Removing pen ink from faux leather can be a challenge. The good news is that there are several ways to do it, and most of them are pretty easy. The even better news is you can use household items to do it, so you won’t have to buy expensive products.
Before we get into the methods, let’s take a moment to understand how pen ink stain faux leather so that we will be able to choose the best method for removing it.
Pen Ink On Faux Leather
Pen ink is made up of two components: pigment and solvent. The pigment is what gives the ink its color, while the solvent is responsible for dissolving the ink so that it can be transferred to paper or other surfaces.
Faux leather, on the other hand, is a synthetic material. It is made from a variety of materials, including polyurethane, PVC, and microfiber.
Faux leather is a non-porous material so whatever comes into contact with it whether water, ink, or oil does not absorb into it.
This means that the ink stain you have on your faux leather purse, jacket, or furniture is not going to be absorbed into the material.
This makes it a little easy to remove because the ink is sitting on the surface. But it also means that you need to take extra care not to spread the stain or make it worse.
Now that we know a little bit about pen ink and faux leather, let’s move on to the methods for removing pen ink from faux leather.
Method 1: White Vinegar And Water Solution
White vinegar is a safe, gentle method for removing pen ink from faux leather. White vinegar is also one of the best cleaning solutions for removing ink stains from materials like cotton or polyester because it is non-toxic and gentle.
White vinegar has a mild acidity which can break down ink pigment and cause the stain to fade away. Most household items, like laundry detergent, only remove superficial stains from fabrics because they are not strong enough to penetrate deep into them.
In this case, we want the white vinegar to penetrate into the ink stain and break down the pigment so that it can be removed.
All you need is a cotton ball or pad and some white vinegar. You can also use an old toothbrush if the stain is in a hard-to-reach area such as on the edge of a purse flap. To do this,
Steps to Remove Pen Ink with White Vinegar:
- Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl or spray bottle.
- Spray or dab the solution onto the ink stain and let it sit for about five to ten minutes.
- After five minutes, take a clean cloth and gently rub at the ink stain until it disappears.
- Repeat as needed if there is still some ink left on the surface of your faux leather after you have rubbed with a clean cloth.
- If necessary, you can also use an old toothbrush to scrub away any stubborn stains that won’t come off easily with just a cloth.
- Once the ink stain is completely gone, rinse off any excess vinegar solution with warm water and let your faux leather dry.
Important Tip: If mixing one part of white vinegar to one part is not strong enough to remove the ink stain, you can try using a stronger solution of vinegar. Just make sure to add more of the vinegar to the solution.
Method 2: Rubbing Alcohol And Water Solution
Another safe and gentle solution for removing pen ink from faux leather is rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is made up of ethyl or isopropyl alcohols, which are both effective at breaking down the pigment in ink.
Like white vinegar, rubbing alcohol is also non-toxic and will not harm your faux leather. It can, however, be a little harsh on your skin, so use caution if you decide to use this method.
The upside is that it is very easy to use and it is cheap. You can purchase rubbing alcohol at any drugstore or pharmacy.
Steps to Remove Pen Ink with Rubbing Alcohol:
- Mix one part rubbing alcohol and two parts water in a bowl until they are completely mixed together.
- Dip a cotton ball or microfiber cloth into the solution and then gently blot it on the affected area of your faux leather item.
- Keep blotting until the ink has been removed.
- Once the ink is gone, use a dry cloth to buff your faux leather item and remove any remaining moisture or rubbing alcohol residue.
Using rubbing alcohol to remove pen ink from your faux leather is a very simple and straightforward method.
However, if rubbing alcohol does not remove the stain completely on its first try, you can use multiple applications of this solution to get rid of it. The only downside to using rubbing alcohol is that it has a strong smell which can be somewhat overpowering in small spaces.
Method 3: Hairspray
Hairspray is another popular solution for removing pen ink from faux leather. It works by dissolving the pigment in ink, which makes it easier to wipe away with a cloth or sponge.
The alcohol content of hairspray also helps break down stains and remove them quickly without damaging your fabric like some other cleaners might do if left on too long. Hairspray made of high alcohol content will work best for this method.
Steps to Remove Pen Ink with Hairspray:
1. Just spray some hairspray onto the stain and let sit for 30 seconds before wiping off with a damp cloth or sponge dipped in warm water.
2. If leaving the hairspray on the stain for 30 seconds is not working, you can extend the time to a few minutes.
3. Once you’re satisfied with the results, dab the area with a dry cloth to remove any excess hairspray residue.
Method 3: Toothpaste
Toothpaste is another effective solution for removing pen ink from faux leather and other synthetic materials. Toothpaste contains a number of different chemicals and ingredients that work together to remove stains like ink.
The main ingredient in toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulfate, which can dissolve the pigment found in pen ink so it can be wiped away with ease.
Sodium lauryl sulfates are also known as surfactants because they break down surface tension at a molecular level.
Sulfates are what gives toothpaste its foaming action when you brush your teeth and they can also help remove stains from synthetic fabrics like faux leather or polyester.
Steps to Remove Pen Ink with Toothpaste:
- Just apply some toothpaste to the stain and rub it in gently using a circular motion.
- Leave the toothpaste on the stain for about 15-20 minutes, then wipe it away with a damp cloth or sponge.
- If there is still some ink residue left after wiping it away with a cloth or sponge, you can use a little bit of toothpaste on a toothbrush to scrub at the area until the stain is gone completely.
Method 4: Salt And Jojoba Oil
Salt and jojoba oil are another great solution to remove pen ink from faux leather. The salt will help break down the pigment in pen ink, while the jojoba oil works as a degreasing agent to lift any remaining stains off your fabric or garment.
These two ingredients are common household items that you can find in most homes and are very inexpensive. You can use baby oil if you do not have jojoba oil at hand.
Steps to Remove Pen Ink with Salt and Jojoba Oil:
- Dip Q-tips into some jojoba oil and then dip it into some table salt.
- Now use the Q-tip to scrub at the ink stain until it starts to disappear.
- If you have a larger area that needs to be cleaned, mix together one part jojoba oil and two parts table salt in a small bowl until they are completely mixed together.
- Dip a cotton ball or microfiber cloth into the solution and then gently blot at the stain until it disappears.
- You can also apply the solution directly to your faux leather and then scrub at the stain with a toothbrush until all of the ink is gone.
- Continue to scrub at the stain adding more salt and jojoba oil if needed until it disappears completely.
- Once you are satisfied with the results, wipe away any excess solution with a microfiber cloth and allow your faux leather to dry for a few minutes before using or wearing it again.
There you have it; 4 simple home remedies for pen ink removal from faux leather. It is important to remember that the earlier you treat a stain, the more likely it will be removed completely without any discoloration or damage to your faux leather.
If you have spilled something on yourself and need an immediate solution right away, use method one with rubbing alcohol as this should get out most stains in a pinch.
If you have time to wait, then method two with hairspray is probably your best bet because it will get out most stains without leaving any residue behind on your fabric or garment.
I hope this article was helpful and that you are now able to remove pen ink from faux leather successfully without any trouble. Thanks for reading!