Whether it’s a leather purse, jacket or couch, ink stains and marks can be such a hassle. So how to get rid of pen marks out of leather? Here are some steps to get rid of them fast and easy:

  1. Use alcohol

If the stain doesn’t go away after wiping it with water, alcohol is your next best bet. But you have to remember first that strong concentrations of isopropyl alcohol on leather can cause significant damage to it.

So before you use alcohol on that bag or couch, do a “spot test” first by moistening a cotton ball with alcohol and rubbing it on a part of the product that’s hidden. Let that sit for 10 minutes to see if there are any discolorations or damages to the leather.

If there are no reactions, use a cotton ball with alcohol to gently rub the stained area in a circular motion. Never scrub the leather vigorously or you’ll risk damaging it.

Apply leather conditioner after to bring back the product’s shine. You can also use hair spray as an alternative to alcohol but still follow the same “spot test” to avoid damage.

  1. Use DIY leather cleaner

If alcohol didn’t do the job, you can make your own homemade cleaner using ingredients available in your kitchen. For non-white leather, you need to use 1 part lemon juice and 1 part cream of tartar to mix into a paste. Use this mixture on the stain and let it sit for a few hours. Remove the paste using a damp cloth and apply a leather conditioner after.

If you’re cleaning white leather, use ¼ cup vinegar and ½ cup olive oil and mix them together in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture on the stain and leave it for five minutes before wiping it off using a cloth.

  1. Use commercial leather cleaner

Finally, if the first two methods didn’t work, it’s to invest in a commercial leather cleaner. In most cases, the White Magic Eraser that you’ll find in Wal-Mart or Target will get the job done, but it depends on the type of ink and the length of time the ink has been sitting on the leather.

You can also buy the more expensive leather cleaners that have been tested to keep your leather damage-free. Better yet, if it’s just a leather bag or jacket, you can always take it to the dry cleaner.

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