Crafts, Recipes, Tips,
& Guides
Enter Contests
Share & Vote
Get Advice
Submit a

Removing Pen from Leather Furniture

3 0EmailFollow
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.


Solutions: Removing Pen from Leather Furniture

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Removing Ink From a Leather Sofa

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


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.

    By greengirl [1]

    Give a "thumbs up" to the solution that worked the best! Do you have a better solution? Click here to share it!


    Here are questions related to Removing Pen from Leather Furniture.

    Question: Iodine and Ball Point Pen Stains on Cream Leather Sofa

    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.


    Most Recent Answer

    By Samantha10/14/2010

    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.

    Question: Removing Ink from a Leather Couch

    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


    Most Recent Answer

    By Sharon [1]11/15/2011

    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!

    Question: Ink on My White Leather Couches

    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

    Most Recent Answer

    By casecleary08/24/2013

    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.

    Question: Removing Ink from a Leather Couch

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

    By Marilyn N.

    Most Recent Answer

    By artwest-1 [3]06/13/2011

    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.

    Question: Removing Ink from Leather Furniture

    How do I remove ink from a leather sofa?

    By Yvonne

    Most Recent Answer

    By Christi [7]07/11/2012

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

    Question: Ink off Leather Sofa

    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.

    Most Recent Answer

    By Cica [3]09/25/2011

    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!

    Question: Removing Ball Point Pen Ink on a Couch

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

    By Catherine from Norwalk

    Most Recent Answer

    By Diana Atherton [6]08/22/2011

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

    Question: Removing an Ink Stain from a Light Cream Leather Sofa

    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

    Most Recent Answer

    By Denise06/22/2011

    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!

    Question: Ink On a Leather Couch

    How do I remove ink stains from a leather sofa?

    By Annette from Wales

    Most Recent Answer

    By Jackie04/07/2011

    WD-40 works wonders.

    Question: Pen Ink on Leather Furniture

    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

    Most Recent Answer

    By Elizabeth [9]03/30/2011

    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.

    Question: Removing Ink Pen Lines From Brown Leather Sofa

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

    By Henna from Oceanside, NY

    Most Recent Answer

    By tara73 [3]10/06/2010

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

    Question: Removing Ink from Leather

    My 2 year old daughter drew all over my leather burgundy couch with a pen. How do I get these off my couch without taking the color off my couch?

    By busymotherof7 from UT

    Question: Cleaning Ink From a Couch

    Does anyone know how to get ballpoint pen out of a medium colored brown sofa?

    By Doris from Raleigh, NC


    Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

    Archive: Removing Ink from Leather

    How to get ink off of a leather chair?

    Laura Willette from Owatonna, MN

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    How about trying Avon's Skin So Soft. Put a bit on a clean towel and gently rub the ink spot. (06/02/2006)

    By Holly

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    Absolutely Amazing! I used the 70% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol trick on 2 day old ink on my tan leather sofa and it took it completely out with no damage. Fantastic trick! One I'll never forget, that's for sure. (06/20/2006)

    By Felicia

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    I just used alcohol on my leather couch and now instead of ink I have an ugly white space! (b)Note:(/b) Always test in a place that won't show. Different dyes on leathers react differently. You could try touching it up with a matching shoe polish. Make sure that you buff it out so it doesn't stain someones clothing. (07/18/2006)

    By Ellen.

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    After being on vacation for a week, I came home and discovered black onk on my Baseball glove colored Italian leather. Oh no!! I used Magic Eraser by Mr. Clean and 70% Alcohol and it worked but took the color out. Then I tried after shave and it worked like a charm. Great idea! (07/23/2006)

    By Shinnitta

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    After a "no show" today by the manufacturer's representatives to remove the ink stains from my NEW leather sofa (never leave a puppy and a pen unattended), I decided to try it again myself. My previous attempt using household cleaners removed some of the dye from the brown leather! I CAREFULLY tried using alcohol and Q-tips and it helped. The ink stains were set in for a few weeks so the fact they are much lighter now is still a plus. I can gladly say it is no longer very noticeable and now neither the couch OR the puppy are destined for the trash! Thanks! (08/02/2006)

    By Lorraine

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    Thank you all of you. Brand new lether couches and my best freiends boy left ink on them. I cried. Then I tried the hairspray... It worked. Thank you so much! (09/23/2006)

    By Nanette

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    I tried the hairspray as well as the alcohol both took the color right out of my brown leather sofa so be very careful before trying these tips. I learned the hard way. (09/24/2006)

    By Anna

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    I used Vodka. Got the ink right off. (10/06/2006)

    By Norm

    Archive: Ink Off a Leather Couch

    How do I get ink pen scribbles off my white leather couch? We've tried the special ink remover stick for leather and this lightened up the marks, but they are still quite noticeable


    Archive: Removing Ink from Leather

    How can I clean pen marks off of leather?

