How Do I Remove Ballpoint Pen From Leather?

Written by kimbry parker
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How Do I Remove Ballpoint Pen From Leather?
Remove ink from leather carefully so the leather doesn't become damaged. (white leather furniture image by Leonid Nyshko from

It is disheartening to find ballpoint pen ink on your leather couch, purse or car interior. Whether a pen exploded in your bag, or your kids used your couch for a drawing board, ink pen spots diminish the appearance of the entire leather item. It is important to remove ballpoint pen spots from your leather items carefully so you don’t compromise the integrity of the leather.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • White rags
  • Leather cleaner
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Non-acetone nail polish remover
  • Leather conditioner

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  1. 1

    Clean the affected area of the leather with a soft white rag and leather cleaner. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using the leather cleaner. Let the leather dry completely before proceeding.

  2. 2

    Dampen a soft white rag with a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Gently rub over the ink spot until it is gone. Switch to clean portions of the rag often, and apply more alcohol as needed.

  3. 3

    Use non-acetone nail polish remover if the ballpoint ink stain persists. Dampen a soft, white rag with the nail polish remover and gently rub over the ink spot until it is gone.

  4. 4

    Clean the leather with a leather cleaner once all of the ink is gone. Let it dry completely, then apply a leather conditioner, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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