Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Leather Seat Repair: Ball point pen ink

jimmyhagjimmyhag Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Lexus
Does anyone know of a product that will remove ball point ink pen from leather seats. My 2 year old decided to do some "art work" on my Lexus GS300's tan leather seats. Hairspray, leather spot remover & "Goof off" failed to produce any results.


  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Posts: 872
    It's all about leather seats and ho to get stuff off of them. Good luck. Geez what a 2 year old can tear up!! Not enough time in the world to give a time out for that! LOL.

    jasany "Leather Seat Maintenance" Mar 19, 2001 8:23am
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,445
    Depends on the type of ink, too. Some stuff is really impossible.


    Modern leathers are dyed and you'll rub the color right off will look ten times worse than the ink.

    Also, don't SOAK the leather...whatever you put on, take off right away.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    They will have a better idea as to what will remove it. My feeling is to have the front skins on the seat replaced if all else fails. It won't cost much since your not doing the entire seat. They just pull the seat cover off the seat frame, then cut the stitches around the part thats bad and they use that piece as a pattern to cut a new piece. Then they sew it back up. They will have to order factory original material, and being leather not all hide is the exact same.

    Depending on the condition of the seats and age of your vehicle, you may want all the seats redone completely. Believe me factory seat covers are not of the highest quality and custom work is far superior (Most Honda and Toyota seats are very low end quality especially).... Lot of guys go to an upholsterer to dress there vehicle up beyond the factory originals. Average price in Canada is about $1200-1500 for high end work (but there are many that will do it in the $700 range) for front and back seats.

    My friend owns such a business, usually varsol I noticed is the common thing used on cloth seats. I;ve seen many limousine seats cleaned with a rag and a slight amount of varsol (not saturated heavily...very light preferred). Although I always suggest test first to be safe. As for leather, good luck. I would think you should be able to put a new section in for under $100 spending $30 on all types of cleaners.

    Be very careful if you want to try varsol/trupentine on head liners. If over soaked it may unglue from the ceiling. It's best for seats and carpets. The odor is gone in a day.
  • joebob6joebob6 Posts: 239
    I've had great luck getting ink out with XENIT. You can find it at
  • xfilesxfiles Posts: 132
    Regarding your ball point pen marks on leather seats. According to him he said good luck. There are a lot of things that will remove it he said (like acetone), but it could take the dyes out. He said try citrus acid (grapefruit juice). I don't know if he actually used this or heard about it.

    He said even with new vehicles it is difficult to match perfectly the material, so in many cases what you do with one seat you must do with the rest. If you remove the front part of the seat on one seat...then do it with the rest of the seats (front and back).

    Your cheapest bet might be going to a auto wreckers and hope to find the exact same color seat if your unable to remove it.

    Good luck
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    a guy came in to talk with my service advisor while I was waiting for my car to be brought around. He'd done the ballpoint-pen-ink-on-the-seat thing and they'd sent him to a company that redyes the leather. It cost right at $100 per seat they told me, and the owner said that it looked great after they were done.

    So you might call and see about having it redyed if all else fails... I wouldn't get too agressive with the cleaners first. You might get something into the leather that the dye won't adhere to.
  • I know the harm is done but next time when buying a new car think about dark interior for example black as you have young kids. I thought its common knowldge that with young kids around every thing should be of dark color so as to hide spots and unwanted writing.

    Solution which I can think of after reading all the posts from different people I would like to suggest that you should give that ball pen back to your 2 yr and let him complete his work which he started on one of the seat. So all seats will look same and you will have hand designer seats by a 2yr.
This discussion has been closed.