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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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March 14, 20110 found this helpful

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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March 15, 20110 found this helpful

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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March 15, 20110 found this helpful

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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Anonymous Flag
January 5, 20160 found this helpful

I found out that using a cotton bud and alcohol worked on my new Furla rose-pink bag.


1. Get a cotton bud and put a little bit of rubbing alcohol.(If you do too much alcohol, you can see the brown colour of the real leather underneath.)

2. Rub it gently many times on the ballpoint ink mark.( If it doesn't really work try putting more alcohol on the cotton bud.)

3.Then it should have worked.

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August 17, 20160 found this helpful

I had blue pall point pen ink on a white leather purse. Bleach is the only thing that would take it out.

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September 26, 20130 found this helpful

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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May 15, 20140 found this helpful

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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November 20, 20140 found this helpful

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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January 9, 20150 found this helpful

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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Anonymous Flag
February 22, 20160 found this helpful

I have Betsey Johnson Purse ink got on it just used alcohol came rite off thanks

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July 6, 20160 found this helpful

What kind of dooney leather did you have? I have a blue ink stain on a pink florentine leather purse and I'm terrified to ruin the color

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Anonymous Flag
January 22, 20160 found this helpful

Just tried the "dawn" detergent on my white MK leather wallet and it removed easily a small ballpoint pen ink stain!!!

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March 13, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

How can I remove ball point pen ink from a leather purse?

By Linda from Carlisle, PA


Pen on a Leather Purse

Hairspray removes ink pretty well. But on a leather purse, I'd be really careful. Try spraying hairspray on a cotton swab, then test it by swabbing it on a tiny, non-visible part of the leather to make sure it doesn't get damaged. Then if the leather doesn't get damaged, test it on a tiny part of the purse where the ink is. The hairspray has to be wet to work, I believe; so you'll have to refresh the cotton swabs as you're doing it. (10/31/2010)

By Joanne

Pen on a Leather Purse

I got ballpoint pen marks off one of my leather purses with Dawn liquid dish detergent. The spot looked dark from the water, but it when it dried in a few minutes the ink was gone. (10/31/2010)

By TXBetty

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October 30, 2010 Flag
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What can I use to get ink off my light pink leather Coach purse?

By omie from Oak Lawn, IL

September 28, 2010 Flag
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How do I clean ink marks off of a light tan soft leather purse?

By Dorothy from Houston, TX


Pen on a Leather Purse

I would try one of those magic erasers, I think they're made by Mr. Clean. They've worked very well on ink stains for me. (08/22/2010)

By rking0717

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August 22, 2010 Flag
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How do I remove a pen mark from a red leather bag? I tried alcohol and it took the color off.

By June from NY


Pen on a Leather Purse

Have you tried a baking soda paste? (08/06/2010)

By carnation037

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July 22, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

I got ink on my nice leather bag. How do I remove it?

February 25, 2010 Flag
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I lent a white leather purse to a friend who marked across it with a blue pen. I used rubbing alcohol without testing it first.

April 1, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have pen marks on my Italian leather pocketbook. I tried using hairspray and a spot remover pen, but nothing has worked.

March 9, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

January 18, 2009 Flag
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How do I get pen ink out of a leather purse?

January 29, 2008 Flag
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How can I get pen ink out off a leather clutch bag?

May 27, 2006 Flag
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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.

August 29, 2005 Flag
0 found this helpful

I need to clean ballpoint ink off my leather purse.

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