How To Clean Leather Correctly & Remove Leather Stains - Part 1

How To Clean Leather Correctly & Remove Leather Stains - Part 1

Ink Stains on Leather

One of the biggest nightmares on expensive leather furniture, shoes or jackets is ink stains. In fact this is one of the most common leather care questions asked on the internet.

One of the most common questions is: "how do I remove ink stains from my leather furniture?"

While quality leather creams will help prevent such stains from being so readily absorbed, what do you do if it's already too late?

The following summary has been compiled from users all over the world. They will help you clean ink stains off of leather goods, especially tan leather or white leather.

Important Note: Always test leather care products or cleaning products on an inconspicuous area such as the back of the chair, the inside arch of the shoe etc. Not all leather is the same.


Using isopropyl alcohol ("rubbing alcohol") or denatured alcohol you can remove most ink stains. This type of alcohol is available from most pharmacies and grocery stores. Put it on a soft cloth and rub or dab the area gently and let it dry. Test first on an area that will not be seen to ensure the leather finish will not be affected. Follow up with a natural leather conditioner if the leather looks or feels dry.


Rub a small amount into the stain. Let is sit for a few minutes and then rub it off. This method has been used successfully to remove ink stains from tan leather couches.


You may find this particularly useful in cleaning car leather interiors. The cleaning ingredients help dissolve the stains, the wipes are non-abrasive and they also add some conditioning to the leather.


A number of people have successfully used Windex to remove ink stains from their leather. We recommend trying the other methods first, but this method has been used successfully to remove black dye from a beige leather couch and a cream leather sofa. Spray on the windex and rub gently with a soft scrubbing brush. Rinse well and then finish up with a quality leather conditioner.

Keep in mind that any of the above methods will usually rob your leather goods of much needed moisture. After cleaning the stain you should use a good quality leather cream to condition the leather and help protect against future damage.

Coming Soon: See Part 2 of this article for more tips and ideas.

For more free tips and detailed information on all types of leather care, visit:

How To Clean Leather Correctly & Remove Leather Stains - Part 1

How To Clean Leather Correctly & Remove Leather Stains - Part 1

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