How to remove biro from a leather sofa

Updated March 21, 2017

Biros, known as ballpoint pens in the United States, can often find their way onto leather couches from teens doing homework while lounging, pens exploding accidentally or the wandering hands of children. You can use simple household solvents to clean your leather couch so it looks just like new. When scrubbing the biro ink, work quickly so the couch doesn't absorb the solvents.

Make sure the stain has been made by biro ink and not a gel-based ink.

Pour a little bit of alcohol on a cotton ball.

Rub the moistened cotton ball onto the biro stain. It should come out. Wipe dry.

Place pure acetone onto a cotton ball. Wipe the stain.

Pour white vinegar onto a paper towel. Wipe the stain quickly after the acetone so it won't harm the leather.

Clean up the white vinegar with a paper towel.

Things You'll Need

  • Denatured alcohol
  • Cotton ball
  • Acetone
  • White vinegar
  • Paper towel
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About the Author

Writing since 2008, Fiona Miller has taught English in Eastern Europe and also teaches kids in New York schools about the Holocaust. Her work can be found on, ConnectED and various other Web sites. Miller holds a B.A. in French from Chapman University and an M.A. in educational theater from New York University.