How to Remove Ink from a Leather Couch

Learn how to remove ink from a leather couch for those moments you're in a bind. Your leather couch is one of your favorite furniture pieces, providing both comfort and style to your living room or den. You chose a leather couch because you wanted durability and good looks. So imagine your horror when you an ink stain, and realize you have no idea what to do.

Removing ink from leather is never easy; in fact, for fine leathers, antiques, or very expensive pieces of furniture, it may be best to lean on a professional's knowledge of how to remove ink from a leather couch. But, if you have the right tools and products on hand, you may be able to undo the damage yourself.

How to Remove Ink From a Leather Couch

Before you attempt to remove ink from a leather couch, make sure to test the method(s) you use on an inconspicuous area of the couch. Many of the dyes used on leather items can be damaged or removed completely by harsh cleaning methods, so it's best to test the method on a hidden area of the couch before you add insult to injury by attempting to remove an ink stain, only to remove the dye, as well.

Using Saddle Soap to Remove Ink Stains from a Leather Couch

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • Saddle Soap
  • A soft, clean cloth

A light ink stain or a surface ink stain may be removed from leather using saddle soap. Saddle soap, which is found in shoe stores or the shoe aisle in department stores, is the safest, gentlest way to remove dirt and stains from leather while preserving the leather's finish. Whatever stain removal method you use, follow up with an application of saddle soap to remove surface grime and to restore the leather's finish.

Here's how to remove ink from a leather couch using saddle soap:

  1. Wipe a soft clean cloth over the saddle soap.
  2. Rub the stain gently with the saddle soap in a circular direction. Wipe with a clean cloth periodically to check that the stain has been removed.
  3. When the stain is gone, go over the whole area of the couch with the saddle soap to blend and clean.

Using Soap to Remove Ink Stains from a Leather Couch

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • A gentle white soap
  • A soft, clean cloth
  • Leather conditioner

If you just can't get your hands on saddle soap, and want another gentle method of removing ink from your leather couch, try an unscented white soap (think Ivory). Gentle soaps are similar enough to saddle soap that they will work in a pinch; however, they can leave soap residue behind that can attract dirt and grime, so make sure you remove all traces of residue before using your leather couch again.

Use soap on ink stains on leather like so:

  1. Rub a soft, barely dampened clean cloth over the soap.
  2. Rub the stain gently with the soap in a circular direction. Wipe with a clean, damp cloth periodically to check that the stain has been removed.
  3. Continue to wipe the area with a barely dampened cloth until all traces of the soap are gone.
  4. When the soap is gone, go over the whole area of the couch with a leather conditioner to restore the leather's finish.

Using an Art Gum Eraser to Remove Ink Stains from a Leather Couch

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • An art gum eraser
  • A soft, clean cloth
  • Leather conditioner

Stubborn ink stains on your leather sofa may not respond to saddle soap or other soap removal methods. Before you use a harsher cleaner, try an art gum eraser, which is available at art stores and office supply stores. An art gum eraser may be able to bring up the ink stain without hurting your leather couch's finish.

Her's how it works:

  1. Gently rub the stain with the art gum eraser, taking care not to bear down too hard, or rub hard enough to tear or abrade the leather.
  2. Continue to rub until the stain is removed.
  3. When the stain is gone, go over the area with a leather conditioner to restore the leather's finish.

Using Mechanic's Hand Cleaner to Remove Ink Stains from a Leather Couch

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • A non-abrasive mechanic's hand cleaner that's labeled safe for leather use
  • A soft, clean cloth(s)
  • Leather conditioner

Those jars of hand cleaner that mechanics use to remove grease and grime from their hands are a hidden treasure in the world of stain removal, perfect for removing grease, ink, lipstick and other difficult stains from washable materials and more. Many of the non-abrasive hand cleaners that contain lanolin are perfect for removing stains from leather without destroying the finish; however, only use mechanic's hand cleaner on leathers that have a glazed or shiny finish, as softer leathers can be stained by the cleaner.

Here's how to remove ink from a leather couch using mechanic's hand cleaner:

  1. Apply the hand cleaner to a soft, clean cloth.
  2. Gently rub the hand cleaner onto the ink stain. Wipe away residue and ink with a another soft, clean cloth.
  3. Repeat step 2 until the stain is removed.
  4. Wipe away any remaining hand cleaner residue.