How to remove ink stains from leather

By | June 14, 2016

Ink on leather objects

Ink often leaks out of pens and can spill on objects like your leather purse, jacket or even a sofa or car seat and leave stain marks. But the good thing is, that these stains can be removed if you take quick action.

Its best to do something right away, when the ink is wet and spilled recently. After drying up, it might take a little more effort, but can be removed.

Whether you are working with suede, vinyl or smooth leather, the process of removing the ink is nearly the same, although some methods may work better with a certain type of leather material.

Note – Any of the methods listed below make cause the leather to become faded and loose its shine. So first try is on some hidden part of the object and then very slowly do it on the stain.

1. Use rubbing alcohol

This is the simples and the easiest way to clean up ink stains. Get some rubbing alcohol on a piece of cotton bud or tissue paper and gently rub the ink stain on the leather object.

The ink should start coming into the tissue paper as you rub and the stain should get lighter and slowly be gone. Then rub with a piece of water wet cotton to clear it off.

Optionally you can apply a bit of leather conditioner, to make the stained area glossy again.

2. Try hair spray

Hair spray contains alcohol and is also useful in removing ink stains. Just spray a little of it on the stained area and then rub with a piece of cotton or sponge and the ink stain should be gone.

3. Nail polish remover

Nail polish remover can also do the trick, but make sure to apply very little of it, just enough to remove the stain. It can take off the shine and color of the leather surface.

Make sure to first test the nail polish remover on some hidden part. Acetone based nail polish removers are strong and can cause discoloration of the leather surface. If you are sure that the nail polish remover is not acting too strong on the leather, then apply it on the stain.

You may have to use a leather conditioner after removing the stain to get back the shine of the leather.

4. Commercial stain removal products

There are a couple of stain removal products out there that you can try to remove ink stains. Here are the names of a few –

1. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

2. WD-40

3. Quick ‘n Brite

Some more ideas

Apart from the above solutions, there are a few more that you can try. Rubbing white (non-gel) toothpaste also removes ink stains from leather surface. However first do a spot test on some hidden part of the leather item to make sure that it does not loose color or it shine.

Another quick recipe is to use perfume. Perfumes contain ethanol or spirit which acts as a solvent and dissolves the stain.

You may want to use a leather conditioner to restore the moisture and shining finish of the leather surface. Such leather conditioners can be found on amazon

If the leather object is something expensive and important, then do not try to remove the stain yourself. Just consult a professional.

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