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(28) comments about this tip

Remove ballpoint ink from a leather sofa

Submitted by Heather

Spray a little hairspray onto a cloth and dab the stain very gently. The alcohol in the hairspray will fade the ink and gradually remove it.

Be careful, though, that the spray isn't too harsh for the leather - as soon as you see it begin to dull, stop.

Spread some Vaseline (petroleum jelly) on afterwards to moisturise the leather.

Indispensible with a cream leather suite and a 5-year old in the same house!

Visitors comments

ink off leather Comments By: lesley morris, cardiff, wales on 2004-12-03
my 2-year old wasn't going to make 5!

thank you - it works, i didn't think it would, as i had given up.

thank you, thank you, thank you

Avoid Hairspray Tip Comments By: anon on 2004-12-09
Thanks for the Hairspray tip it absolutely ruined my leather sofa taking the top of the leather,but if you have used it then you already know that don't you.
Thanks! It also ruined my leather jacket!!! Comments By: David on 2005-04-23
Thanks very much! Now it totally ruined my leather jacket!!!

Who put this stupid tip to ruin the others???

ruined leather couch Comments By: Bustre Brown on 2005-06-10
Dont follow this tip. It ruined my chocolate leather couch removing the lustre. I can not get the shine to come back and the pen mark...well it's still there.
it doesn't work Comments By: Anonymouse on 2005-07-14
Whoever posted this tip doesn't know what they are talking about......
half way there Comments By: 'Anon' on 2005-08-05
tried the hairspray trick on the leather seats in the car.....faided it greatly,hubby hasn't noticed it yet,still alive so far
worked a wonder Comments By: alice ferguson on 2006-08-26
my two year old covered the arm of my leather chair with biro hairspray lifted it out straight away . as long as you moisturise the leather straight after you treat it there should be no problem thankyou great tip
2 day old chair saved, thanks Comments By: Relieved grandmother on 2006-08-31
Looking at other comments I decided that this probably works best on cream leather so went ahead and it worked. I also took the tip of another user and applied vaseline immediately - this seems to be the key. Thanks for this tip, it means grandchildren can re visit
ink free! Comments By: Paul on 2006-11-14
Wow - came straight off - don't forget the vaseline though!
brilliant Comments By: vicki on 2007-01-20
Reading the comments I was a little weary,but gave it ago as the sofa was only 4 daysold, It worked wonders u can t even tel nothin was there....GREAT TIP, THANX
remove pen marks from leather Comments By: zatoon on 2007-02-03
try rubbing with cream or milk for removing light pen marks..u have to do it a few times though.
brill Comments By: julie mc callum on 2007-05-19
after screaming for 5 mins checked this site and tried hairspray - wow - worked, stain came out instantly
DO NOT DO THIS Comments By: Leather Agony Aunt - Consultant to the industry on 2007-10-20
Hairspray as some people have found can completely destroy your leather and this will then cost a lot to fix.

All leathers are not the same and neither are hairsprays. Ink is a dye which redyes the finish on the leather and the deeper it goes into the finish the worse it is to remove and the more likely you are to do damage by removing it.

Any product which says it guarantees to remove biro should also be avoided as they will always remove the finish to do this.

The first thing to try is an ink stick (find one that the professionals use) and if this does not do the trick then contact a qualified leather technician who will remove it for you.

hairspray tip Comments By: lisa on 2007-12-12
i have just used the hairspray tip to get ink of my cream leather sofa, and my god does it work. i cant even see where the ink was and i had loads of ink on there from my 22 mth old, thank you very much for your tip
Learn to read Comments By: Katie on 2008-09-29
For all you people bashing this advice on using hairspray - why don't you learn to read. It says to dab very gentle in case of the fact it may start to wear the leather. Maybe you should pay attention. If you ruined your couch by over doing it then you are the idiot. You went here looking for help and used something that worked for SOME ONE ELSE just because it didn't work for you doesn't mean you have to be soo rude!
bull it doesn't work Comments By: etimmi on 2009-02-17
my 2 year old son wrote all over his godfathers dark brown leather couch.. i used everything and it just made things worse... hairspray,goof off, it doesn't work for a dark couch!!!!
Hairspray or Rubbing Alchol Comments By: Anon on 2009-02-20
DOESN'T WORK, call the company from where you bought your sofa most likely they will send someone out to fix it.
Flexsteel Leather fixed Comments By: Jennifer on 2009-07-29
I got my sofas from http://www.flexsteeldirect.com a few months ago of course it bled through my pocket.. Stain came out pretty easily though after reading the different advice found online
WOW this REALLY works Comments By: Salena on 2009-08-20
My 6 day old sofa, horror of horrors had a BIG biro mark, it is cream, i tried the 50 product recommended by the retailor and it made NO difference at all, trawelled the internet, found this tip and what can i say, its gone, 1st time, what i would agree with after reading all the comments is that this probably would ruin dark leather as after all look what it does to your nails, and it probably does the same to the cream leather but you dont notice it, definetly worth a try if it is cream/white but i would AVOID it if sofa dark, good luck all x
ball point pen Comments By: blodwyn on 2009-09-08
My grand daughter decided to draw on my cream leather sofa with a blue pen.
Tried everything to remove it .Then used nail vanish wipes came off straight away and did not discolour the sofa

Nail Varnish remover Comments By: Anon on 2009-12-11
I used nail varnish remover on my cream leather sofa and it ruined the leather instantly!!!
you are a GENIUS!!! Comments By: stacey from swansea, wales. on 2010-05-26
who ever put in the tip of using hairspray on ink to remove it from leather. you are a world genius!! and an absolute lifesaver. my partner would have gone crazy and i would of never lived it down. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!
HAIR SPRAY FOR BALL POINT STAIN Comments By: Selda on 2010-07-13
YES YES YES I have an expensive cream leather sofa and my 21 months old did some drawings on it. It worked brilliantly. As soon as used the spray, wiped with a piece of cotton gently then used leather cleaner (which I tried at the beginning but didn't worked at all)I used the leather cleaner later strait away as I thought it protects the leather.
HAIRSPRAY Comments By: MOJO on 2010-07-17
Ink off Cream Leather Comments By: Debbie on 2010-09-12
This worked a treat - had to spray the hairspray onto cream leather, left it, dabbed it off and the darkest of blue ballpen was gone. Would not recommend for colours other than cream or white - remember a spot test where you can't see it first!!!
fab results Comments By: Deb W on 2010-09-27
My daughter made three large marks on my brand new cream leather sofa, I was a bit wary of using hairspray but gently dabbed vo5 water resistant gel spray on and hey presto, marks have disappeared. I also placed vaseline on straight after it now looks as good as new. Fab tip. Thanks.

any other uses rather than hairspray Comments By: louise on 2011-01-25
hi i know about the hairspray trick and have done for about 2 years now as thats how long i have had my sofa and thats how old my son is! but unfortunately i dont posess any! which is a bugger any other solutions. ive tried milk, hair mousse, hair, creams,and even a small amount of bleach my sofa is recked anyway but i dont want pen marks over it theres loads!
It worked for me Comments By: Mr Magooooooooo on 2011-01-30
it worked for me, but it was a creme leater sofa... and I tested it first before I tried it on a bit were you could see it....

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