How to remove ink stains from leather

how to remove ink stains from leather

The quality of your prized leather will always be compromised when stained by ink. This type of stain is problematic to remove but is still manageable if you use proper techniques and appropriate stain removers.

You can remove ink stains from leather with leather cleaner and conditioner, which also maintains the quality of your leather. Simple and easy to find products like rubbing alcohol, hairspray, nail polish remover, and magic eraser can also alleviate your ink stain struggles.

Removing ink stains off your leather with DIY leather cleaner and conditioner

Instead of consulting professionals, you can rely on yourself to remove ink stains on your leather with a homemade leather cleaner and conditioner. The ingredients for your do-it-yourself leather cleaner and conditioner are simple home products that you probably never thought of as being a leather care component.

Preparing DIY leather conditioner using beeswax

Leather cleaners are great for keeping your leather moisturized and in good condition. Many stain removal procedures recommend following the procedure with a leather conditioner. You can make your own at home with beeswax and a couple other things.

  1. In a clean pan, mix one-part of beeswax and cocoa butter with two parts of almond oil to create a natural leather conditioner.
  2. Warm the pan over medium heat, and thoroughly blend all the ingredients.
  3. When everything is melted, transfer the homemade natural beeswax leather conditioner to a clean container.
  4. Let it cool.
  5. Use this natural beeswax leather conditioner whenever needed.
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DIY leather cleaner with cream of tartar paste

In this method, the cream of tartar paste is used for removing ink stains on leathers with varying colors. The cream of tartar is a good ink stain remover because of its acidic and mildly abrasive properties. Make sure to do a spot test before you procede.

  1. Squeeze a lemon to extract the juice. Set aside.
  2. Place cream of tartar in a small dish.
  3. Make a paste by mixing one-part lemon juice with one-part cream of tartar.
  4. Dab a microfiber cloth on the cream of tartar paste you have prepared, and thinly apply it on the ink stains.
  5. Gently rub the paste on the ink stains using the same microfiber cloth. If this does not work, discontinue rubbing. 
  6. Let the cream of tartar paste sit on the ink-stained leather for an hour or two if stains remain unbothered even with the rubbing.
  7. Remove the paste after the time allotted elapsed.
  8. Clean the leather with a moistened cloth to remove the remaining paste residue.
  9. Apply a leather conditioner to maintain the quality of your leather.

DIY leather cleaner using vinegar and olive oil

Olive oil loosens ink stains when mixed with acidic vinegar. Use this method on white leather to get rid of annoying ink stains.

  1. In a bowl, mix a half cup of olive oil and ¼ cup of vinegar to make a leather cleaning solution.
  2. Transfer the cleaning solution to a spray bottle.
  3. Spray the solution on ink stains.
  4. Allow five minutes to elapse before wiping the solution off the leather using a microfiber cloth.
  5. Apply a leather conditioner as a final treatment.

Eliminate ink stains with rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is best used when fresh ink spills cause ink stains. This method is an immediate solution that you can use to prevent ink from settling in your leather.

  1. Blot the ink spill with a paper towel to soak up the ink. Use as many paper towels as possible until no excess ink is on the leather.
  2. Wet a cotton ball with 70% rubbing alcohol.
  3. Gently rub the cotton ball on the remaining ink stain that was not removed by blotting with the paper towel. Rub the streaks of ink stains back and forth, while a circular rubbing on ink spots is preferred.
  4. Blow-dry the leather every time you finish rubbing the ink stains to evaporate the alcohol.
  5. Replace the cotton ball when ink is already adhered to it.
  6. Repeat steps two through four until the ink stain is removed.
  7. Apply a leather cleaner as a final treatment.
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Lighten ink stains on leather with hairspray

This method is probably not the most effective ink stain removal technique, but hairspray can lighten ink stains on leather. You can use this approach as a pre-treatment process to slough off the superficial layer of the ink stain.

  1. Do not start any process until excess ink is removed on the leather. You can use any absorbent pad to blot the ink.
  2. Generously apply hairspray on a cotton bud or cotton ball. Use the former with ink streaks, and the latter with ink spots.
  3. Rub the cotton bud or cotton ball against the ink-stained leather.
  4. Replace the cotton when it becomes discolored.
  5. When ink stains are removed, you must treat the leather with a leather conditioner.

Instantly remove ink stains off leather with a magic eraser

Magic erasers are available in the nearest department store. You can perform this method employing a magic eraser when removing ink stains on your leather couch.

  1. Slightly wet the tip of the magic eraser.
  2. Rub the dampened tip on the ink stain.
  3. After continuous gentle rubbing, the ink stain will lighten and eventually disappear.
  4. Clean the leather using wet wipes.
  5. Afterwards, apply a leather cleaner or conditioner.

Remove ink stains using nail polish remover

In this method, it is important to note that non-acetone-based nail polish remover is the solution of choice in removing ink stains. This technique is a good alternative when commercial leather cleaning is not available.

  1. Moisten a clean cloth with the nail polish remover solution.
  2. Rub the cloth on the ink stain until it disappears.
  3. Reapply the nail polish remover solution on the cloth whenever necessary.
  4. Wipe off excess solution on the leather.
  5. Treat the leather with a leather cleaner or conditioner as a finishing touch.
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Common questions about ink stains

How can a magic eraser remove ink stains?

Magic erasers can remove ink stains because of their melamine foam component. This component gets rid of ink stains by removing layers of stain through its abrasive properties. The use of a leather conditioner is always advised after using a magic eraser on your furniture.

Can I use denatured alcohol to remove ink stains on leather?

Denatured alcohol can be used for getting rid of ink stains on leather. However, there’s a chance of getting your leather harmed. Denatured alcohol makes leather dull and rough. Replacing denatured alcohol with rubbing alcohol is much preferred in removing ink stains.

Are essential oils a good alternative to leather conditioners?

The use of lemon essential oil can also serve as a leather conditioner. You can use this convenient product if you don’t have the ingredients of homemade beeswax leather conditioner. Lemon essential oils can prevent cracks on your leather, just like commercial leather conditioners do.

The Bottom Line

Leather couches, jackets, bags, or purses are a good investment, but they need to be taken care of so they don’t end up with cracks or stains. Ink stains set in your leather become hard to remove when the panic comes before the action of preventing ink spills or stains. Despite all the methods to eliminate ink stains, it is much better not to allow your leather from catching ink stains.

how to remove ink stains from leather

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