Removing Permanent Marker from Leather Furniture

Leather sofas are normally an expensive investment, but most people consider that the expense is worth it because of the difference that they can make to the look of a living room. The expense though does mean homeowners are often worried about any damage being caused to their leather sofas, and there is nothing worse than getting marks from a permanent marker onto the leather. For general leather sofa care read this. For removing ink from leather sofa read this. For general leather sofa cleaning, this guide.

The first thing to remember about permanent marker on leather is that the ink is designed to be permanent so there is no easy solution to its removal. The second thing to remember is that when trying any solutions it is best to try it out on a hidden area of the leather furniture, just in case anything goes wrong.

There are many off the shelf solutions to cleaning leather, both for the home and the car, but whilst designed to clean leather they are by no means guaranteed to remove permanent marker. Sometimes though nothing seems to remove the permanent marker from the leather furniture, and some other solution is needed.

The solution could be to hide the mark, perhaps by buying a cover for the sofa, although of course this hides the look of the leather sofa. A common solution though is to just do nothing. It is not unknown for permanent marker stains to disappear by themselves, the action of people’s clothes rubbing against the mark being the cleaning agent. Trying to replicate this though is normally less successful. As a result many people have come up with their own possible solutions, however these have  their own issues.



One of the most popular methods for removing permanent marker from leather furniture is to make use of hair spray. The best method for using hair spray is to spray some of it on to the affected area and then to blot the area, rather than rubbing. This can take several applications but is not without its pitfalls as hair spray could possibly remove the dye from the leatherIdeally I wouldn’t use this method.


Another often used method for removing permanent marker from leather is to use nail polish removers, or other alcohol based product. The use of alcohol and alcohol based products though has the added problem of occasionally removing the top layer of the leather material. Sun block and sun cream are also potential stain removers.

Removing permanent marker from leather is often a case of trial and error, although a brand new leather sofa is perhaps not the best test bed for cleaning attempts.

Photo by Mark Rabe on Unsplash