ink.
  • Apply a wet spotter and a few drops of ammonia. (Use ammonia with care on silk and wool.)
  • Cover with an absorbent pad dampened with the wet spotter. Let the pad remain as long as any stain is being removed.
  • Change the pad as it picks up the stain.
  • Flush (the method of applying stain remover to loosen staining material and residue from stain removers) well with water and repeat if necessary.
  • If after drying, a stain persists, mix Rit Color Remover according to package directions.
  • After testing on a hidden seam, flush it through the stain to an absorbent pad beneath.
  • When dealing with carpeting, sponge the color remover on the stain and blot with an absorbent pad.
  • Rinse well with water and allow to dry thoroughly.

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Washable Fabrics

Follow these steps to remove red stains from Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester, Spandex:

  • Soak the item in a solution of 1 quart warm water, 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing detergent, and 1 tablespoon ammonia for 30 minutes. Rinse well.
  • If stain remains, soak in a solution of 1 quart warm water and 1 tablespoon white vinegar for 1 hour. (Take care when using vinegar on cotton and linen.)
  • Rinse well and allow to dry.
  • If stain has set, apply rubbing alcohol to the area (dilute with 2 parts water for acrylic or modacrylic) and tamp (the method of bringing a brush do­wn with light strokes on stained durable fabrics and materials).
  • As stain loosens, blot liquid and stain with an absorbent pad.
  • Keep both the stain and pad moist with alcohol and change pad as it picks up the stain. Allow to dry.
  • As a last resort for any remaining stain, pretest removers such as Rit Color Remover in an inconspicuous place, then apply to the stain.
  • Flush (the method of applying stain remover to loosen staining material and residue from stain removers) the solution through the stain and into an absorbent pad beneath.
  • Rinse well with clear water and allow to dry.

Hard Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove red stains from Acrylic Plastic, Alabaster, Asphalt, Bamboo, Cane, Ceramic Glass/Tile, Cork, Enamel, Glass, Gold, Ivory, Jade, Linoleum, Marble, Paint (flat or gloss), Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Stainless Steel, Vinyl Clothing, ­Vinyl Tile, Vinyl Wallcovering:

  • Immediately wipe up the spill with a cloth or sponge dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry.

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Alabaster or Marble

Follow these steps to remove red stains from Bluestone, Masonry Tile, Sandstone, ­Slate, Terrazzo:

  • Immediately wipe up the spill with a cloth or sponge dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry.
  • If a stain remains, soak an absorbent pad in rubbing alcohol, wring almost dry, and place over the stain.
  • Wait 5 minutes and apply an absorbent pad soaked with ammonia and squeezed until damp.
  • Alternate pads until stain has been removed.
  • Wipe surface with cloth moistened with clear water and wipe dry with a clean cloth.

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Special Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove red stains from Asphalt, Cork, Linoleum, Vinyl Tile:

  • Wipe up any excess ink with a cloth or sponge dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry.
  • If a stain remains, cover the stain with an absorbent pad soaked in rubbing alcohol.
  • Let it remain in place for several minutes, then wipe the area with a cloth dampened with ammonia. (Do not use ammonia on linoleum or vinyl floor tile.)
  • Rinse well with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • Wipe with a cloth moistened with clear water and allow to dry.

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Stone Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove red stains from Bluestone, Brick, Concrete, Flagstone, Granite, Masonry Tile, Sandstone, Slate or Terrazzo:

  • Wipe up the excess.
  • Wash with a solution of washing soda or detergent (not soap) and water.
  • Use a cloth or soft-bristled brush to help scrub.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clear water and allow to dry.

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Grout

Follow these steps to remove red stains from grout:

  • Wipe up excess with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water.
  • If any stain remains, dip a wet toothbrush into baking soda or powdered cleanser and gently scrub the stain.
  • Rinse well with water and wipe dry.

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Leather or Suede

Follow these steps to remove red stains from leather or suede:

  • Gently remove excess.
  • Mix a solution of mild soap in lukewarm water.
  • Swish to create a great volume of suds. Apply only the foam with a sponge.
  • Wipe dry with a clean cloth.
  • If a greasy or oily stain remains, powder it with an absorbent such as cornmeal. Give it plenty of time to work.
  • Gently brush (the method of using a stiff-bristled brush to sweep staining material up onto a piece of paper) or shake the absorbent from the surface. Repeat if necessary.
  • On leather only, follow with cleaners such as Tannery Vintage Leather Cleaner & Conditioner or Fiebing's Saddle Soap to condition the leather.

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Wood

Follow these steps to remove red stains from wood:

  • Mix dishwashing detergent in hot water and swish to make a great volume of suds.
  • Dip a cloth in only the foam and apply to the stain.
  • Rinse with clear water.
  • Wipe dry immediately with a soft cloth and polish or wax as usual.

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