How to Remove Pen Stains From Leather

Spilled ink can be difficult to remove from leather.
Spilled ink can be difficult to remove from leather. (Image: bottle of ink image by Alfonso d'Agostino from

There are many instances when pen ink can end up on leather material. Pens can fall onto a leather couch, or pen caps may fall off, leaving a pen bleeding ink inside a leather purse. Ink stains must be treated quickly and carefully so that the leather does not become damaged.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton swab
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towels
  • Leather conditioner
  • Soft cloth
  • Nail polish remover

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Place a few paper towels over the pen stain to absorb as much ink as possible.

Dip a cotton swab into rubbing alcohol.

Rub the cotton swab over the stain. If alcohol does not clean up the stain, try an alternative treatment as in the next step.

Dip a cotton swab into nail polish remover. Rub it over the ink stain until the stain comes out.

Dip a soft cloth into leather polish.

Rub the cloth in a circular motion over the area where the stain was to restore the quality of the leather.


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