How to Clean Pen from a Leather Couch

There is nothing more functional, and beautiful than fine leather furniture. Even though leather sofas are more expensive than those covered with faux suede or upholstery are – they are super easy to maintain, even with a household of children. They withstand the stains, can be simply wiped off when muddy feet walk on them and won’t be entirely ruined by one simple spilled glass of Kool-Aid or grape juice. However, there still is one thing that can prove to be difficult to remove, even from leather. What is that one thing, you ask? Ink pen. Or markers, crayons or even sharpie marks. The good news is that if you know do your research on how to clean pen from a leather couch, your furniture can bounce back this little ink accident, practically unscathed.

Five Steps to How to Clean Pen from a Leather Couch

  1. First of all, as with most stains, the longer it sits the worse it gets. This means that you should act as quickly as you notice the stain in order to make your job easier.
  2. Next up is blotting the stain. Remember that when you are ‘blotting’ you aren’t rubbing it into the leather (or any fabric for that matter) but are instead using a clean, dry cloth to firmly press down on the stain. With an ink stain on leather, you may want to try using a cotton ball. Just be sure not to wipe it in further.
  3. Once you have blotted all you can get off, you should get a clean cloth and moisten it just a little. Use soft circular movements to see how much of the stain you can lift. Circular motions will help you to avoid making marks in the leather that you will not be able to remove.
  4. If the stain is still there, use saddle soap. There are also other types of cleaners that you can use available in almost any drug store. Just make sure to read the label. You might even want to contact the manufacturer or look at the label on the bottom of the couch to see if a cleaning product is recommended. If you don’t have any leather stain removal products handy, mild shampoo and some water may just do the trick.
  5. Let the stain dry. Facilitate the drying process by blotting again with a clean and dry cloth. Let it sit for a few hours so you can see what type of damage is left. There might not be anything. If the ink pen that made the stain dug into the grains of leather, there may be a permanent mark left that any amount of stain fighting won’t get out.

Learning how to remove ink pen from a leather couch brings up another point. Many consumers think that since they are buying leather, the sofa cannot or doesn’t need to be treated by the manufacturer with a scotch guard or stain protectant. Nothing is further from the truth. Before you bring your leather sofa home, ask the manufacturer to pre treat the sofa. They can also use products that will make the leather more supple, reducing the amount of time it takes to break in.

If the stain is not coming out, or has been left by a permanent magic marker, you may want to contact a professional cleaning company or the manufacturer directly to see if there is anything that they can recommend. Often they will see solvents. It is important, if possible, to know exactly what kind of ink made the stain.

When it comes to removing stains, there are of course timeless, tried, and tested home remedies as well. One is to slice a tomato in half and blot the ink stain with the inner side of the tomato. The acid in the tomato is supposed to help break down the chemicals in the ink, making it easier to remove. You can also use milk, following the same steps as above. Remember however, if your leather sofa is light in color, that using a tomato or any solvent that is dark in nature – may cause a stain to the leather bigger than the ink itself. Whether you use milk or tomato, the stain area needs to be blotted dry afterwards.

Also, in order to not ruin your leather furniture, NEVER use products that are sandy or granular in nature – even if they dissolve in water, to remove ink (or anything else) from leather furniture. The scouring nature of these products can leave permanent divots in the leather and weaken the hide making it more prone to tearing.

When you know how to treat stains, even something that seems as terrible as ink on a leather sofa – there is virtually no need to worry. Remember that furniture is meant to be lived on, and that sometimes – especially when you have children, accidents happen. At least with the leather, 9 out of 10 times, you can rest assured that the damage is not permanent. Plus, it’s the battle scars in your house that make it a home!