How to Remove Ink From Your Car Seat

What is worse than staining your perfectly clean car seats? Nothing! Whether it’s food stains, drink spills, or ink marks, ruining your car interior is a pain like no other. Not only does it devalue your car investment, it’s embarrassing when you’re picking up passengers.

Remove ink from car seat

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When it comes to food and drink stains, there are numerous sites with excellent information on cleaning the stains out. Unfortunately, this cannot be said for ink stains.


We spend a lot of time in our car, and some of that includes working. Whether you’re signing documents, or letting your kids do their homework, ink stains are something you should be careful about.


So where exactly do you start? What steps do you need to take when your pen breaks or leaks on your chair? We have listed affordable cleaning solutions below that will effectively clean out all of your ink stains. Enjoy!

How to Remove Ink From Your Leather Car Seat

Before you begin the cleaning process, here are a few items you need to have with you:

What you will need:

  • Four microfiber cloths
  • Ink stain remover- leather cleaner or dish soap or rubbing alcohol or hairspray or nail polish remover
  • Bucket with warm water
  • Leather conditioner
  • Cotton buds (if you're using the nail polish remover option)

STEP 1: Soak Up The Excess Ink

As you can guess, cleaning up a stain that has embedded itself into your car upholstery is extremely difficult. It is for this reason that you are always advised to clean up a stain as quickly as possible.

Because leather surfaces are fine in texture, you need to handle this first step with extreme caution.

Remove ink from leather car seat

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Take your clean microfiber cloth and begin to gently dab the affected area (from the outside of the stain to the inside of the stain.) By dabbing at the ink, you soak up excess ink while preventing the stain from setting into your car seat.

  • PRO TIP: Do not scrub the ink stain, as this action will cause the stain to spread and do more damage.

STEP 2: Use An Ink Stain Remover

There are several homemade stain removers that you can use on ink that has stained your leather car seat. Here are the most effective options.

  1. Dish Soap and Water
  2. Rubbing alcohol
  3. Hairspray
  4. Nail polish remover 

Dish Soap and Water

Remove ink with soapy water

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  • Mix half a teaspoon of dish soap with 1 cup of hot water. Stir the mixture until you see soap suds.
  • Take your microfiber cloth and dip it into the soapy water, and then dab the ink stain with this cloth.
  • Apply slight pressure when dabbing the stain to ensure that you absorb as much of the ink as you can.
  • PRO TIP: The combination of liquid dish soap and water should only be used if the stain is new. If it has begun to set, check out the other stain removal options.

Rubbing Alcohol

how to remove ink from car seat

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  • Dampen your microfiber cloth with your isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol). Apply this alcohol to a small section of your car seat, preferably in a hidden area.
  • If there is no damage caused by the rubbing alcohol, move on to the next step.
  • Dab the ink stain with your microfiber cloth. You will see your cloth absorbing the ink, as the stain transfers from your car seat.

  • Continue dabbing at the affected area until the ink stain has disappeared. You may need to repeat the dabbing process several times until the stain is completely out.

Pro Tips:

1. It is always prudent to spot test stain removers on your upholstery, to prevent any permanent damage.


2. If your cloth becomes soaked with ink, use a new cloth so that you do not re-stain your car seat.



Hairspray

remove ink from leather car seat

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  • Spray your hairspray directly over your ink stain. Wait for a minute before you continue to the next step.

  • Take your microfiber cloth and blot the ink stain- you should see the ink transferring to your cloth.

  • If your spot is stubborn, spray more hairspray onto the stain and then continue dabbing. Continue this process until all of the ink comes off.

Nail Polish Remover (Acetone)

  • Lightly apply your nail polish remover to a cotton bud, and then gently rub this cotton bud over your stain.
How do you get ink out of upholstery
  • Take your damp microfiber cloth and then dab at the ink stain, continue dabbing until no more ink is being absorbed by your cloth. Move on to the next step.
  • Apply more nail polish remover to a clean cotton bud, and then repeat the rubbing and dabbing process. Do so until all the ink has left your car seat.

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Pro Tips:

1. Acetone is a solvent found in nail polish remover that is highly effective in remove stains from leather. This makes it the perfect option for removing ink that has settled into your leather car seat.


2. Only apply small amounts of nail polish remover, as acetone in large amounts can damage your leather.

3. Do not let your nail polish remover get onto wood surfaces, as the acetone will damage your wood finish.



STEP 3: Rinse Off Your Homemade Ink Stain Remover

Once you have removed the ink with your ink stain remover (i.e. soapy water, rubbing alcohol, hairspray, nail polish remover), it’s time to rinse off all traces of the stain remover.

Dampen a clean microfiber cloth with clean water, and wipe the area where the ink stain was. Make sure you do this meticulously as you do not want any stain remover to remain on your car seats.

Once you’ve wiped the area with a damp cloth, wipe it with a dry cloth to absorb any remaining moisture.

remove ink from leather car seat

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STEP 4: Use A Leather Conditioner On Your Car Seat

Leather conditioners work to boost the integrity of your leather, by keeping it supple, strong, and attractive for a long time.

