How To Remove Ink From Leather

Leather is one such thing that can be easily found in every home. Besides looking amazing, leather products also reflect a luxury vibe. Here, we are going to take you through a complete guide to remove ink stains from leather be it a purse, bag, leather sofa, or a leather book cover. With this guide, you can easily and efficiently remove ink stains.

Although this adaptable material is incredibly durable, its look may unavoidably alter and even degrade with time or due to carelessness. Although daily maintenance and cleaning work fine in maintaining leather products, what if you stain them with ink? These usual tricks won’t work then. 

At least once in a lifetime, we all have struggled with ink stains on our leather products. Understanding how difficult it is to take off this stain, we decided to create a complete guide on.

How to Remove Ink From Leather? 

Of course, we've graduated from middle school and now have a higher standard for baggage (unless you were a super, super cool kid). The exploding pen, on the other hand, can still raise its ugly and terrible head. Here is a guide to help you with how to get ink out of leather.

Ink has a dreadful habit of staining everything it comes into contact with, which isn't surprising given that it's what it's supposed to do. Although leather is stain-resistant, ink's ability to leave a mark is unmatched by its non-porous nature. 

If you spill your pen on your nice leather sofa (or handbag, jacket, journal or anything), the stain won't go away very soon. However, rather than discarding a perfectly acceptable (and quite costly) leather item, the stain may be removed.

Tips for Cleaning the Ink from your Leather


  • Wipe up the ink stain with a dry paper towel, being careful not to spread it. Clean everything that didn't come off with the dry paper towel using a tiny bit of moisturizing soap and water.

  • Use a commercial leather care product to treat the area. Select one that is designed to remove ink stains. When you have pricey leather furniture, this is the safest option. After that, remove the stain using leather cleaning. To restore the leather's finish, use some leather protection.

  • Apply by rubbing alcohol to the area using a q-tip or cotton swab. Dry the area with a blow drier to let the alcohol dissipate before consuming additional leather.

  • Using hairspray, saturate the stained area. Wipe away the hairspray as soon as possible, then use a tiny amount of moisturizing soap and water. This should only be done if you don't have access to leather care products, just like with alcohol.

How To Get Ink Off Leather? Different Methods to Try

Experts urge that you select an acceptable alternative that is instantly available because time is of the essence. If you just have isopropyl alcohol on hand, for example, try cleaning up the stain with that first. If you're not satisfied with the outcomes, try a different cleaning solution that you can get fast. 

We're not going to sugarcoat it: removing ink from leather is difficult. Before the ink disappears, you may need to try a few different treatments. You might not be able to completely erase the discoloration in certain circumstances. However, if you get to the stain fast enough, you may usually considerably lessen its appearance.

Method 1 - Using Cloth and soap

Step 1 - Using a moist cloth and saddle soap, clean the leather. To keep the leather from becoming overly wet, make sure to wipe the leather with a dry cloth.

Step 2 - Rub the leather surface that has ink on it with the saddle soap using a separate damp towel and wipe the soap. Repeat this multiple times if needed.

Step 3 - Once you are done with the soap, use a dry cloth to remove all the excess water and soap.

Step 4 - Use oil coating once the leather surface is completely dry using your fingertips. Repeat this 2-3 times and let the leather dry.

Step 5 - Leave it overnight and the stain will be gone.

Method 2 - Using Sponge, Water & Soap

To remove ink from leather, you can also use water and soap. Mix soap well in warm water and then dip the kitchen sponge in it. Use this sponge to clean the leather stain. Make sure that the sponge is clean and avoid using the rough side of the sponge as it will damage the leather surface. This method is effective only for light stains that are not deeply settled on the leather surface.

Other Quick Tips To Help Get Ink Out Of Leather 

Quick Tip 1 - Respond quickly

If you notice an ink leak on the leather right away, wipe it up. For this, you can use a cotton swab or a cotton ball. Just remember not to rub it with the cotton. Instead, just dab over the stain to soak away the ink. After that clean the leather surface with a clean wet cloth. If you respond quickly, ink might not even leave a stain. 

Quick Tip 2 - Know The Grade Of Your Leather

Before you jump into cleaning ink stains from your leather product, it is vital to know what grade of leather it is. Different grades react differently to products we usually use for cleaning. So, make sure to find out which grade leather it is. There are many leather guides available online using which you can find out which grade leather is the product. Do not go in blindly, it might destroy the product completely. 

Quick Tip 3 - Use A Liquid Soap 

This is the gentlest cleaning chemical on the list, yet it will get the job done most of the time. This is the only one we suggest for grain leathers since it won't completely remove the tanning procedures or dry out the leather beyond repair. This is the right answer to your query about how to remove ink from leather.  

