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Removing Pen from Leather Furniture

Category Leather
photo of brown leather couch
Leather furniture is an expensive investment. It is important to not damage the leather when trying to remove pen ink from your furniture. This is a guide about removing pen from leather furniture.
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March 22, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about cleaning pen ink on a suede couch. Care must be taken when cleaning suede.

Woman hands using a upholstery attachment to wash a purple suede couch

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By 0 found this helpful
April 6, 2013

This is a tip for removing ink from a white or cream colored leather sofa.

Materials Needed:

  • Professional Strength Goof Off solution (It is actually called Goof Off and it must say professional strength. You can buy this at Home Depot, Lowe's, or any hardware store.)
  • Q-tip cotton swabs
  • a moistened (with just cold water) wash cloth or rag
  • leather protectant spray to use after you treat the stained area so to keep the leather shiny and well protected for the future.
  • dry cloth

Instructions:

Important: try using a small, less noticeable area of your leather sofa to treat for ink stain, and see how it works on your leather sofa before treating the whole sofa. You may notice a lightening of the fabric area if you rub too hard against the sofa with the Q-tip that contains the solution, or if you use large quantities of the Goof Off liquid. Apply only a small amount of the liquid onto the Q-tip first to see how the leather sofa responds to the liquid.

  1. Take a Q-tip cotton swab and apply Goof Off liquid to it.
  2. Rub the Q-tip over the ink stain as though you were using a pencil eraser to erase words from paper. The idea is to use small back and forth motion as well as small circular motion while rubbing out the stain.
  3. Once the ink stain is removed, use a wet wash cloth, that is moistened with just cold water, to go over the treated area of the leather. This is very important to do because you do no want to leave the Goof Off solution on your material once it has done its job, or else you could discolor the leather.
  4. Take a dry cloth and go over the area with a leather protectant spray to help keep your leather sofa and shiny and protected against future stains.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 3, 20110 found this helpful

My leather couch is white and I have a huge blue stain. I tried the Magic Eraser, but it only lifted slightly. What else is there?

By Sandy from Mississauga, Ontario

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 4, 20110 found this helpful

That is tough. I don't know how you could lift it, but consider staining it white again. There are very effective leather dyes available. Check with your local shoe repair or saddle repair shop for dyes. Good luck.

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August 24, 20132 found this helpful

I had some ink stains in my white coach bag. I used hand sanitizer and it came right off. I am not sure about other color leathers but the white one came off. I rubbed it with a microfiber cloth.

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Anonymous
June 2, 20160 found this helpful

Great tip, worked well, thank you !

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July 15, 20160 found this helpful

Sweeteey50 Thank you so much I'm starting to see a difference with removing the black paint spots or Ink Spots from a white leather couch and I still have more to do I didn't totally lift the stains I got tired after trying all these different options butt the sanitizer is working yes the sofa just three weeks old

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August 5, 20160 found this helpful

I just put a blue ball point pen mark on my sons white leather sofa i cant get out to buy something i am babysitting

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November 10, 20160 found this helpful

You are fantastic the hand sanitizer worked used it on my new white leather couch the ink come out. Thank you so much :)

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By 0 found this helpful
October 7, 2007

I have iodine and ball point pen ink stains on a cream leather sofa, do you know how I can get rid of them? It is not my sofa and I am freaking out.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
October 9, 20070 found this helpful

Hairspray always takes out pall point pen. Since the couch is leather, this should be a safe way to try and get it out (you may want to spray a little on a part of the sofa that doesn't show to make sure!) As for the iodine, hopefully the hairspray will also take it out. Good luck. BTW, the type of hairspray doesn't matter.

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 10, 20070 found this helpful

Not sure about iodine, but I just used alcohol to get pen stains out of something. Whatever you use, be sure to test it first on an area of the couch that won't show. Any substance that will remove ink/iodine may also destroy the finish on the leather. Good luck!

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 29, 20070 found this helpful

Hairspray doesn't work.

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July 18, 20090 found this helpful

My 18 month old has just used a blue ball point pen to draw all over my cream leather sofa! "again" my first attempts at moving them was with suggested methods which just faded the leather and pen marks. This morning I've noticed he'd done it again this time big round marks!

In a panic I just picked up my new buy from the betterware called the "pink stuff"(cleaning product) put a bit on a damp cloth,with the first wipe it was gone,i gave it a go on the previous marks and too they have disappeared, no scrubbing was needed and no damage to the leather-give it a go! literally one wipe and it was gone.

ps: I did however try it on my chairs which are faux leather. It only faded the pen marks so best works on real leather.

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October 14, 20100 found this helpful

Why would you have Iodine on your sofa? For leather, lighter fluid on a cotton ball or a q tip works wonders, it will even take off perm. marker or blood in most cases. This will work for pen defiantly, probably for the Iodine also. Just wet a cotton ball with a moderate amount of zippo lighter fluid (or something very similar) and rub the stain until it lightens and disappears. Test a less visible part of the leather for colorfastness, esp. for dark colors. After the stain is gone wipe over the area with a damp rag and dry. It is best to clean the stain as soon as possible but even after the stain has set for a long period of time .you may be able to remove it. I probably would not try this with suede. For woven fabrics I would explore other options first.

