How to Remove Ink Stains from Fabrics and Leather

Ink can stain clothes and leather in really noticeable ways, but while it may seem like a guarantee that you’ll never be able to wear ink-stained clothes again, there’s no need to fret just yet.

In fact, when treated properly, you can remove the stains and salvage your laundry if you catch the ink stains and treat them beforehand. Depending on the type of ink and the material stained, there are a number of ways to treat the stain.

Leather
Types of Leather
When it comes to removing ink from leather, it’s important to know what the type of leather is. There are generally three types: suede, smooth, and vinyl/synthetic leather.

Of the three, vinyl/synthetic leather is easily the most durable. Smooth leather can be cleaned by yourself, but do observe caution when doing so, and ink-stained suede should be taken to a professional as soon as possible.

Removing Ink Stains from Leather
The best way to remove ink stains from leather by yourself is by dampening a white cotton cloth with isopropyl alcohol and gently swabbing from the outside-in. Keep the work area small and replace the swab once you see the ink coming off.

Keep blotting this way until you see the ink disappear, but do so gently to keep the leather’s color and layers.
Once done, allow the garment to air-dry. Ideally, you want to air-dry the leather in between treatments as to give it some time to rest before going at it again, especially if the stain is old.

Cloth
Removing Ink Stains from Cloth
Pen ink is one of the most difficult stains that can get onto fabrics, especially when they explode in a pocket during a hot day or when left in the dryer.

When it comes to most fabrics and the different types of ink that can stain them, be sure to keep the following tips in mind:

• Ballpoint – In homes and offices, ballpoint pens are a staple. But when they leave stains, the best way to treat them is by swabbing them with a cloth dipped in isopropyl alcohol.

If the ink remains, mix a small amount of oxygen-based bleach with cool water and submerge the garment in it. Rinse and repeat.

• Permanent marker – Do the same as that with ballpoint ink. However, if the stain won’t come out, consider dyeing the garment with a darker color to mask the stain.

• Washable marker – Do the same as that with ballpoint ink. However, if the stain won’t come out, take it to your professional dry cleaner to have it cleaned. Be sure to point out the stain as well as the steps you’ve taken to reduce it.

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