A tiny dab will suffice, and be careful not to scrape or push too hard, as this may force the ink further into the pores. Instead, use little quantities of the solution and gentle, circular movements. It will take some time and effort, but the gorgeous patina and luscious pores that make leather items so desirable will be preserved.

Quick Tip 4 - Lemon Juice

You can also use a paste of both liquid soap and lemon juice for more efficient cleaning. All you have to do is apply it to the soiled area and leave it as such for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, all you have to do is wipe the paste off and it will be clean. One thing to note here is that you should avoid using lemon juice on dark-colored leather since it has a bleaching effect.

When using lemon, make sure to use the leather conditioner after the cleanup. This will help sustain the grace of the leather and make it look healthier.

This project may require more than a few cotton swabs. Carry on in this manner until the stain is completely removed. The leather must then be dried as rapidly as possible. We recommend using a blow dryer because it is simple to use and virtually universally available. This final step is quite important. While alcohol can clean almost anything, it can harm leather if left on for too long.

Quick Tip 5 - Hair spray 

This agent may appear to be out of nowhere, and in some respects, it is. Hair spray, on the other hand, is an ancient home method for getting it out.

Use it on imitation leather only, and let it sit for a few minutes to pull off the ink, just like rubbing alcohol. It won't work on all sorts of leathers, and the pigment of the leather can affect how well it works, so save it for last-ditch ink issues. To minimize chemical exposure, use only organic hairspray. 

Simply wet the ink-stained area with water until it's completely saturated. After that, wipe the area with a dry paper towel or cloth as soon as possible. Make sure you get all of the hairsprays out. This will help to break down the ink stain and make cleaning simpler. Applying water and moisturizing soap to end the cleaning procedure is an option. Always remember to dry the leather afterward!

Quick tip 6 - Vinegar and olive oil 

Because white leather is very sensitive to caustic substances, cleaning it might be difficult. The majority of commercial cleaners will damage the surface and leave an ugly mark, thus a mild homemade approach is preferable. The disadvantage is that this will not perform as effectively, particularly if your stain has already set in. White vinegar is an excellent cleaning agent for a variety of stains, including ink.


  • In a spray bottle, combine 14 cups vinegar and 12 cups olive oil.
  • Test the solution on a small patch of skin in an inconspicuous location.
  • The solution should be applied to the afflicted region.
  • Allow five minutes for it to dry.
  • Clean the afflicted area with a damp cloth. 

Quick tip 7- Get professional help 

As a last resort, enlist the help of a dry cleaner if none of the other approaches have yielded the desired results. These firms specialize in stain removal and have the necessary instruments to accomplish the job correctly.

The disadvantage is that these services are not inexpensive. To establish whether expert assistance is worthwhile, you'll need to consider the cost of the stained leather item. Certain dry cleaners are superior to others. Request referrals from friends and family, and read internet reviews carefully. 

How to Keep Your Leather Clean

Preventing your leather from being soiled in the first place is the best line of action. When using pens, both ballpoint, and fountain, be extra careful near leather or other valuable textiles. After each usage, replace the lids and keep them carefully.

If you're kicking yourself for spilling ink on your leather, another effective method is to use a conditioner on your most valuable leather items. These strong protection compounds offer an impenetrable coating to your leather items, preventing fading, cracking, UV damage, and stains.

Final Reminders When Removing Ink from Leather


  • Make careful to remove the stains with as much care as possible.
  • Before attempting to remove the stain, make sure the area is free of dust and debris. All that is required is light dusting and wiping.
  • These choices, aside from the leather cleaning, may end up harming your leather. As a result, constantly wipe away any surplus.
  • Apply the leather conditioner after you've removed the ink stain if feasible. This will not only hydrate the leather, but also create a protective coating for it. 

Leather is one of the more supple and absorbent mass-produced materials. This is advantageous since it can quickly bend, fold, and adapt to any scenario. Full-grain leather is more susceptible to this. Its diverse and long-lasting properties are due to its sumptuous but sturdy composition. However, if you're not careful, it may also be leather's undoing. It can absorb a large amount of unfavorable or destructive liquid that will discolor it since it is absorbent. Ink is one of leather's most prevalent adversaries.

Before cleaning your leather, keep in mind that it is a sensitive material to work with. Your leather may dry out and crack if you use improper cleaning products. Fortunately, there are certain tried-and-true leather cleaning methods available to us. Getting ink out of leather, specifically. Similarly, we are lucky to have a variety of possibilities. These alternatives might include everything from store-bought ink removers to common home items. 


What's the best way to get a ballpoint pen out of leather?

The eradication of a ballpoint pen stain is best done with rubbing alcohol. You will obtain the best results if you apply and scrub the cotton ball dipped in leather over the spots on the leather material. 

Is it true that vinegar can erase ink from leather?

White vinegar is the greatest stain remover on the market. It absorbs all of the surface's severe stains and scars, revealing the leather's stain-free and natural texture without generating any doubt.

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