The good news about leather is that it's one of the most durable upholstery surfaces, and it can take a lot of abuse -- even from children or pets. But when your budding Michelangelo draws in ink or permanent marker on your leather couch, you might feel a bit apprehensive about successful removal. Not to worry -- you have several options to remove all types of inks from leather, including newspaper ink.
The quicker you act to remove the ink or permanent marker stain, the easier it is to remove. One inexpensive method involves blotting the stained area with alcohol -- rubbing alcohol, vodka or cheap hair spray that contains alcohol. Do not let the alcohol dry on the stain, but do let it sit long enough to work. Add a drop of liquid dish soap to the alcohol and rub the stain with your finger to remove the ink. Wipe with a clean, damp cloth.
Newspaper Ink and Colored Inks
For deep-set newspaper or colored inks, after testing to ensure it doesn't discolor the leather, dab a cotton ball with a bit of nail polish remover or acetone. Lightly blot the stain, repeating as necessary to remove the ink. Clean with a drop of liquid detergent rubbed into the stain and wiped clean with a damp, warm cloth.
Leather Shampoo or Cleaner
Over-the-counter leather shampoos or cleaners are designed to remove a variety of stains from leather, including permanent marker, colored inks, crayons, newspaper inks and even lipstick. Obviously, the fresher the stain, the easier it is to remove. Apply the leather-cleaning agent directly onto the stain and rub in circular motions until it's clean.
Ink-Stain Remover Products
These products are usually available from online leather sites, office supply stores or furniture retailers. They are manufactured in a variety of forms: sticks, liquids and ink-removal kits involving one or more steps. Designed to avoid damaging the leather, these products can remove several types of inks and other stains from leather.
With an ink-remover kit from a leather shop, clean the affected area first with a leather cleanser or shampoo. Dab a bit of the ink-removal solution from the kit onto a cotton swab and gently blot the ink stain until it's gone. For hard-to-remove stains, apply more pressure or rub the area with the solution. After the ink is gone, apply a bit of the ink-removal solution to a soft sponge to remove the cloudy buildup left over from cleaning.
Wipe the entire leather couch with a leather cleaner before applying a protectant that helps to repel future ink scribbles.