How to Remove Ink from Leather Wallet? [DIY Like Experts]

Ink is a dyeing agent, and Leather is an expensive material. Leather and ink together create the ideal nightmare. It is tough to remove ink stains if the material is Leather. The condition of your wallet depends on how swiftly you act to remove them. The more time a stain spends on the wallet's surface, the more challenging it is to get rid of it.

You should also be considerate about the type of Leather. Naked Leather is more absorbent, while Finished Leather is less absorbent. This is why Naked Leather is more difficult to clean than finished Leather.

Cleaning instructions for removing ink from leather

Put a drop of water on the surface of your wallet. If it beads up, the Leather is a form of Finished Leather, and the stain is easier to clean. If the drop soaks immediately, get in touch with a professional, as most of these methods won't work for you.

Possible DIY (Do It Yourself) and Cost-Effective Solutions

Before trying any method, remember that Leather is particularly delicate. If you use a harsh solution, it can damage your leather wallet. Using a leather conditioner after any treatment can prevent damage. 

It is also important to test the solution on a tiny area before using it on the stain. This is for testing if any ingredient would damage the surface. The methods listed below can help you get ink off a leather wallet.

Make a Soap and Water Solution

It is usually the first and least harmful solution to remove any ink stain from your leather wallet. Mix warm water with a saddle or dishwashing soap. Dip a cotton swab in the solution and apply it to the stain. Start by rubbing it on the outer and come to the center of the stain. Rinse it with clear water and use a leather conditioner.

Rubbing Alcohol or Isopropyl 

It is one of the safest, most used, and most effective methods for eliminating stains. It works with Common Leather. Once your wallet gets discolored, the sooner you use it, the better. 

Take a cotton ball and give it a quick alcohol soak. Apply a tiny amount of alcohol to the stained area to ensure there won't be any harm. Continue if nothing changes after ten minutes. 

Rub the cotton ball on the stain. After that, dry the area using a dryer. Use a leather conditioner to keep the wallet's subtle feel and stop drying out.

Combine Lemon Juice with Tartar Cream

Make a combination of one part tartar cream and one part lemon juice. Apply this paste to the stain and leave it for up to 25 minutes.  

Use a moist towel to remove the paste from the affected area before applying the conditioner.  Combining lemon juice with lemon soap can also produce effective results.

Baking Soda and Ordinary Laundry Detergent 

Baking soda is essential whenever there is a cleaning emergency. Mix half a cup of baking soda and a quarter of laundry detergent. Once it has dried, scrub the stain with this solution. 

Wipe away the surplus substance with a damp cloth. Apply the leather conditioner.

Spray a Mixture of Vinegar and Olive Oil

Vinegar contains acetic acid. It makes vinegar an excellent solution for removing the stain. When you add olive oil, the mixture becomes more effective. 

Combine 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup olive oil in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the stain. After five minutes, wipe the stain with a moist towel. Apply leather conditioner afterward.

Wallet with ink and pen marks on it

Spray an Oil-Free Hairspray

Use any oil-free alcohol-based hairspray. The magic element in the hairspray is isopropyl alcohol. It can replace rubbing alcohol if unavailable. 

Spray the hairspray on a woolen cloth and apply it to the ink stain. Use a new and dry cloth to remove the excess after 5 minutes of application. 

Avoid applying the hairspray directly to the wallet. Use leather conditioner to prevent damage.

Rub Magic Eraser

A magic eraser is helpful in immediately removing the ink stain. Magic erasers contain melamine foam. Melamine foam can either reduce the stain or completely remove it if it is mild. 

Start by dampening the magic eraser's tip but ensure it is not dripping. Follow it by rubbing it on the stain. Dry the area of application.  Apply the leather conditioner.

Apply a Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover 

Avoid using nail polish removers with acetone as an ingredient. It is because acetone can cause permanent damage to your leather wallet. Soak a cotton swab in a non-acetone nail polish remover and apply it to the stain. Rinse it off after two minutes.

Rub a White and Non-Gel Toothpaste

Toothpaste is another cost-effective option for removing ink stains from your leather wallet. Use only white, non-gel toothpaste for this method. 

Apply the toothpaste on the ink stain using a damp cloth, apply pressure onto it, and leave it to dry for 5 minutes. The ink will lift itself off the wallet.  Continue rubbing it till the stains start to fade. 

Clean with a damp cloth and use a leather conditioner.

Pen marks on Purse

Buy a Commercial Leather Cleaner and Leather Conditioner

If the mentioned methods do not work, get a commercial leather cleaning product immediately. These can be costly but not worth more than your expensive leather wallet. These products will work if used according to instructions. 

Apply the product on a small section of your wallet before using it to check for any ingredients that could harm your wallet. Following the leather cleaner, use the leather conditioner to avoid damage.


Although discovering your leather wallet with an ink stain can be very stressful, it is not the end of the world. The cleaning process requires patience, so do not panic

Applying the methods with extreme care is important as Leather is very delicate. Even if the mentioned methods are not foolproof, they are still effective. If none of the methods work on your wallet, getting services from a professional leather cleaner is better. 

Finally, prevention is better than cure. Always ensure that your pen lids are not open and that your expensive leather wallet is nowhere near ink.

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