Pen on a Leather Purse


I have a medium tan soft leather purse; there's blue ink scattered on back of purse and bottom. How do I remove the ink without ruining the purse?

By squirrel from Uniontown, PA


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By 4babes 3 03/14/2011

Try rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. I got red pen on my new coach purse. They told me to use their cleaner. I had some under the sink, its pure rubbing alcohol. It came off right away. Test the purse first on the bottom to make sure you wont damage the color or leather.

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By Mary 3 10 03/15/2011

Try hair spray if it hasn't been there too long. Test it on the bottom first, but I've had good luck with it.

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By Betty 104 753 03/15/2011

I had an expensive Fosil purse with a ballpoint pen mark. I got it off with a dampened cloth and Dawn dish detergent. An older friend told me this. I was afraid it would leave a water stain but it didn't.

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By Sarah D 1 09/26/2013

Don't use hairspray! While it has a high alcohol content, the other ingredients could stain the leather. How to clean the purse really depends on the type of leather it is (see below). The instructions below have helped me and I hope they help others, as well!
Types of Leather:
~Suede: stop reading and take your garment to a professional dry cleaner specializing in cleaning suede.
~Smooth leather: test cleaning methods in an inconspicuous place and proceed with care. If your garment or accessory is very expensive and you will be devastated if you ruin it, take it to a professional cleaner.
~Vinyl or pleather: begin cleaning.

Types of Ink:
~Ballpoint pen: proceed with cleaning method.
~Felt tip marker: proceed with cleaning method.
~Permanent ink or marker: consider having your garment dyed to match the stain or a darker shade. Permanent ink cannot be removed from leather without causing a great deal of damage to the garment. Professional dry cleaners or shoe repair shops can dye leather.

Cleaning Method:
~Isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol, works best for home removal of ink stains from leather. Fresh ink stains are easier to remove and usually come out easily, while older stains may require repeat treatments. Leather is porous and the stain can penetrate deep into the hide.
~Begin by dampening a white cotton cloth or cotton swab with the alcohol. Dont use a colored cloth because it can transfer dye to light colored leather. Work from the outside of the stain toward the middle by dabbing with the cloth. Keep the work area small  do not spread the ink into a bigger area.
~You should be able to see the ink transfer to the cloth. Dampen a clean area of the cloth or get a new swab as you see ink coming off to prevent re-staining the garment. Gently, keep blotting away until the ink is gone. Do not scrub harshly as that can remove color and a layer of the leather.
~Allow the garment to air dry after or between treatments. Once the ink is removed, treat garment with leather conditioner to help it remain supple and smooth.

Old Wives Tales & Myths:
~There's a million blogs and tips about using hairspray, dish detergent, laundry soap, mayonnaise and abrasive erasers to remove ink from leather. Yes, someone from somewhere has had success using these methods, but they cant be recommended.
~The most common misconception is using hairspray, which contains high alcohol content, but the other ingredients in the spray can cause staining and other problems. Use it ONLY in an emergency on a fresh ink stain.
~The abrasive erasers will probably remove the ink but theyll also remove a layer of the leather. So, youll need to decide if you want a stain or a hole.


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By lisasunshine 1 05/15/2014

I just wanted to mention that I tried the rubbing alcohol on a blue ballpoint pen ink stain on a brown leather handbag and it unfortunately faded the color of the leather but left behind the ink. So, I would definitely recommend testing the rubbing alcohol on an inconspicuous area first before trying it on the stain. I'm going to try the Dawn method suggestion, and if that doesn't work, I'm taking it to the dry cleaners.

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By Geneva S. 1 11/20/2014

Thank you to the one who suggested Spray & Wash!

I soaked a corner of a soft cloth in Spray & Wash and used it to gently rub the blue ink out of my rose-pink leather Coach. Just be careful not to rub too hard or else the layer of color can rub off to expose the brown leather underneath.

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By floridacfj 1 01/09/2015

I tried the suggestion of Dawn and it worked great on my new leather Douney and Burke purse. Thanks goodness because I was
heart broken about the stain on my new purse that I got for Christmas.

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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 comments that were provided then.

Archive: Removing Ink From Leather Purse

I need to clean ballpoint ink off my leather purse.

