ink stain from suede couch

Old 09-20-08, 08:37 PM
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ink stain from suede couch

i have a ball point ink stain on my brand new suede couch. everywhere i have read that methylated spirits or rubbing alcohol are good but you have to put a towel behind the stain how can i do this if i cant get the couch cushion off? please help me!!
Old 09-21-08, 07:35 AM
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This is a tough one and I think you may want to consider having a professional clean it since it's new and because it's suede. Did the couch come with instructions for cleaning? Usually it's either attached somewhere or included with the paperwork. Read that first!
Suede and leather are harder to deal with and need special treatment. However, if it's one of the new manmade sueded fabrics, you may be able to use an upholstery cleaner on it. Normally I use alchohol for ink, but in this case, it may spread it instead of removing it and it may even remove some of the color, so I'd be hesitant to use it on a suede couch, regardless of the kind of suede it is.
One little trick for removing ink is to put a piece of scotch tape over it, rub the spot with your fingernail, then yank the tape off. Repeat till the stain's gone. However, if you decide to try this or any kind of cleaner, please test it on an inconspicuous spot first (like on the underside of the couch) to make sure the color or the fabric itself is not being damaged.
Old 09-22-08, 12:46 AM
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rubbing alcohol should work..the trick is not spreading the ink during the process...using the rubbing alcohol with a q tip and then the rag blotting gently may work

i have also used an eyedropper sometimes to apply the spotter
Old 09-22-08, 01:52 PM
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Test alcohol first in inconspicous place first. There are many types of leathers and dyes. Alcohol is a solvent and may produce less than satisfactory results.
Old 09-24-08, 09:33 PM
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You may be better served using a dry abrasion method on the ink stain, rather than introducing any solvents. If it is truly suede leather (not ultra-suede or some other synthetic reproduction), then solvent cleaning with alcohols, ketones, or organic solvents can just force the ink further into the leather fibers, AND bleach/darken/create a perimeter ring in the areas applied. Why risk a larger problem than the ink stain itself?
One nice thing about suede is that you can safely sand it, removing surface fibers that contain the ink stain, and in the process of removing stained fibers, expose new fibers below that also contain the dye that was used to color the hide all the way through, but not affected by the ink.
Of course, where this falls down is if the ink has penetrated deeply into the fiber structure of the leather (pen broke, and ink saturated the leather, for example). But if it was an errant pen stroke, etc., then you stand a good chance of removing it.
The best tool I've come across for this process is the softback sanding sponge by 3M. It's available through an auto-body and paint supply house. It's basically a thin slab of foam with abrasive applied to one side.
Lightly sand/abrade the ink stain. Remove the sanding dust and loose fibers with a white terrycloth towel. Evaluate. If the stain is still present, repeat.
This is the most viable suede cleaning method i've encountered (and have tried many), and use it for resolving extensive soiling on suede as well.
As with anything, it can be over-done, so start slow, and stop if several attempts make no discernable improvement. Do not use this method on synthetic suede reproductions.
Old 09-24-08, 09:47 PM
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Thank you for bringing up the method of sanding. An emory board can be successful for sanding off nonpenetreating stains on suede. Been there and done that. A stiff metal suede brush can also be effective.

If you live in a real town of any size or near one, there are likely leather cleaning professionals and leather repair/cleaning shops. If you live in a town where the population is lucky to be 2000 and nearby towns are lucky to approach 10,000, then you may be out of luck. You can find reach a little farther beyond your area on the internet and may have to pay a little more if looking for a pro.
Old 09-14-12, 09:36 AM
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i opened a box with a black ink pen, in the light of the tv i didnt realize the end had broke off and i had ink all over me and my white suede recliner, i was sick! i read some suggestions online and bought 2 different "old fashioned" hair sprays at the dollar store. one was white rain. something that smells of acetone or alcohol.
i sprayed it on a folded paper towel and then began working the ink stains( probably 30) both arms of the recliner. after each stain i would fold the towel then sparay more hairspray on the paper towel. IT WORKED! there are a few tiny spots that didnt come out but they are pin points. then i used a towel with a little dawn and water to get the stickiness from the hairspray, and then i used a slightly moist towel with water on it to get the dawn off. its drying now and looks great. never will i open anything again with an ink pen
Old 09-14-12, 09:39 AM
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Welcome to the forums, Nancy.

Glad this worked for you. For what it's worth, the ingredient in the hairspray which accomplished this was the alcohol and using straight alcohol in the future would be a good idea, as the lacquer in hairspray can set the ink permanently sometimes before the alcohol dissolves it.

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