How to Remove Ink from a Leather Purse

How to remove ink from a leather purse

A leather purse is a costly luxury item that lasts for a long period of time when cared for the right way. However, leather accessories are always prone to scuffs and stains. The worst stain of all, however, can come from ink. Whether the lid of a ballpoint ink pen slipped off, it broke inside your purse, or you brushed the pen accidently across your valuable handbag after signing a credit card receipt. No matter how the accident occurs, you are left with an ink stain that needs to be taken care of right away.

You might think that that ugly ink blotch is the kiss of death for your leather purse, however, there still might be hope. There are several ways to clean ink-stained leather but we are going to discuss 3 of the most effective ones in our guide. Learn how to remove ink from a leather purse with the following step-by-step procedure:

Things You’ll Need

Method #1

  • Soap-based cleanser
  • Cloth

Method #2

  • Ink stick

Method #3

  • Saddle soap

Method #4

  • Leather cleaner
  • Leather conditioner
  • Non-scratch scrubbing pad

Method #5

  • Q-tip or cotton swab
  • Hairspray
  • Leather cleaner
  • Leather conditioner

Method #6

  • Q-tip or cotton swab
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Leather cleaner
  • Leather conditioner

Method #7

  • Magic eraser
  • Leather conditioner

Method #8

  • Non acetone-based nail-polish remover
  • Leather cleaner
  • Leather conditioner

Steps Prior to Treating Ink-Stained Leather Purses

Determine the Leather Type

Before you start with treating your ink-stained leather handbags, determine its leather type. If it’s naked leather, it will be essentially untouched and extremely absorbent. Therefore, it might be difficult to clean naked leather without seeking assistance from a professional. Take it directly to a dry cleaner for treatment. Attempting to clean unfinished leather with home remedies might cost you more time and  effort than it’s worth.

Moreover, to check if the leather is unfinished, put a drop of water on the purse. If the water gets soaked in, the material is unfinished leather and you’ll again require professional help. If the water beads up instead, it is finished leather and you can start cleaning it.

Find Out How Deep the Stain is

For fresh ink stains that are only on the surface of your purse, you can attempt to clean it with the methods in this article. However, if the ink has soaked deep and is very old, you might need to have the leather re-dyed professionally for a stain-free bag.

Read the Manufacturer’s Label for Your Leather

Your leather purse might have a manufacturer’s label inside it with care instructions for the specific type of leather used. A certain cleaner or conditioner might be recommended for quick stain removal. The label might also contain instructions advising you against doing something that would either actively hurt the leather or won’t clean it.

Test a Small Area First

Before you use any of the methods explained in this guide on your expensive leather purse, it is highly recommended to test a smaller area first. Locate a hidden area of leather and use the cleaning method that is most suitable to your needs on it. Remember, you won’t be testing a patch to see if it gets completely clean, instead you will be checking if the chosen cleaning method is ruining your leather or not. Spot-cleaning is essential in order to avoid damaging your valuable bag any further.

How to Remove Ink from a Leather Purse (10 Methods)

1. Using Soap-Based Cleanser

Soap-based cleansers are gentler than the solvent-based ones. Moreover, they are more effective when it comes to cleaning ink stains from leather. Dampen a cloth with a soap-based cleanser and gently wipe the stain with it. To know if your cleanser is soap or solvent-based, simply check its packaging as this information should be labeled very clearly on it.

2. Using an Ink Stick

Purchase an ink stick that is specially designed to be used on leather, and treat your leather purse with it. A majority of the time, when you turn to a professional cleaner to have your leather item cleaned, they use an ink stick for the purpose. While this method can be a little expensive to carry out, the cost is quite nominal compared to the heavy amount you paid for your authentic leather purse.

3. Saddle Soap

Saddle soap doesn’t only clean leather but also protects it. Most often, saddle soap protects and cleans the leather used in saddles, hence its name. Emollients, such as lanolin and glycerin, are combined with gentle soaps to make saddle soap. This combination helps rehydrate the leather material after it is cleaned. If you want to increase the lifespan of your leather purse and treat it better, apply a small quantity of saddle soap to it on a regular basis. Rather than aiming for reactive treatment, aim for proactive one.

4. Leather Conditioner and Cleaner

Similar to saddle soap, leather conditioners and cleaners can help clean leather purses and also hydrate them. The hydration process helps prevent the material from cracking. Although ink stains can be quite stubborn and tenacious for leather, give these products a try to see if they make any difference.

It is important to use a nonabrasive and non-scratch scrubbing pad to apply the leather conditioner and cleanser rather than a terry cloth applicator pad. These applicators can work effectively for conditioning, however, when it comes to removing persistent stains, they don’t perform very well.

5. Hairspray

Start by thoroughly dousing a cotton swab or Q-tip in hairspray. Now quickly take the swab and attack the ink spot on your leather purse. Once you do so, apply leather cleaner as well as conditioner to the affected area. This step is essential to prevent hairspray from drying out and cracking the leather. Repeat the steps until the stain is completely gone.

6. Rubbing Alcohol

Some leather owners claim that using 70% rubbing alcohol on leather has worked for them. Dip a cotton swab or Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and rub it directly onto the ink stain. Once again, remember to follow this procedure by applying leather cleaner and conditioner to avoid any dehydration. Repeat if required.

7. Magic Eraser

Take a magic eraser, dampen its tip, and rub it directly onto the ink stain. Melamine foam, a special material in magic erasers works actively to remove stubborn stains. Lastly, apply leather conditioner to the spot using a clean towel.

8. Nail-Polish Remover (Not Acetone-Based)

There have been claims about successful ink-stain removal using a non acetone-based nail-polish remover. All you need to do is dap a little nail-polish remover on a cotton swab and rub it against the ink stain. Finish the routine with a leather cleanser and conditioner to prevent the leather from drying and cracking.

Our Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve learned how to remove ink from a leather purse, keep your luxury items as good as new. Treat your leather items with quality protection products on a regular basis. Hydrate it with leather condition to make it less susceptible to drying and cracking. This practice will also create a seal over the surface of your valuable handbag, which will keep ink and other stains from embedding themselves too far into the material.

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