Blotting many ink stains on leather with rubbing alcohol helps to remove the ink without damaging the leather, according to Mary Marlowe Leverette for About.com. Because leather is a natural product, ink continues to soak into the fibers. For best results, attack this stain quickly after discovery.
Saturate a white cloth with alcohol. Then, apply the cloth to the stain, beginning from the outside and working toward the center. Leverette recommends changing the cloth regularly as the ink transfers to ensure complete removal of the stain. She warns against scrubbing the leather to prevent transfer of the leather dye, which can result in permanent damage. Applying leather conditioner after ink removal keeps the leather soft.
Rubbing alcohol contains isopropyl alcohol, a natural solvent for ballpoint and many other inks. Isopropyl alcohol is not appropriate for permanent ink, notes Leverette. With such permanent stains, she advises professional cleaning.
When looking for natural methods of removing ink from leather, there are several methods to avoid, explains Leverette. Applying mayonnaise, dish soap or laundry detergent works in some situations but is more likely to cause damage to the leather. Melamine cleaning erasers are sometimes effective at removing the ink but also scrub away a layer of the leather and damage its finish.