Once you have finished removing the ink stain and cleaning the area with a cloth, you will need to apply conditioner to the area you have just cleaned. Doing so will stop future stains from setting in the area you have just cleaned, while also increasing the longevity of your leather.

To apply the leather conditioner, simply add a small amount of conditioner to your microfiber cloth, and then gently rub the area you have just cleaned.

Use a leather conditioner such as Leather Honey or Lexol Leather Conditioner.

  • PRO TIP: Condition your leather immediately after you have removed the ink stain.

How to Remove Ink From Your Fabric Car Seat

Before you begin the cleaning process, here are a few items you need to have with you:

What you will need:

  • Four microfiber cloths
  • Ink stain remover- upholstery stain remover or white vinegar or rubbing alcohol or hairspray
  • Bucket with warm water
  • Paper towels
  • Dish soap (only for the vinegar method)

STEP 1: Pre-Treat The Ink Stain

Once the ink stain has set in, it will be extremely difficult to remove. That is why you need to remove the ink stain as soon as possible.

Grab a paper towel and use it to soak up any excess ink that has spilled onto your car seat. Dab at the ink stain gently, and remove as much of the ink stain as you can. Do not rub the stain as it will only cause it to spread further.

Remember, this is only the initial stage so don’t worry if the ink does not all come out.

  • PRO TIP: When dabbing the stain, work from the outside and move towards the center.

STEP 2: Apply Ink Stain Remover

There are several homemade stain removers that you can use on ink that has stained your car seat. Here are the most effective options.

  1. Rubbing Alcohol (90% isopropyl alcohol is recommended, but 70% isopropyl alcohol is also acceptable)
  2. Hairspray
  3. White vinegar
  4. Upholstery stain remover e.g. OxiClean

Rubbing Alcohol

Remove ink from farbic with rubbing alcohol

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  • Apply some rubbing alcohol to your microfiber cloth, and then test it on a hidden area of your car seat. This lets you know if your rubbing alcohol will cause permanent damage to your fabric.

  • If the rubbing alcohol passes the spot test, apply some more rubbing alcohol to your microfiber cloth and then dab at the ink stain.
  • Continue dabbing at the stain with your cloth until all the ink has been removed. If your cloth gets soaked with ink during this process, switch it out for a new one.

Pro Tips:

1. Rubbing alcohol should NOT be used on rayon, acetate, and triacetate surfaces, as the alcohol will ruin the fabric.


2. Always apply the rubbing alcohol to your microfiber cloth, never apply it directly to the ink stain.



Hairspray

Clean your fabric car seat

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  • Spray a small amount of hairspray directly over your ink stain.
  • Take your microfiber cloth and blot the ink stain.

White Vinegar

  • Combine 1 tablespoon of dish soap with 2 teaspoons of vinegar and 1 cup of water.

  • Dampen your cloth with this solution, and then dab at the ink stain with your cloth. Gently rub the affected area before letting the vinegar solution sit for 10 minutes.

  • Once the ten minutes is up, wipe the stain using a clean cloth dampened with cold water. The ink stain should come right off.

  • PRO TIP: Even though vinegar has acidic properties, it is gentle on your hands and safe and effective to use. However, remember to spot test the vinegar solution on a hidden area of fabric before you begin the stain removal process.

Upholstery Stain Remover

How do you get ink out of upholstery

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  • Apply a small amount of the stain remover to a clean microfiber cloth and then dab at the ink stain with this cloth. The ink stain should begin to come off as you dab.

  • Add more stain remover to a clean part of your cloth, and continue dabbing the stained area until all the ink comes off.

STEP 3: Rinse Off The Ink Stain Remover

Once you have removed the ink stain, you will need to remove all traces of the cleaning solution used.

Wet your clean microfiber cloth with cold water, and then dab at the previously stained area. Dab this area repeatedly so that there is no stain remover left (it is ok to dampen this area with your cloth.)

Once you have dabbed the area with the damp cloth, take a dry cloth and soak up the water.

STEP 4: Re-Examine The Previously Stained Area

Once the previously stained area has fully dried (this will take a few hours), go back and examine it. If the stain is completely out, good job.

how to remove ink from car seat

If there is still a small amount of ink left, repeat the steps. However, if there is still a large amount of ink left in your fabric, try an alternate stain removal method (luckily I’ve given you 4.)

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Conclusion

Ink stains can be a nightmare, thankfully, there are numerous ways to reverse the mess. So if your pen has leaked onto your lovely upholstery, don’t fret. You can use the in-depth guide above to get your seats back to their original condition.

Which stain removal method was your favorite? Share in the comment section below.

And don’t forget to share this article with all your car-owning friends- these tips will save them an expensive trip to the car detailer!




Sources

http://mom.me/lifestyle/1817-remove-pen-marks-car-leather/

http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-an-Ink-Stain-from-Auto-Upholstery

http://www.detailxperts.net/blog/2012/04/05/how-to-remove-ink-stains-from-cars-interior/

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