What Removes Ink From Imitation Leather?

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Ink stains are tough to remove from fabric and even harder to remove from faux leathers.
Ink stains are tough to remove from fabric and even harder to remove from faux leathers. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Getting an ink stain on imitation leather clothes, furniture and accessories can be irritating. These kinds of stains can be difficult to remove, especially if the stain is on natural or white-dyed leather. Some homemade and store-bought remedies can remove ink stains from faux leather with varying degrees of success. The sooner the ink stain is treated, the better the results, but stains on suede need special care to avoid damaging the texture.

Alcohol-based Scrubs

Alcohol-based scrubs are generally very good at removing ink stains. Many household alcohol ingredient products can be used to treat the leather fabric. You can try hand sanitizers, baby wipes, rubbing alcohol, clear drinking alcohol and hairsprays. Always test any unseen area of the fabric first to see that the chosen alcohol-based product doesn't remove the dye. Spray or dab the product on the stain and wipe carefully using circular motions. Wash with soapy water and repeat if the stain has not faded.

Enzyme Laundry Detergent

Dab an enzyme-based laundry stain treatment on the leather. Do not scrub, but rub in circular patterns until the stain lightens. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Add some baking soda if a bit of abrasion is needed and the leather is durable enough that this will not damage the fabric.

Salt and Oil

Mix a paste of table salt and an oil such as butter or margarine. Place the paste on the stain and set the object in direct sunlight. After a day, wash the salt and oil mixture off. Repeat if the stain has not faded completely.

Toothpaste

Gently rub the stain with toothpaste. Try both the gel and standard toothpaste products. Wash the leather and repeat the cleaning if necessary.

Suede Leather

Imitation suede leather is difficult to clean due to its textured surface. Use a fine grade sandpaper to lightly buff out the stain. Add a bit of toothpaste or baking soda to this process if the stain is stubborn. Always test any removal process on a nonvisible section of the leather to be sure it will not affect texture, dye or other noticeable characteristics.

Bleach

Use bleach to remove tough stains. Only use bleach on white leather and color-safe bleach on any tinted or dyed leathers. Always spot-check before using the bleach. Moisten a cloth with the bleach and softly rub at the stain. Wash with soapy water after using the bleach.

Acne Treatments

Stubborn stains can be removed by carefully rubbing the leather with an acne treatment cream or soap. The benzoyl peroxide acts to remove the stain. Be sure to purchase a benzoyl peroxide cleanser or cream with at least a 9 percent ingredient level. Rub the product on the stain, carefully scrub it and wash with soapy water to finish the cleaning.

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