How to remove red dye and ink stains from carpets and upholstery

How to remove red dye stain from carpet and upholstery

The first step is to determine if the stain is organic or synthetic.
Before you decide which method and which type of cleaning agent to use, you need to know what caused the stain.

Was it red wine, Kool-Aid, cosmetics, or something else?
These stains are going to be either organic or synthetic.
The chemicals for removing a synthetic dye stain are different from those for removing an organic dye stain. 

Here are a few examples of synthetic dye stains:
• Kool-Aid
• Food dye and coloring
• Medicines
• Many fruit juices with artificial coloring
• Cosmetics

If this is the type of stain you are trying to remove, you need to use a reducing agent. So what is a reducing agent, where do you get it, and how do you use it? 

The best reducing dye remover I have used is a product called Red Relief from Pro's Choice. You can 
order this online from Interlink Supplies.

This is a two-step process where you mix the reducing agent with an activator. There are two ways to do this process. 
Take an older iron, one from a thrift store would be good. It needs to have a steam setting and plenty of steam vents on the bottom of the iron. Wet and wring out a clean white cotton towel and place it over the dyestain. Pour some of the Red Relief mixture onto the towel where the stain is. Agitate the spot. With the iron on a low-medium setting, gently press the iron over the spot where the stain is. 
Leave it there for about 30 to 40 seconds and then check the towel. The dye stain should wick up into the white towel. Keep repeating this process using clean sections of the towel until you get as much of the dye up that will come up. Usually you can remove about 90% of the stain. Thoroughly rinse the cleaning agents from the carpets. Use caution not to damage the carpet.
The other process is to use a wallpaper steamer. You put your Red Relief mixture on the stain and then place the steamer plate over the stain. Let it sit there for several minutes. Gradually it will remove the stain. Rinse out carpet after removing stain.Be careful not to damage the carpet fibers or remove the carpet dyes from carpets.

Organic dye stains include the following:
• Certain types of juices without artificial dyes such as cherry, 
    grape, and others.
• Red wine
• Natural food coloring
• Ketchup , mustard, and other natural food dyes.
• Wood stains such as mahogany 
These types of organic dye stains need an oxidizing agent.
The best one I have found is called Stain Zone and can be ordered online from Interlink Supplies.
Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent, but is not as safe to use as the Stain Zone.
As in the reducing agent process, the use of a wet towel and an iron or a wallpaper steamer is the same.
Be extra careful with the oxidizing agents because they can remove original carpet color much more quickly than the reducing agents.
Stain Zone for organic dye removal from carpets

Removing ink stains from carpet and upholstery

If the spot is small and has not penetrated deep into the fibers - Apply volatile aerosol solvent to a dry white rag. Pinch the carpet fibers with the rag. Repeat until ink is gone. If stain remains, call professional carpet cleaner.  
If the spot has penetrated deep into the fibers - Make a liquid barrier around the ink spot by mixing a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. The ammonia is catalyst of peroxide, and makes the peroxide work better. If you are working on natural fibers such as cotton, wool, linen, avoid using ammonia. Use plain peroxide instead. Once the ink spot is surrounded with the liquid barrier, Apply volatile aerosol solvent to a dry white rag and blot to dissolve the ink. If the ink wants to spread, take an eyedropper and push the ink back to the middle with your peroxide/ammonia barrier. Continue to blot with the solvent until ink is removed. If stain remains, call professional carpet cleaner.