Removing ballpoint ink from a leather sofa can be tricky. It’s estimated that more than 200 million pens are sold worldwide each year, and almost all of them contain the same type of ink that often ends up on furniture.

But don’t worry – if you follow these Nousdecor steps of How To Remove Ballpoint Ink From Leather Sofa, you’ll be able to safely remove the stain without causing damage to your couch.

Key Takeaways of How To Remove Ballpoint Ink From Leather Sofa

  • Test cleaning agents and solutions on an inconspicuous area before applying to the stain
  • Blot the ink stain gently with a damp cloth in a circular motion, avoiding scrubbing or pressing too hard
  • Apply a small amount of cleaning solution directly on the stain and rub gently in circular motions, reapplying if necessary
  • Use a dedicated leather conditioner to restore shine and softness, protect from future staining, and extend the life of the sofa.
How to remove ballpoint ink from leather sofa
How To Remove Ballpoint Ink From Leather Sofa

Gather the Right Supplies

You’ll need to gather the right supplies in order to remove ballpoint ink from your leather sofa. A couple of items you should have on hand are a microfiber cloth, mild dish soap, distilled water, and rubbing alcohol.

It’s important that you use distilled water instead of tap water because it is free of minerals that can discolor or damage the leather.

Rubbing alcohol will be used as a solvent to break down and lift away the ink stain. Additionally, if you have a leather cleaner available, it may also help with the stain removal process.

Once all your supplies are gathered, make sure to test them on an inconspicuous area of different leather sofa styles before applying them directly onto the stain. This will ensure that none of these cleaning agents causes any damage or discoloration to your leather sofa before tackling the larger problem area.

After testing out each product on an area like underneath one of the cushions or in a corner that is not easily visible, proceed with caution when using any cleaning agent on the stained portion of your couch.

With this precaution taken care of, you’re now ready to begin removing that pesky ballpoint ink with our stain removal tips for leather!

Test a Small Area First

Before tackling the stain, one of the easy ways to remove pen marks from leather sofa is to test a small area to make sure it won’t cause any damage. This is an important step before attempting to remove ballpoint ink from a leather sofa. It’s best to start in an inconspicuous corner or at the back of the piece.

Use a clean cloth and dab some of your chosen solvents on it, then rub it gently against the leather surface in circular motions. If the color or texture changes, stop immediately and try another solvent. If nothing happens, you can continue with confidence that this method will not harm your sofa.

Remember to always use caution when dealing with solvents and other cleaning products: wear gloves and keep them away from children and pets. Work in a well-ventilated area as many solvents have strong odors that can be harmful if inhaled for too long.

If everything looks good after testing a small area, you’re ready to proceed with cleaning the stain off your leather sofa. Blotting should be done gently; scrubbing will only push the ink further into the material’s fibers which could make things worse!

Blot the Stain with a Clean Cloth

Gently blot the stain with a clean cloth to start removing it. The cloth should be damp, not wet, and made of an absorbent material like cotton or microfiber.

Blot in a circular motion from the outside of the stain towards the center. Don’t scrub or press too hard as this could further push the ink into the leather’s fibers.

WaterInexpensiveWeak cleaning power
Alcohols&AminesQuick-dryingPotentially damaging to leather finish
Enzymes & ProteinsEffective on organic stainsMay damage certain fabrics

Do not use any harsh chemicals that could potentially damage your leather sofa. If you do choose to use a chemical cleaner, test it on an inconspicuous area first before applying it directly onto the stain.

Continue blotting until no more ink is transferred onto your cloth. You may need to repeat this process several times for larger stains or those that are particularly stubborn.

Be sure to always work on one small area at a time and keep rotating your cleaning cloth so that you’re using a dry surface each time you apply pressure onto the affected spot. This will help prevent spreading or smearing of the stain while also drawing out as much ballpoint ink as possible without causing any further damage to your leather sofa’s fabric.

Blot the stain with a clean cloth
Blot the Stain with a Clean Cloth

Apply a Cleaning Solution

Once you’ve blotted the stain, apply a cleaning solution to the spot. Before applying any cleaning solution, it’s important to test on an inconspicuous area first. This will ensure that the leather is not damaged by the solution.

