How to Remove Tattoo Transfer Paper Ink Off of Leather

Things You'll Need

  • Hairspray

  • Paper towels

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Small bowl

  • Cotton swab

  • Acetone-free nail polish remover

  • Cloth

Remove ink stains from leather.

Ink stains can be difficult to remove, especially on expensive items such as leather. A leaky pen, newspapers and tattoo transfer papers can leave traces of ink. There are methods, however, for getting the ink out of leather. Restoring the leather to its luster only takes a few steps.

Hair Spray

Step 1

Apply hairspray directly to the ink-stained leather. Use just enough hairspray to dampen the ink stain.

Step 2

Allow the hairspray to sit for several seconds but do not let it dry.

Step 3

Wipe the hairspray and ink stain off the leather with a paper towel.

Step 4

Repeat the process until the ink stain is gone.

Rubbing Alcohol

Step 1

Pour rubbing alcohol into a small dish or bowl.

Step 2

Submerge the tip of a cotton swab into the rubbing alcohol.

Step 3

Rub the ink stain with the cotton swab until it's gone.

Step 4

Use a blow dryer set on low–dry the leather.

Nail Polish Remover

Step 1

Pour acetone-free nail polish remover into a small bowl.

Step 2

Dip the corner of a soft cloth into the nail polish remover.

Step 3

Rub the stained leather gently with the cloth. Continue rubbing until the ink stain is gone.

Step 4

Rinse the item by wiping with a clean cloth moistened with cool water.


Test the ink stain removal method on an inconspicuous area of the leather. If damage or discoloration occurs discontinue use.

Apply a leather-approved conditioner to the leather after the ink removal process to replace any moisture lost during cleaning.