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How to Remove Ink from Leather

How to Remove Ink from Leather

It happens quickly, and it isn’t always the kids who are responsible for it! Ink on your leather lounge isn’t a great look and it can leave a permanent stain pretty easily. Don’t panic … but you will need to take action before the ink spreads and dries. The longer it stays on there, the harder it will be to remove.

Think fast and take action before the ink spreads and dries! The longer you leave the ink the harder it is to remove.


We’ve compiled some simple steps below for you to follow that will hopefully remove the stain or at least make a big improvement.

When You Find Ink on Your Lounge

1. What type of leather is it?


DIY treatments work well on finished leather, however you’ll need to call in the professionals if you have unfinished (raw) leather. Unfinished leather is highly absorbent so it can be difficult to clean without expert advice.

If you don’t know what type of leather it is, put a drop of water onto the surface. If it soaks in, the leather is unfinished and you will need professional assistance. If the water beads up, you have finished leather and you can begin cleaning the ink stains.

2. Do a Spot Test

Try the stain removers in an inconspicuous area of your lounge before you apply it. Treat a small area to see if there is any discoloration or damage to the leather or transfer of colour from the lounge to your cloth. If damage occurs, you’re best to call a professional to remove the stain.

Move to the next step if there's no adverse effects on the test area.

Home Remedy Methods

If you don’t have leather cleaning products at home to remove the ink stain, try one of these home remedies. Make sure that you carry out a spot test first so that you don’t cause further damage to the leather.

IMPORTANT! Read the manufacturer's care instructions.

Many manufacturers provide a care pack when you purchase a leather lounge and some provide an ink stick or cleaner for removing ink. The manufacturer may even have a call centre to phone for advice when accidents happen. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s advice before trying a home remedy, as you may void the warranty if further damage occurs.

What you need:

Rubbing Alcohol (Isopropyl) Method:

We recommend soaking a cotton tip or ball in the rubbing alcohol and rub gently onto the stain. The higher the alcohol percentage, the better result! The ink should transfer onto the tip or ball as you continue to rub until the stain is gone. Apply leather conditioner to the lounge afterwards because the alcohol can dry the leather out.

Hairspray Method:

Spray onto a clean, white cloth and blot onto the ink stain. Leave for 30 seconds and then blot until the ink transfers onto the cloth. Repeat if necessary then clean with warm, slightly soapy water once the stain is gone. Remember to rinse afterwards.

Nail Polish remover Method:

Soak a cotton tip in the remover and ensure you gently rub the stain. The ink should transfer to the tip as you rub. Once the stain is gone, clean with warm, slightly soapy water. Rinse and apply leather conditioner if you have it because the remover can dry out or cause leather to crack.

Tips for Maintaining Your Leather Lounge

  • Wipe over the lounge once a week with a sponge and warm water.
  • Treat the leather regularly with a leather conditioner. This is important because it keeps the cowhide hydrated. Some conditioners also create a seal to prevent stains and to stop cracking.
  • Condition your lounge after cleaning to prevent it from drying out.

If you’ve tried hard and the stain won’t disappear, professional leather cleaning may be required. The sooner the stain is treated the better the results will be.

Note: Our technicians have tested these tips but we recommend they be used with great care. Different leather types may respond differently to the suggested stain removal solutions. Make sure you test each product before use and don’t use excessive amounts of the stain removal product. E-dry takes no responsibility for the success of the above DIY stain removal guide or damage that may occur following the use of these methods.


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