How to remove ink stains safely from beloved leather

#fashionover50 woman in street chic with sequins and plaid
Contents
  1. An ink stain must not ruin a favorite bag
  2. How to remove an ink stain from leather
    • Always make a test first at a hidden place
    • Step-by-step directions
  3. Outfit of the day

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An ink stain must not ruin a favorite bag

The other day, I saw a colleague with a beautiful leather designer bag. I complimented her on her bag and her face turned to an sad expression. She turned her bag around and showed me an ink stain. She told me how the bag was stained. At a conference, someone’s pen fell down with its tip downside onto the bag. While sliding down the bag, it left an half an inch long line. “Do you have an idea how to get rid of the stain” was her next question.

Read how to get an ink stain out of leather. #stainremoval Click To Tweet

How to remove an ink stain from leather

An ink stain on a leather item is not a reason to toss it. When your stain is small like the one described above you may have a chance to save your leather item. Of course, results depend on the type of ink and the age of the ink stain. In other words, the following methods may remove or lighten the stain. But when the other alternative would be to toss the leather item, it is better to try saving it first and give stain removal a try when you cannot afford a professional cleaning. Or when professional cleaning would be more expensive than buying a new bag. Often it is even impossible to find a professional cleaning service.

stylist in designer sequin jacket and midi skirt

back view of older woman in street chic

fashion blogger in midi skirt and designer jacket
Outfit details: Pendleton plaid skirt, L.K. Bennett tall boots, GNW Luxe sweater, Hermes collier de chien bangle (all own) and designer jacket c/o StyleWe

Always make a test first at a hidden place

No matter which of the stain removal methods you try always perform a “color safety test” on a part of the leather that is relatively hidden. This test allows you to see whether the removal liquid will not cause an even larger damage than the stain is already. Just rub a cotton ball with the liquid you want to use onto a small portion of the leather. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so. In principle, you shouldn’t find any problems. However, it’s always best to test than being sorry.

Step-by-step directions

You need hair spray or pure alcohol, a clean bloat sheet, a cotton ball, 10 minutes uninterrupted time.

  1. Spray hairspray on the ink spot. Wait for about a minute, but ensure that the hair spray doesn’t dry. Patch the ink-hair spray mix with a clean bloat sheet.
  2. If hairspray doesn’t do the trick, try to remove the spot by rubbing it with alcohol.
  3. When the ink is visible from both sides of the leather item, it penetrated deep into the leather. In this case, try to remove/lighten the spot with colorless nail polish remover.
  4. Deep settled ink stains may also be removed/lifted with aerosol brake parts cleaner.
  5. Moisten a cotton ball with alcohol and rub the alcohol onto the ink stain. Perform a circular motion without imposing pressure or scrubbing. When it works you should see quickly that the ink stain starts disappearing. Make sure not to spread the ink remover mix to adjacent areas. When the spot is small, use a Q-tip instead of a cotton ball.
  6. Once the spot disappeared, and apply a small drop of leather conditioner to the cleaned area to restore the moisture and shine of the leather. Often conditioning the entire bag is best.

Extra tip: When an ink stain is on your leather couch, you may apply a white eraser on the stain (e.g. White Magic Eraser).

Does the spot also show on the lining inside your bag? If so you can read how to remove ball pen ink from fabric in this post.

Outfit of the day

Now to the stain-free street chic OOTD. The weekend brought another load of snow. Typically, March has blue skies. There wasn’t much blue so far. Thus, I tried an outfit with a lot of blue. Navy plus washed denim is always a great pairing. Sparkle, yes please. I still love this patched sequin jacket from StyleWe that I added to my wardrobe last spring. I love that they have designer clothes at a price a real woman can afford. Their site is always worth looking at when you want something trendy, but well designed.

Like this outfit? You might also like to see this skirt styled for the office and this skirt styled for the weekend.

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Photos of me: G. Kramm

© 2013-2020 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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