How To Get Ink Out Of Leather: The Ultimate Guide



Accidental ink stains on your luxury leather bags and accessories can be stressful. Luckily, things aren’t always as bad as they might seem. With the right knowledge and immediate action, you can effectively remove ink from leather and restore its pristine appearance. 

How to Get Ink Out of Leather: The Ultimate Guide

What To Do If You Get Ink On Leather

Whether you need to know how to get pen out of leather or you’re looking to counteract a larger spill, we’ve got you covered.

Act Quickly!

When ink finds its way onto your favorite leather bag, quick action can be really important. 

Here are some emergency tips for removing ink from leather.

  1. Blot, Don't Rub: Use a clean cloth or paper towel to gently blot the ink stain. Don’t ever rub a stain, it will likely just spread the ink and further penetrate the leather making it hard to fix.

  2. Test an Unseen Area: Before applying any cleaners or chemicals, test them on an inconspicuous area of the bag to ensure it doesn't cause discoloration or damage.

  3. Evaluate the Severity: Assess the extent of the ink stain. Minor stains may respond well to at-home cleaning methods, while more stubborn stains may require professional assistance.

How To Clean Ink Off Leather

With initial assessment and blotting done, what’s next? Here’s how you can try and get ink off your leather bag.

What You Will Need To Clean Ink Off Leather

  1. Get your clean cloth and make sure it’s slightly damp (not wet). Add a small amount of mild leather cleaner.
  2. Gently blot the ink stain, starting from the outer edges and moving inward. Avoid excessive rubbing. Work from the outside in to avoid spreading the ink further.
  3. For stubborn stains, lightly dab a cotton swab or cloth soaked in isopropyl alcohol or specialized ink remover on the stain.
  4. Continue blotting until the ink is lifted. Be patient and avoid aggressive scrubbing.

The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Ink Stains on Leather Bags


  • Do act quickly and blot the ink stain gently.
  • Do test any cleaning products or conditioners on an unseen area of the bag.
  • Do try to use specialist leather products to avoid damage to the bag.
  • Do seek professional assistance for stubborn or extensive ink stains.


  • Don't rub the ink stain vigorously; it can spread and deepen the stain.
  • Don't use harsh chemicals, bleach, or abrasive cleaners on leather.
  • Don't over-saturate the leather with excessive water.
  • Don't neglect conditioning the leather after cleaning to maintain its suppleness.

NOTE: Different types of leather may require specific cleaning steps or professional attention. More durable leathers like full grain or top grain leather will react differently to materials like suede.

Cleaning the Entire Leather Bag

Once the ink stain is removed, it’s a good idea to clean the entire bag to ensure it is consistent in appearance.

We created a guide about how to properly clean and care for your leather bags, but here’s an overview.

Step 1: Prepare For Cleaning

  • Gather a soft cloth, leather cream or conditioner, and clean water.
  • Test conditioner on a non-visible spot before applying to the entire bag. 

Step 2: Surface Cleaning

  • Use a soft microfiber cloth to gently wipe away loose dirt and debris.
  • Avoid abrasive materials that can damage the leather. 

Step 3: Cleaning Leather Bags

  • Dampen your soft cloth and wipe the bag all over.
  • Avoid using hard brushes or harsh chemicals.
  • Be cautious not to overly wet the bag. 

Step 4: Drying

  • Allow the bag to air dry naturally.
  • Avoid heat sources that can warp the material.
  • Choose a well-ventilated area away from sunlight.

Step 5: Leather Conditioner

  • Once dry, test the conditioner on a small area of the bag.
  • Apply a small amount of conditioner to a clean cloth.
  • Massage the conditioner onto the bag to restore shine. 

6 Of Our Favorite Easy-Clean Leather Bags

Certain leather products are easier to clean than others, whether you’re tackling ink stains on leather or looking at general maintenance. 

When it comes to longevity, high-quality leathers like top grain and full grain leather outshine their lower quality counterparts. 

Here are 6 of our favorite easy-clean luxury leather products.

  1. The Tersus
    The Tersus is luxurious in appearance and endlessly practical. This high-quality leather sling bag is the perfect option for everyday use. It can hold your phone, wallet, keys, earbuds and almost any other essentials you need day-to-day.
    Available in a variety of colors, this suave bag will quickly become a staple.

    The Tersus
    Warning - you won’t want to leave the house without it.

  2. The Man Bag
    What if you need even more storage? The Man Bag from The Real Leather Company might be the perfect option.
    It’s comfortable, spacious and has plenty of pockets with high quality fixtures to keep everything you need organized and secure.

    The Man Bag
    This bag is the ultimate everyday companion.

  3. The Pilot
    The Pilot is the perfect real leather bag for the modern man. It’s spacious, durable and strong enough to accompany you on plenty of adventures.
    Meticulously handcrafted, this buffalo leather briefcase is a testament to exceptional craftsmanship. Constructed with extra-thick buffalo leather, it exudes a sense of quality and durability.
    With its perfect balance of breathability and functional design, this briefcase is a true embodiment of timeless style and reliable performance.

    The Pilot
  4. The Bifold
    Some everyday essentials need to be more durable than others. This is where high-quality wallets are exceptional.
    The bifold is a stylish and practical example of brilliant leather craftsmanship and luxury style.
    The Bifold
    This high-quality leather is so durable that you won’t need to look for a replacement for quite some time.

  5. The Everyday
    What’s the best option for a busy working man? How about a briefcase that does it all?

    The Everyday
    The Everyday is the perfect option for the commuter in your life.
    Whether you’re investing in yourself or buying a gift, this high-quality real leather briefcase will last for years and it will only get better with age.

  6. The Saddle Pack
    The Saddle Pack is different in the best possible way. It’s luxurious, well made and beautifully finished.
    Another great feature? You can carry it vertically and horizontally and it looks great both ways.

    Take a look at how you can wear this premium leather saddle bag.
The Saddle Pack

How to Get Ink Out of Leather: The Ultimate Guide
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