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How to remove ballpoint pen ink from patent leather

Updated February 21, 2017

Patent leather is leather that has a high gloss, shiny finish. The finish is normally a type of plastic coating but can also be a lacquer coating. Patent leather is commonly used to make shoes, handbags, wallets and trench coats. If it comes in contact with ballpoint pen ink, the ink can be removed. It is easiest to remove the ink while the ink is still fresh and hasn't set into the leather. If the ink has set, it may take a few attempts to remove.

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  1. Soak a cotton ball or cotton swab in rubbing alcohol.

  2. Rub the cotton on the ink stain. Rubbing alcohol dissolves ink. Allow the alcohol to work into the leather for five minutes.

  3. Dampen a cloth with water and wipe the surface free of rubbing alcohol. Repeat as needed until the ink is removed.

  4. Tip

    Although rubbing alcohol is the most effective at remove ballpoint ink, vinegar diluted with water, spray glass cleaner or non-acetone polish remover can all be used in place of rubbing alcohol.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cotton swab or cotton ball
  • Rubbing alcohol

About the Author

Kallie Johnson began her writing career in 2009, contributing to various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She enjoys writing home and garden topics and considers herself an expert on do-it-yourself home improvement topics.

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