How Can I Remove Red Ink From Leather?


A red ink stain on leather can be a disheartening sight. Stains on leather can diminish the appearance of the entire item. Regardless of how the ink stain got on the leather, you want it gone. Removing ink stains from leather can be done using common household products. It is best to treat the red ink stain at first sight for best results.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather cleaner
  • Soft rags
  • Cotton swabs
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Non-acetone nail polish remover
  • Clean the leather thoroughly. Use a leather cleaner and a soft cloth to clean the stained area. Refer to the manufacturer's label for specific cleaning instructions as this may vary among products. Allow the leather to dry completely after cleaning.

  • Dip a cotton swab into rubbing alcohol. Rub the alcohol-soaked swab directly onto the ink stain.

  • Work from the outside of the ink stain toward the center of the stain. Switch to a clean swab and use more alcohol as one becomes filled with ink.

  • Continue this process until all of the red ink is off of the leather. Buff the leather dry with a clean rag once the ink stain has been removed. Follow up by cleaning the leather again with the leather cleaner.

  • Use non-acetone nail polish remover if the ink stain persists. Moisten a clean rag with the nail polish remover. Gently rub the stained area of the leather until the ink stain has been lifted. Switch to clean portions of the rag and apply more nail polish remover as the rag becomes soiled with ink. Clean the leather with the leather cleaner once the stain is gone.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a leather conditioner on the leather after stain removal. This will keep the leather supple and keep it from drying out. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application.
  • Test the product you are using on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather prior to applying it to a more noticeable area.

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  • Photo Credit white leather furniture image by Leonid Nyshko from
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