How to remove ink stains from leather car seats


Leather car seats require delicate care and maintenance which is why it is important to be familiar with techniques on how to remove ink stains from leather seats. 

Whether a ball-point pen burst in your backpack or a felt-tip marker oozed on your leather car seats, time is vital where you have to act quickly to prevent lasting discoloration. Luckily, there are several techniques that you can use to get rid of the ink mark that involves household products.

To get rid of ink stains from leather car seats, start by dabbing the stain with a soft cloth. When the excess ink is soaked up, you can either use nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, baking soda, or vinegar to remove the stain all the way.

Read further to learn more about these methods on how to remove ink stains from leather car seats efficiently. 

A close look at the types of leather

The cleaning techniques that will be discussed should only be used on finished leather. With this type of leather, it has a protective layer that prevents ink from being fully absorbed. 

When it comes to naked or unfinished leather, it can soak up the ink which requires professional service to get rid of any stains. One way to determine whether the leather of your seats is finished or unfinished is to add a small amount of water on a concealed site. If the water rolls off, it is finished leather. In case the water is absorbed, the leather is unfinished. 

Various factors can affect how the leather reacts to various cleaning agents – a type of dye used in treating the leather and how regularly the leather was conditioned with a protective agent. Before you are going to start in removing ink stains from leather, it is vital to test each technique on a concealed area to ensure that it will not result in lasting damage to your leather car seats. 

Techniques in removing ink stains from leather car seats

If you have unsightly ink marks on your leather car seats, removal of these stains must be your priority. Let us now take a close look at the different techniques in getting rid of ink stains from your car seats. 

  • Liquid soap. Add a few drops of dish soap to a white rag and blot the ink stain. Avoid using strong solvent-based cleaning agents and do not scrub the site which can spread the stain further. 
  • Rubbing alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol can be used. With a white cloth or Q-tip, dip in the alcohol and carefully dab on the stain, taking extra care not to spread it further. This is a potent cleaning agent so maintain a light hand while cleaning. Follow up with the application of a leather conditioner to restore moisture into the site of the stain.
  • Hairspray. This widely used hair styling product can work wonders on ink stains. Spray a small amount of an alcohol-based hairspray to a white rag or Q-tip. Wait for a few seconds and gently blot on the stain. Do not forget to initially test the hairspray on a hidden area of the leather first since varying ingredients between brands can leave behind undesirable stains. Follow up with the application of a leather conditioner if the surface of the leather appears dry or cracked. 
  • Cuticle remover. Ink stains on leather car seats can be removed with a cuticle remover that you can easily find in the beauty section of most drugstores. Select one that has a non-oil formulation. Dab on a dense coating over the stain and leave in place for up to 24 hours. Dab away after with a white rag.

How do you get ink out of car fabric?

If you end up with ink stains on your car fabric, it can be unpleasant to look at especially on light-colored ones. Let us take a close look at the steps of getting rid of ink stains on car fabric.

  • With a towel, soak any leftover ink that might have spilled over the car fabric. Try to remove as much ink as possible by dabbing a damp cloth on the site. In case the ink mark does not come out at this time, do not worry.
  • Apply the rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth and test it on the site. If it does not affect the fabric, dab it on the site. Continue dabbing until the stain is gone. 
  • With a clean cloth immersed in cold water, start dabbing at the site until no traces of the cleaning solution are found. 
  • Once the site of the stain has dried, check it again for any leftover traces. In case traces can still be seen, repeat the steps until the ink mark is completely gone. 

How to get pen out of car leather?

The presence of ink stains can ruin the overall interior of your vehicle. Let us now take a close look at the steps on how to remove pen marks from car leather.

  • Dab a clean cloth on the site of the stain gently. This will soak up any excess ink while preventing it from staining the car seat. Remember that leather surfaces are soft which is why you need to be careful when handling it. 
  • You can utilize various stain removing products on ink marks such as rubbing alcohol, vinegar, nail polish remover, and baking soda. 
  • Once the ink stain is fully removed, check for any lingering traces. If there are traces of the stain left, repeat the cleaning process.
  • Apply a leather conditioner to the site of the stain on the car seat.

Does rubbing alcohol stain leather?

Although rubbing alcohol is considered effective in getting rid of certain types of stains including ink, it can also produce stains of its own. 

There are two explanations for why rubbing alcohol can create stains. The first reason is that rubbing alcohol is not purely isopropyl alcohol and it includes other components including dye that can leave a stain on the leather or fabric. In some cases, stains are produced since rubbing alcohol functions as a mild bleach. 

Does WD 40 Remove ink stains?

WD 40 is more than a lubricant, but also useful to get rid of stains. If you want to remove an ink stain, you should only get it on the stained area. Spray WD 40 on the stain, and let it sit 15 min. Use water with soap to get the WD 40 and the stain up.

Let’s wrap it up

With the different methods on how to remove ink stains from leather car seats as well as fabric, it will ensure that your vehicle will look clean and in top shape in no time. 

teammichael

Michael René, consultant, is the leading stain removal expert in Denmark. Read about him and the rest of the team here

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