Once you have tested and confirmed that the cleaning solution won’t harm your leather sofa, use a small amount of it directly on the ink stain with a clean cloth or cotton swab. Rub gently in circular motions until you can no longer see any signs of ink on the surface of the sofa.

Be sure not to rub too hard as this could cause more damage to your leather furniture. You may need to reapply more cleaning solution if necessary for stubborn stains.

When all traces of ballpoint ink are gone, allow the cleaning solution to dry completely before going onto wiping away both ink and cleaner from your leather sofa’s surface.

Wipe Away the Ink and Cleaning Solution

After finishing the cleaning process, use a clean cloth to wipe away both the ink and cleaning solution from your furniture’s surface. Start in an inconspicuous corner of the leather sofa and work your way out.

Make sure to use gentle circular motions, avoiding any vigorous scrubbing as it could damage the leather further. Work slowly and steadily while making sure to remove all traces of ink and cleaning solution.

If needed, use a damp cloth with some distilled water to rinse off soapy residue left behind by the cleaner. Wipe away any excess moisture after rinsing with a dry cloth.

Once you are satisfied that all traces of ink have been removed, move on to conditioning the leather in order to restore its shine and softness.

This step is important because it helps protect your furniture from future staining or discoloration due to UV exposure or dirt build-up. It also keeps your sofa looking new for longer! Plus, it can also used for sofa cleaning after wine accidents and eliminating sofa mold as well!

To condition properly, apply a small amount of leather conditioner onto a clean cloth and rub into the leather using circular motions until fully absorbed.

Wipe Away the Ink and Cleaning Solution
Wipe Away the Ink and Cleaning Solution

Condition the Leather to Restore Shine and Softness

Applying a leather conditioner can help restore the furniture’s shine and softness. After removing ballpoint ink from leather with a cleaning solution, it’s important to condition the material in order to maintain its look and prevent damage.

Here are some tips for conditioning leather:

  • Use a dedicated leather conditioner specifically for the type of leather you’re treating
  • Test the product on an inconspicuous part of the sofa before applying it to ensure no discoloration occurs
  • Work in small sections, using a clean microfiber cloth or sponge to evenly spread out the conditioner over the surface of the sofa

Leather conditioners contain natural oils that nourish and protect leather surfaces. They help keep moisture from seeping into the material while keeping essential oils locked inside that will help keep it supple and flexible.

After applying, allow ample time for drying (at least 15-20 minutes) before wiping off any excess residue with another clean microfiber cloth or sponge. If your couch is made out of faux leather, though, check out our article on repairing faux leather sofa now!

Regular maintenance will extend your sofa’s life, so be sure to repeat this process every 3-6 months depending on usage and climate conditions.

With proper care, your leather sofa will remain looking beautiful and feeling luxurious for many years. Interested in getting a new leather couch now? Check out our top picks for leather sofas for all the best sofas rated now!

Frequently Asked Questions

I suggest using a gentle cleaning solution, such as a mixture of warm water and mild soap or detergent. This will help dissolve the ink without damaging the leather.

I’m tackling this ink stain like a wildfire, containing it with quick action. Blot the stain with a clean cloth until no more ink is transferred, then use a leather cleaning solution to stop the spread. Finish by conditioning the area to protect it from further damage.

I should condition my leather sofa every 6 months to keep it looking and feeling its best. Regular conditioning will help prevent ink stains from spreading across the leather.

I wish I knew if ink stains are permanent or not! Then I wouldn’t have to worry about removing them from my leather sofa. But unfortunately, it’s impossible to determine until you’ve tried a few methods.

I wouldn’t recommend using baby wipes to remove the ink stain, as they may be too abrasive and cause damage to the leather.


I know it can be a challenge to remove ballpoint ink from leather sofas, but with a few simple steps and the right supplies, it’s possible.

Think of removing the stain like a journey: start by testing a small area before you dive in head first. Then, slowly blot away the ink with a clean cloth – this is your first step toward success.

Next, apply your cleaning solution and wipe everything away until no trace of the ink remains. Finally, condition the leather to restore its shine and softness – this will be your reward for putting in all that effort!

Interested in decorating your leather couch? Check out our articles on How To Decorate Around A Burgundy Leather Sofa, styling tips for leather sofa and fabric chairs, and painting tips for sofa leather now!

Similar Posts