How to Get Ink Out of Hardwood Floors

If you have hardwood floors, they’re likely the pride and joy of your home. But just as with any floor in any home, accidents are bound to happen. One of the most dreaded of these is ink stains. 

Without proper cleaning, the ink could settle into the wood, which would require sanding or complete floor replacement to remove. 

Luckily, you don’t have to rely on such extreme measures right off the bat. We know how to get ink out of hardwood floors, and today we’ll teach you how to do it too. 

What this article covers:

How To Clean Pen Ink Off Hardwood Floors With Baking Soda

how to remove ink from hardwood floor

The first method will use baking soda to remove the stain. This method is also great for removing black stains from wood and removing dye from hardwood floors

Step 1: Blot The Fresh Ink Stain

The first thing you need to do is to blot the fresh ink stain. You can use either a paper towel or a towel you don’t mind staining. 

Gently put the towel onto the ink stain and press down. This will soak up the excess ink and prevent it from spreading further into the wood. 

When soaking up the ink, it’s important not to wipe the floor. If you do this it will drag the ink stain onto clean wood. Rubbing on the stain will also push it further into the wood grain. 

Be gentle and take your time to remove as much of the wet ink as possible. 

Step 2: Create The Cleaning Solution

It’s time to remove the stain with the cleaning solution. To create the cleaning solution, add baking soda and water to a cup. Continue adding baking soda until you are left with a thick baking soda and a water paste. 

how to remove ink from wood floor

Step 3: Clean The Stain With The Baking Soda Mixture

When removing stains from wood floors, the goal is to let the abrasive nature of the cleaning mixture do the work. 

Apply the baking soda mixture to the ink stain and use your finger to abrade the stain. If the stain is tougher, you can also use a cloth or a toothbrush to scrub the stain. Try not to spread the stain further by working in small circles. 

After you have cleaned the stain, let the mixture sit on the stain for about 10 minutes. 

Step 4: Remove The Baking Soda Paste

When the 10 minutes is done, take a damp cloth and wipe away the paste. Clean the cloth and repeat the wiping until the mixture is gone.

How To Clean Pen Ink Off Hardwood Floors With Lemon Juice

This method is a bit more abrasive than the baking soda one and works wonders when removing Sharpies from wood floors as well. 

remove ink from hardwood floor

Step 1: Blot The Fresh Ink Stain

First, use a paper towel or an old cloth to blot up the fresh ink stain. Don’t spread the stain into the clean parts or rub it deeper into the wood. Take your time to gently blot up as much of the excess ink before moving on to the cleaning process. 

Step 2: Apply The Cleaning Solution

Similar to the previous method, this one relies on the acid of the lemon juice and the abrasive nature of salt to remove the stain. It's a bit harsher, so it’s important to keep an eye on the health of the wood floor while cleaning. 

First, apply some lemon juice to the stain. Next, add salt as the abrasive. The salt will help ‘open’ the wood which will allow the vinegar to get to the stain and remove it. 

Use a cloth or a toothbrush to gently abrade the salt and lemon juice mixture. As the ink starts to lift, wipe it away and reapply the mixture. Make sure not to rub the ink onto the clean parts of the wood. 

Don’t forget to take your time and aim for more gentle repetitions instead of harsh rubbing.  

When you have finished cleaning the stain, let the mixture sit on the stain for another 10 minutes.

Step 3: Remove The Cleaning Solution

how to clean pen ink off hardwood floors

Take a damp cloth and wipe away the cleaning solution. Clean the cloth between every wipe to prevent any ink restaining. 

How To Remove Dried Ink From A Hardwood Floor With Alcohol

If the ink stain has dried, the cleaning method will need to rehydrate the stain. This method works wonders on dried stains and is also effective at removing nail polish from hardwood floors. 

Step 1: Clean The Surrounding

If the stain is dried, it’s likely been there for a while. Before applying any of the cleaning solutions, take a damp cloth and wipe the stain and surrounding wood. This will prevent any other medium from causing trouble when introducing the alcohol to the stain. 

Step 2: Apply The Cleaning Solution

With a cotton ball or a paintbrush, add nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide to the dried ink stain. Keep the cleaning solution from the clean wood as this method can be damaging to the wood finish.

remove ink stain from hardwood floor

Step 3: Let The Solution Soak

After you have applied the cleaning solution, gently put a paper towel over the ink stain. It will soak up the excess cleaner and help the solution clean more effectively. 

Leave the solution to soak for 10 minutes while keeping an eye on the wood. This method is harsh and could strip the wood of essential moisture. So, if you notice any strange warping, remove the solution. 

Step 4: Remove The Cleaning Solution

Finally, remove the paper towel from the cleaning solution. Take a damp cloth and remove the cleaning solution, rinsing the cloth between every wipe. 

Be thorough. If any cleaning stays behind, it could seriously damage your hardwood floors. If necessary, use the Orbit Vibe to clean and polish your hardwood floors after the cleaning.  

how to remove ink from hardwood floors

How To Remove An Ink Stain From A Hardwood Floor

The final cleaning method makes use of professional cleaning chemicals and will be the most effective method. 

Step 1: Blot The Stain

As before, blot the ink stain and remove as much of the excess wet ink as possible. Try not to spread it onto the clean parts of the floor by rubbing it. 

Step 2: Apply Spot And Stain Remover

Next, choose a spot and stain remover. Pig Out is specially formulated to remove ink and works wonders to remove grease from wood floors and also gets rid of the sticky residue on floors

how to remove pen ink from wood floor

Follow the instruction for the stain remover of your choice and watch as the ink stain disappears. 

Step 3: Remove The Cleaning Solution

Take a damp cloth and remove the cleaning solution after the recommended time. Repeat until all the cleaning solution is gone. 


As beautiful as hardwood floors are, the fact that they are natural makes them particularly prone to permanent stains. Ink, in particular, can be almost impossible to remove without physically sanding away the stain. 

Fortunately, the above stain removal methods are a lot less invasive. Use common household items or TruckMountForums spot and stain cleaner to save your floors, your sanity, and your wallet.

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