    Joann from Oroville

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    I have a brand new 2006 chevy silverado and my 3 yr.old son drew all over the leather center console...oh boy was I unhappy but luckily for me this is 2006 and we have so I ran to the computer and learned that alcohol really does work THANK GOODNESS it didn't completely come out but enough did to make it look alot better so thank you to everyone who posted advice! (10/26/2006)

    By fullerwnks

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    The hair spray worked like a dream on my beige sofa. Thank you very much for the tip. (12/28/2006)

    By Akhtar Hussain

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    I accidently got biro ink on our new leather couch, and my mum went crazy, as we havent even paid for them yet! so i came across this website and suggested hair spray to her. It worked a treat, and now you can hardly see the marks! Thanks! (02/15/2007)

    By Lei

    Archive: Removing Ink from Leather

    How do you remove ink from leather?

    Candice from Chicago, IL

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    I used hairspray for my tan italian leather sofa and there was a lot of designs from our son. The marks are now very light. Have not tried alcohol yet. Thankyou for all of your help. (03/16/2007)

    By STEPH

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    Surgical spirit worked for me! (04/16/2007)

    By Nuz

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    Use Amodine, it needs to be done gradually, apply, wipe off, apply wipe off. It worked really well on a beige leather that I have - did not appear to hurt leather. I ordered it from ebay. (04/18/2007)

    By Sheryl

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    My mother in law was staying and she left a pen on the couch. It moved of is own accord and drew a line across my cream couch. I found this site after using leather cleaner, vanish and vinegar. the hairspray worked a treat.


    PS: Can I use it on mother in law to make her vanish. (04/19/2007)

    By aec

    RE: Removing Ink from Leather

    During my weekly leather sofa dusting I discover a ink spot so I took the advice about and I used the hairspray first and it didn't work but then I used the alcohol and it came right up! Be careful and use a Q-tip on just that spot were the ink is because it can leave a white tint as if the color is being removed but afterwards I just used some leather conditin on it and it, better than an ink spot.

    By April

    Archive: Cleaning Ink From a Couch

    I am trying to find out how to clean ballpoint pen ink from my couch. Any help out there?

    Barb from Maryland

    RE: Cleaning Ballpoint Ink Pen From Couch

    Hair spray often will remove ballpoint ink from fabric.

    By Guest

    RE: Cleaning Ballpoint Ink Pen From Couch

    I have not tried it on a couch but on ink on my white uniforms hair spray works great. Just spray on and blot. The cheaper hair spray the better, old fashioned Aqua Net worked the best.


    RE: Cleaning Ballpoint Ink Pen From Couch

    Make sure that you use aerosol hair spray. The pump sprays don't work as well.

    By Guest

    RE: Cleaning Ballpoint Ink Pen From Couch

    Thanks, I was frantic because we had a visitor yesterday (2 yr old) and he scribbled on my boss' new couch. I think the hairspray thing is going to work. Thank you, thank u!

    By Cynthia

    RE: Cleaning Ballpoint Ink Pen From Couch

    I tried aftershave and it did work but I rubbed hard in one spot and it took the color out so be careful and test an area first.

    By Elizabeth

    RE: Cleaning Ballpoint Ink Pen From Couch

    I just tried the hair spray suggestion and it worked like a charm. I hope when it dries, it does not leave a mark?

    RE: Cleaning Ballpoint Ink Pen From Couch

    Pump hair spray does not work on real leather, it takes the color out!! don't do it!

    By april

    RE: Cleaning Ballpoint Ink Pen From Couch

    just tried the hairspray, works like a dream when nothing else would touch it!

    By guest

    RE: Cleaning Ballpoint Ink Pen From Couch

    Thanks for your valuable advice. According to how to clean anything. I needed a professional upholstery cleaner. they had no solution

    By dean

    Archive: Removing Ink from Leather

    How can I get ink out of leather?


    Archive: Ink Off a Leather Couch

    How can I remove biro ink from a tan leather couch?