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How to get rid of ink stains on leather

One of the most annoying things about leather is that no matter how careful you are, you can still get unexpected stains. You can religiously apply a leather protectant to your couch every week, spray a weather protectant on your leather jacket, condition your bag to make it nice and soft, but something always happens. A leaky pen always comes out of nowhere and spills ink all over your favorite leather item. It just happens and it’s Murphy’s Law.

You can’t really prepare for ink blots. There isn’t a product you can buy that will “protect leather from ink” like you can buy liquid repellents for leather. If you get ink on the sofa or in your bag, for example, you just have to deal with it.

To get rid of ink stains, it all depends on the nature of the mark. If it was a pen scratch, then it’s relatively easy to remove. A good trick is to use isopropyl alcohol to remove the mark with a Q-tip. Isopropyl alcohol can be found in most home medicine cabinets as it is also known as rubbing alcohol. However, as with all leather cleaning tips, you should try it on an inconspicuous part of the leather item first. If the leather doesn’t absorb the solution or the color doesn’t run, you can start cleaning.

If the ink blot is quite large and created a circular ink blot, then that’s quite a different story and quite a bigger problem. Also using isopropyl alcohol and a lint-free cloth, work from the outer edges of the stain and wipe toward the center. If the ink doesn’t seem to lift, don’t force it, as you could be doing the leather more harm than good. This might be the time to call a professional leather restorer and get an opinion on what can be done to save the piece of leather. The item will most likely be retained by the leather restorer to match the rest of the leather item again.

Ink stains are very difficult to remove from leather, so keep the caps on your pens and make sure they don’t spill!

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