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November 12, 20110 found this helpful

How do I get blue pen ink off of my cream leather couch? I have tried rubbing alcohol, leather cleaner, Murphy's oil and the last resort, hair spray is not advisable.

By R. Brown

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
November 12, 20110 found this helpful

Non-gel toothpaste may work. Add a little to a damp cloth and gently rub, it's abrasive enough to remove ink from most fabics but not enough to scratch leather. You may have to do this more than once to remove all the ink. I would strongly suggest trying it on a small, hidden spot to make sure it will not scratch the leather.

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November 15, 20110 found this helpful

You mentioned using alcohol, but you didn't indicate the percentage. You must use 91% isopropyl alcohol for good results in removing pen ink from leather. Dab a cotton swab or cotton ball with 91% isopropyl alcohol, and approach the stain at one side. Press gently, don't rub, until the ink appears on the cotton. Do this a little at a time until all the ink is absorbed. I've used this method several times with great results. Good luck!

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Anonymous
February 11, 20160 found this helpful

Thank you! You just saved my couch!!!

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By 0 found this helpful
March 27, 2011

I have shiny cream leather sofas. My grand-daughter wrote several lines and made many drawings on them using a black coloured ballpoint ink pen. On the other sofa's she wrote with blue coloured ballpoint ink. What must I use to clean and remove these two types of ink on my leather sofas without damaging the colouring or paint on the sofas?

By Paul from South Africa

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 30, 20110 found this helpful

I have found that hair spray or fingernail polish remover has worked for me in taking out ink marks. I would try both or one on a spot of leather where no one can see if it does not work. You will have to make a small ink mark first to see if either works, but out of sight.

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Anonymous
May 7, 20160 found this helpful

Thanks I tried the nail polish remover and it worked my son wrote on my white headboard with blue ink pen thanks a lot

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July 27, 20160 found this helpful

Thank You for this tip because I tried it and it worked...Whewww :)

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By 0 found this helpful
September 14, 2016

How can I remove old blue pen marks on my light gray leather chairs? I have tried acetone, hair spray, Chapstick, alcohol swabs, just about everything I can think of and nothing worked. Is there anyone who actually had a product that really worked?
Thank you.

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Anonymous
November 2, 20160 found this helpful

Same my problem

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March 8, 20170 found this helpful

Yes this is what you do. Blot at the stained area using a soft, dry cloth or paper towel.

Apply a leather cleaner to the stain. ...

Moisten a cotton ball or a cotton bud with rubbing alcohol. ...

Gently rub at the stain using the moistened cotton.

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June 12, 20110 found this helpful

How do I remove blue ink off a cream leather couch?

By Marilyn N.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 12, 20110 found this helpful

Test these on a hidden area on the back of your couch first: If one does not work, then try the other. I hope this helps!

Rubbing alcohol

Hairspray

Magic Eraser

Use the first two with a cotton swab.

Blessings,

Robyn

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June 13, 20110 found this helpful

Try and find someone that sells Amway. They sell a product called LOC. It is one thing that I've found that helps removes markers, ink,adhesives, and all kind of stains very well.

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June 20, 20120 found this helpful

How do I remove ink from a leather sofa?

By Yvonne

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
July 11, 20120 found this helpful

I have used WD 40 to remove ink, crayons & magic marker from almost every surface you can imagine!

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By 0 found this helpful
September 8, 2011

My dog chewed an ink pen on my pearl leather sofa. It left deep spots. I have tried Ink Lift with no luck. What can I use to take the ink off?

By Belinda F.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
September 25, 20110 found this helpful

Try rubbing a bit of lemon juice on the area. Let sit for a few minutes and wipe off gently with a damp cloth. I use lemon juice to clean most everything. Hope it works for you!

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August 19, 20110 found this helpful

How do I remove ball point pen ink from couch upholstery?

By Catherine from Norwalk

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 22, 20110 found this helpful

Hairspray and blot. Hairspray and blot. It works on all types of ink stains. Good luck!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

June 21, 20110 found this helpful

Where do I buy products to remove an ink stain from a light cream leather suite? Also, How do I remove ink stain from my light cream leather sofa?

By Victoria F. from Hodge Hill, Birmingham

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 22, 20110 found this helpful

I know hair spray can remove ink from some surfaces. This would be a cheap place to start. But, try the hair spray in a hidden place first to make sure it does not hurt the sofa. Hope this helps you!

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By 0 found this helpful
April 6, 2011

How do I remove ink stains from a leather sofa?

By Annette from Wales

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 7, 20110 found this helpful

WD-40 works wonders.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 15, 2010

I want to get pen marks off my brown leather couch. What do I do?

By Henna from Oceanside, NY

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 6, 20100 found this helpful

Hairspray, aqua net, aerosol can like grandma used to use.

