How to Get Ink Out of Leather

Whether it’s the living room coach or your favorite strappy purse, ink stains on leather can be a real problem. Fortunately, there are several easy and affordable remedies for removing ink from leather fabrics. These remedies work well on couches, chairs, car seats, purses, brief cases, wallets, jackets, pants, shoes, belts, gloves, and anything else made of leather.

Continue reading to learn some effective ways to get rid of ink stains and prevent permanent discoloration in leather.

Indianapolis Leather Alterations 317-845-9077

Indianapolis Leather Alterations 317-845-9077


Leather is a delicate, luxury fabric that requires a higher degree of care and attention. Finding ink stains on such investment pieces can be quite devastating, especially considering the price tag. The best thing you can do when it comes to ink on leather is act fast. As soon as you discover an ink stain, begin the steps to remove it, promptly.

Here is what you’ll need:

Leather Conditioner (Try Weiman® Leather Wipes – $2.99)
Liquid Dishwashing Soap
White Cloth Rags
Cotton Swabs
Rubbing Alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
Liquid Cuticle Remover
Hairspray (Isopropyl alcohol based)
Clean Water

Unfinished Leather

If your leather is unfinished, it does not have a protective layer that helps to impede ink penetration. Ink stains on naked leather requires professional cleaning. How do you know if your leather is finished or not? Try the water runoff test. Simply drop a few beads of water on the surface and observe how the water behaves; if it rolls right off, the leather is finished; if it absorbs into the surface, it is naked.

Leather Dyes and Treatments

It is important to understand that some cleaning products and materials react differently depending on various factors. These include the type of dyes used on the leather, how often it has been conditioned, its age, and more. Always test a product on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it will not react adversely and damage your piece.

Now You Are Ready To Get Started!

There are several ways to remove ink stains in leather, but these 4 do-it-yourself treatments seem to be the most popular and recommended. The method you choose will depend on the products you have on hand, or personal preference.

Remedy ❶ – Liquid Dish Soap

This is a mild approach compared to the others, so try this one first. Simply apply a few drops of soap onto a white rag and gently blot the stain until it dissipates. Do not scrub the stain, otherwise it could spread the ink and worsen the damage.

Remedy ❷ – Rubbing Alcohol

This product is a bit harsher than mild soap, so test it in a small space before using this method. Dip a cotton swab (or white cloth) in rubbing alcohol and gently dab at the stain until the ink lessens, being very careful not to smear the ink around. Finish this method with your leather conditioner.

Remedy ❸ – Hair Spray

When you do not have a bottle of rubbing alcohol on hand, hair sprays that contain isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) are a great “quick fix” for leather ink stains. Just spray a white rag or cotton swab, wait a few seconds, and then dab the stain.

Remedy ❹ – Cuticle Remover

This is a very popular and non-invasive approach to ink removal. Use a non-oil based product, and cover the stain with a generous application. Let the cuticle remover sit for 24 hours, and then blot it up with a clean white rag.

Need Leather Alterations?

Yong's Alterations Indianapolis Indiana

Yong’s Alterations 317-845-9077

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional leather alterations in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our expert tailors provide a wide range of professional alterations, including leather garments like jackets, hats, gloves, skirts, dresses, pants, and more! We also provide alterations for men, women, children, home décor, costumes, outerwear, and more! Request a free quote for Indianapolis clothing alterations, today.

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