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How to Get Felt Tip Pen Off of Leather

Leather is a natural material that comes from animal hides. Similar to other natural products, leather is porous and absorbent. When a felt tip pen stain ends up on your leather surface you must remove the stain from the surface as well as from the pores without causing the stain to spread further. By isolating the ink stain before you clean it, you can keep from making a bigger mess.

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  1. Isolate the stain and prevent the ink from bleeding further into the leather. Dip a cotton swab into the rubbing alcohol and draw a circle around the ink stain with it.

  2. Dip another clean cotton swab into the rubbing alcohol and wipe the ink stain itself. As ink transfers to the cotton swab change to another swab and continue to wipe up the ink stain.

  3. Place a dab of white toothpaste on a clean cloth. Buff any remaining felt-tip pen ink stain on your leather with the paste. Dampen a clean cloth with water to wipe up the paste.

  4. Clean and condition the surface of your leather with a leather cleaning and conditioning combination. Rub the liquid into your leather surface and allow it to dry.

  5. Tip

    Isolate a large ink stain and soak up some of the ink by covering it with cornstarch or baking soda. Use alcohol-based wet wipes to help clean up an ink stain on leather.


    Too much moisture during the cleaning process can cause damage to the leather. Always wring out cloths and sponges before cleaning an ink stain.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cotton swabs
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • White toothpaste
  • Leather cleaner and conditioner
  • Clean cloths

About the Author

Mary Ylisela

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.

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