How to Clean Ink Off Leather

Leather is prized for its durability and appearance, but some stains are difficult to remove. Ink stains are a common occurrence on leather purses and couches that can ruin the look of the entire item. The best way to combat stains is prevention---never sit on a couch with a pen in your back pocket and always place the cap back on a pen before slipping it into your purse. Yet when stains do occur, removing ink is possible with just a small amount of effort.

Protect your leather couch from ink stains.
  1. Dampen a soft white cotton cloth with rubbing alcohol. If rubbing alcohol is unavailable, substitute fragrance-free hairspray.

  2. Rub the alcohol onto the ink. Pull the leather taut with one hand while rubbing with the other.

  3. Wipe the area clean with a clean, water-dampened cloth.

  4. Rub any remaining ink with alcohol a second time until the mark is completely gone then wipe clean with a water-dampened cloth.


  • Test alcohol in a hidden area first to verify color-fastness of the leather item.

About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.