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 18, 20110 found this helpful

I need to remove an ink stain from a leather handbag. The bag is red and the ink is black. Can anybody help me?

By Joan from Geneva

Answers:

Removing Ink from Leather

Use rubbing alcohol. (03/17/2011)

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April 6, 20110 found this helpful

How do I get blue and black Biro off a cream leather sofa?

By Val from Tyne and Wear

Answers:

Ink On a Leather Couch

This really works. I came home to find that my 5 year old had used a black Biro on our brand new leather settee. I took the advice and used Silvikrin hair spray and a duster. No more Biro marks. It did not stain the leather at all.
Thanks. (03/13/2011)

By 1975ford capri

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March 27, 20110 found this helpful

How can I remove Biro ink from my cream leather chair?

By Angie from Kent

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March 1, 20110 found this helpful

How do you get ink off of leather furniture?

By Gloria from Kalispell, MT

Answers:

Removing Ink from Leather

Hello, first post. Read all the suggestions and recommend starting with mildest solvent first. Colored leather will be ruined with acetone/ nail polish remover. I am cleaning a Dooney now and a orange citrus cleaner seems to be doing well. Always apply in inconspicuous spot first and have another dry cloth/paper towel available so it doesn't get too wet or go the wrong way. WD-40 on a Q-tip / Chap-stick/ Spray-n-wash/ alcohol/ toothpaste (not gel) would be less chance of making the problem worse than the more aggressive solvents/abrasives.
Start with the Chap-stick or WD-40 before any solvents as this will minimize removing the thin protective coating on the leather making it more porous. Good Luck! (10/29/2010)

By 252gregb

Removing Ink from Leather

After many treatments, we tried everything from WD-40, skin so soft, soft scrub, spray-n-wash, alcohol, nothing worked until we tried the hair spray! Wow, did this ever work. Good recommendation. Thanks. (12/06/2010)

By amezosi

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February 6, 20110 found this helpful

My 2 year old scribbled ink pen all over my off white leather furniture. I need to know how to remove the ink marks.

By ShantelMarie from Saint Augustine, FL

Answers:

Pen Ink on Leather Furniture

Try spraying hair spray on the marks. I have always heard that works on clothes. (11/19/2010)

By redhatterb

Pen Ink on Leather Furniture

This link will tell you step by step how to get ink off leather. I also read in the 'net that Goo Gone is good for getting ink off leather. I've never had leather furniture, so I can't verify its accuracy.
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/removing-ink-from-leather.html (11/20/2010)

By Lorelei

Pen Ink on Leather Furniture

Plain old cheap hair spay, not spritz. I keep a can of cheap spray just for this purpose! (11/20/2010)

By Toebeanie

Pen Ink on Leather Furniture

I've tried hairspray, rubbing alcohol and Murphy's Oil Soap. All three begin to remove the ink and the color of the leather! Now I have ink still on and light spots where it's removed the tan color of the leather. I stopped short of removing the ink as I'm going to end up with spots all over where the ink was. The ink is from my elderly mother using a pen to do word searches and not realizing she was making marks all over the arm! Guess I'll have to live with the ink as the light spots look worse. (01/26/2011)

By golfgirl56

Pen Ink on Leather Furniture

If the leather is white or off-white, you can use rubbing alcohol with a Q-tip and it will not discolor the leather. I tried this after trying hairspray and perfume with no success. The alcohol worked very well for me, got rid of 100% of it. (01/26/2011)

By sharbeth

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February 2, 20110 found this helpful

How do you remove ballpoint ink from a brown leather sofa?

By Mary from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Answers:

Ink On a Leather Couch

Have you tried hairspray? Sometimes that works. (10/28/2010)

By Paula

Ink On a Leather Couch

The cologne method worked flawlessly! Maybe it's the alcohol, but the scent was a bonus! (11/12/2010)

By shotgunB

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November 19, 20100 found this helpful

My daughter has drawn with a Biro pen all over my cream leather sofa! How can I get it off?

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October 13, 20100 found this helpful

How do I take ink out of leather?

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October 1, 20100 found this helpful

My son wrote on my couch with a pen. What can I use to remove it without messing my couch up? The fabric is polyester.

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August 25, 20100 found this helpful

A 2 year old wrote on a brown leather sofa, how do I clean ink off my sofa without fading the brown leather?

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August 11, 20100 found this helpful

My son scribbled all over my brown leather ottoman with a black ink pen. I have tried Dawn and just plain soap and water. I need to get the stain completely out. What should I use?

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July 19, 20100 found this helpful

How do you remove ink from a leather couch?

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July 17, 20100 found this helpful

How do I take ink out of leather?

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June 15, 20100 found this helpful

I have a brown leather sofa and two young boys who have put a number of "accidental" marks from an ink pen on it. I need to know an EFFECTIVE way of removing them, if it's possible.

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March 29, 20100 found this helpful

I have a leather chair that is red. I had a blue Biro pen in my back pocket and sat down to eat. After getting up I saw that I had drawn on the red leather.

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