Thank you,

RE: Removing Ink From Leather Purse 09/28/2004
Try the Mr. Kleen Magic Eraser - it's like a miracle magic wand for cleaning. I can't believe all the stains it has removed. Good luck
By nanalori
RE: Removing Ink From Leather Purse 09/30/2004
Try hairspray
By Shirley (Guest Post)
RE: Removing Ink From Leather Purse 12/01/2004
Unfortunately, because leather is extremely porous, any solvent you chose runs the risk of damaging the outside finish, or flushing the ink color into a big blotch on the leather. Since the mark is on the inside I would leave it. However, you may contact the Tandy Leather Compnay in Fort Worth for advice. Using a very small amount of alcohol, or acetone, followed by aggressive pressure and blotting may remove most of it, but will cause the stain to bleed. Be careful, and seek out a professional. Coach is worth it.
By Darrell (Guest Post)
RE: Removing Ink From Leather Purse 09/24/2005
Hi, I am no expert of course, but what about trying an Armour-All wipe? Good Luck!
By shesbertsernie (Guest Post)
RE: Removing Ink From Leather Purse 04/27/2006
Mr. Kleen Magic Marker does not work, at least it didn't for me.
By Dyanne (Guest Post)

Archive: Pen on a Leather Purse

Someone at my workplace drew a huge line of blue pen on my light pink, leather Juicy Couture bag. I can't get it out. I tried hairspray, but it started to discolor the leather. Does anyone know what I can do to save it?

Allie from Ohio

RE: Pen on a Leather Purse

I had l large blue ink biro mark on my Prada beige leather bag and on the inside loads of them caused by a friend borrowing and leaving a lid off pen inside. I used acetone on a cotton bud and repeatedly rubbed gently waited to dry and continued. It worked. You can then use saddle soap or mink oil to put the oils back in the leather but mink oil will darken the leather just a touch. Try on the inside somewhere first. The oils will protect your bag from water marks anyway if you go out in the rain. Good Luck (06/15/2006)

By Susan, Estero Florida

Pen on a Leather Purse

Don't try hairspray, that's mostly for clothes not expensive brand bags. (08/12/2006)

By Katie

Archive: Pen on a Leather Purse

How can I get pen ink out off a leather clutch bag? Mark from UK

RE: Pen on a Leather Purse

I got pen marks on my cream colored leather purse. Just sprayed a tiny bit of hairspray on it and it immediately bled, so now I have a big blue tinted blotch on my new purse. DON'T USE HAIRSPRAY!! I hope someone can learn from my mistake! (04/06/2007)

By Tiffany

RE: Pen on a Leather Purse

I just removed a 2 inch black ink stain completely from an ivory Coach leather bag using a q-tip dipped in spray-n-wash. I rubbed gently with a circular motion, wiped with a damp cloth, and followed with leather cleaner to remove any residue. You would never know the stain was there. Might work on your bag! (05/30/2007)

By Kelly

RE: Pen on a Leather Purse

I had a ballpoint ink stain on my WHITE coach wallet and it was terrible! I used acetone to take it off and it worked but theres a small hint of where the stain was and i think the acetone may have removed some of my leather. But it looks better than a ballpoint ink stain! (06/25/2007)

By debbie

RE: Pen on a Leather Purse

ISOPROPYL (RUBBING ALCOHOL) Dab generously on the ink mark with a cotton ball leave for 15- 20 mins. Then rub off with some more rubbing alcohol. (08/05/2007)


Archive: Pen on a Leather Purse

I have blue ballpoint ink on a Coach sand pebbled leather bag. What's the best way to remove it? Thanks!

Cathy from Cleveland, OH

RE: Pen on a Leather Purse

Try baby wipes. (01/18/2009)

By wvrdnkwmn

RE: Pen on a Leather Purse

Call Coach or a cobbler. I have always wanted a big Coach bag. Lucky you. I hope you get the stain out. (01/21/2009)

By mulberry204

Archive: Pen on a Leather Purse

How do I get pen ink out of a leather purse?


Archive: Pen on a Leather Purse

I have pen marks on my Italian leather pocketbook. I tried using hairspray and a spot remover pen, but nothing has worked. The leather is soft, and the color is tan. The pen is black. Help.

Priscilla from Hartford, CT

RE: Pen on a Leather Purse

Go to your local furniture store- tell them that you have ink on your leather and see if they can give you a cleaner. I have done this with several of my Coach and Dooney purses- works like a charm. (03/09/2009)

By vcphillips

RE: Pen on a Leather Purse

A friend stayed over night and while I was making supper, let her young son draw all over my cream leather couch. She told me, "Oh, he writes on ours all the time, it just wipes right off!" Turns out hers is vinyl, not real leather. I scrubbed mine with Crest toothpaste (not the gel), it took me a couple of hours, but it all came out. I've used this on velvet dining room chair upholstery, as well. Must be the white paste, the colored paste will leave the color behind. (03/10/2009)

By catastrofy

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