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How to Remove Ink from Leather

           ( Updated for August 2022)

Taking care of leather furniture is a unique task, one that is both enjoyable and sometimes challenging. Leather is a soft, reactive fabric, making it more susceptible to stains. If you notice an ink stain on your leather couch from recent office work, homework, or a broken pen in a pocket, don’t despair. You can remove ink from leather by responding quickly and knowing the right methods.

Here at Steamatic of Red River Valley, we know all about furniture rescues. We’ve done more than a few leather ink removals because old ink stains can be tough. But you can often remove a fresh ink stain from your leather upholstery (or clothing) at home with alternative methods such as the careful application of rubbing alcohol.

Steamatic of Red River Valley’s Guide to Removing Ink Stains from Leather

Removing Ink from Leather with Rubbing Alcohol

Ink stain removal from leather can be challenging because ink requires a solvent to break down. There are many commercial inks, so you can’t always know what kind of solvent you will need. This is why there are several ways to remove ink from leather. However, the most universally successful method is rubbing alcohol. Be careful; once you start to break down the ink, you want to focus on removing the ink stain without spreading it to nearby sections of the leather.

Remember to test a small, invisible section of your leather with any cleaning solution just in case.

Supplies

  • White Clean Cloth
  • Cotton Swabs or Cotton Balls
  • Rubbing Alcohol (90% Isopropyl Alcohol)
  • Small Bowl
  • Start by dabbing the ink stain to remove any excess ink if the stain is very fresh. A white cloth or paper towel is best to avoid any risk of color transfer to the leather.

Soak a cotton ball or swab in rubbing alcohol and gently dab the ink spot. Always wipe from the outside of the stain inward to avoid spreading the ink as it dissolves. Try to dissolve and immediately soak up the ink with your cotton balls or swabs.

Repeat this cleaning method until the ink stain is fully removed. Should you prefer, our professional technicians are on stand-by.

Alternative Methods to Remove Ink Stains from Leather

  • Removing Ink from Leather with Vinegar: Another popular solvent for commercial inks is vinegar. Mix warm water and vinegar 1:1 and use a damp cloth with the dabbing method we just described to saturate the ink and immediately pull it up from your leather furniture.
  • Removing Ink from Leather with Soapy Water: With warm water, dampen your white, dye-free clean cloth (no dye). Then apply a few drops of mild liquid dish soap and blot the ink stain. You can scrub lightly but watch to avoid the ink’s spread as it begins to dissolve, but remember that professional cleaning offers much better results.
  • Removing Ink from Leather with a Magic Erase: The “Magic Eraser” has been found to be useful in a number of scenarios. The solvent inside is both mild and often works on ink. Damp one corner of a magic eraser and test it on an invisible part of your leather furniture before testing it on the ink stain.
  • Don’t Believe the Hairspray Myth: Hairspray has an alcohol base and is sometimes used as a stain remover. However, the other ingredients in hairspray often damage leather, so this method is absolutely not recommended. If rubbing alcohol does not work, hairspray won’t either and is riskier for your leather. For your safest option, give Steamatic of Red River Valley a call.

Moisturize Your Leather After Treatment

Once you have removed the stain or tried a treatment that did not fully work, always remember to re-moisturize and protect your leather with a leather conditioner. Most solvents, like rubbing alcohol, are drying agents, making the leather more likely to crack if treated and left alone. A little leather conditioner care goes a long way, both in the longevity of your furniture and in resisting future stains.

Our team is ready to help you save your leather couch with our ink stain removal and leather conditioner treatments. Leaving you with the renewed couch you know and love stain free and as smooth as before.

Why Choose Steamatic for Furniture Cleaning in Red River Valley?

Steamatic of Red River Valley has provided dedicated upholstery and furniture cleaning to the Red River Valley communities with the highest standard of care. Our team has tackled some serious stains, repairs, and cleaning tasks, from pet stains to ink stains and everything in between, so we have your back on knowing how to remove those ink stains from leather. You’ve found the right team; no matter what kind of interior fabric, you need to be cleaned or stain treated and restored. Our attention to detail and consideration for the health and beauty of your home will have your beautiful household fabrics fresh and stain-free in no time at all.

Professional Furniture Cleaning Services in Grand Forks & Fargo

You can count on Steamatic of Red River Valley for professional furniture cleaning and stain removal services. We are more than happy to help you remove ink stains  from your leather couch. Grand Forks & Fargo residents can find us locally or contact us online to schedule your upholstery cleaning services.

 

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Image Credit: ShutterStock/PuhaDorin

stewart schanzenbach
stewart schanzenbach
2022-07-20
I had them clean my duct work and dryer vent. Excellent job.
Edward Mayotte
Edward Mayotte
2022-07-18
Air vent cleaning. Mike was very professional. We had our 7 year old granddaughter and he was very patient with her she had many questions for him. He did an excellent job!!
Kristie Adam
Kristie Adam
2022-07-14
Steamatic was very responsive to our situation! Highly recommend them.
eric sjol
eric sjol
2022-07-14
Excellent work done duct cleaning. Professional & explained every aspect of the service performed along with before and after pics. Cleaned up and put things back the way he found them. $50.00 discount coupon also. Highly recommend !!!
Elaine Ramstad
Elaine Ramstad
2022-07-07
On time. Pleasant.Went beyond what I expected.Got a stain out a competitor could not.
Jodi Schroeder
Jodi Schroeder
2022-07-07
John was on time, professional, and did an excellent job cleaning the carpets in 4 bedrooms and living room. Our 2 pieces of furniture looked brand new after he was done. I will for sure reach out to them again.
Dee Hodny
Dee Hodny
2022-07-06
Friendly service man and explained to me what he was doing.
Rick Heine
Rick Heine
2022-06-15
Steamatic of Grand Forks gave us an estimate to clean mold from the basement outside walls, the drywall and the studs in the basement of our house. They were highly professional, did the work in a timely manner and most importantly did an outstanding job. I highly recommend them to anyone needing a similar service.
Tracy Hemington
Tracy Hemington
2022-06-15
We had our air exchangers and duct work cleaned before a new furnace install. Levi did a great job! He was on time, professional, polite and knew exactly what he was doing. He even cleaned up when the job was finished! Great company and great work ethic!

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