How to Remove Ink From Leather

Leather is a durable material, but we all know life happens. Chances are at some point, you're going to get an ink stain on your leather couch, bag, seats or jacket. Thankfully you can remove ink from leather pretty easily, especially if you act fast. Here's what you need to know about how to remove ink from leather products.


Act quickly: The faster you remove the ink from your leather, the easier it is. That's because leather is a natural product that soaks up moisture over time. The longer the ink sits on your leather, the more it will set itself within the product. The exception to this is faux/vegan/synthetic leather, which contain no real leather. The ink will not soak into these leathers, and thus should come right off with a quick cleaning.

Soak up the stain: If the ink stain you're trying to remove from your leather is wet or damp, soak it up with a paper towel or a lint-free cloth. Be careful not to rub the stain, as that can spread it and make things worse. Instead, simply dab the stain until the moisture is removed.


While we would love to suggest using Leather Honey Leather Cleaner to remove ink from leather, our formula is specifically created to keep the colors of your leather looking vibrant. That means the cleaner is designed to not remove or discolor the leather's dye. For that reason, the leather cleaner typically works on ink stains when you get to them right away. If the stain has set, you may need to try one of the options below. Be sure to spot test anything you use on your leather in a discreet, hidden area first. 

3 Ways to Remove Ink From Leather

1. Mild soap and water

You can use mild soap and water to remove ink from leather. Fill a small bowl with warm water, then add a couple drops of mild, clear dish soap. Dip a lint-free cloth into the bowl and then use it to gently rub the ink stain.

2. Magic Eraser

Try a Magic Eraser to get ink out of your leather goods. Add a small amount of water to the eraser, then dab the ink stain with the eraser until it's gone. Remember to use the eraser sparingly, as it can dry out the leather. 

3. Rubbing alcohol

One of the best ways to remove ink from leather is to use isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol. Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball or lint-free cloth. Use the ball or cloth to dab at the ink stain. You should notice that the stain gradually begins to lift onto the applicator. 

What to Avoid When REMOVing INK FROM LEATHER 

Some common items that people use to get ink stains out of leather include vinegar, nail polish remover and hairspray. We don't recommend using these products, as they can excessively dry out the leather, damage the stitching and alter the coloring. 


After you've removed the ink stain from your leather product, it is vital that you condition it. The ink-removal process will dry your leather out a bit, so you need to replace that moisture to keep your leather looking great and for it to last forever. Use Leather Honey Leather Conditioner and follow this easy guide to conditioning leather. Be sure to condition the entire leather item or surrounding area, not just the stained area.


Some common questions people have about removing ink from leather:

Does vinegar remove ink from leather?

Vinegar might remove ink from leather, but it will dry your leather out and ultimately do more harm than good. 

How do you remove ballpoint ink from leather?

Try using a mild soap, rubbing alcohol or a Magic Eraser to remove ballpoint ink from leather. 

Will hand sanitizer remove ink from leather?

Hand sanitizer might help remove ink from leather, but just like vinegar, it can damage the leather. You're better off trying a mild dish soap, rubbing alcohol or a Magic Eraser.


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