Blotting with rubbing alcohol removes some pen ink from leather. Removing ink from leather requires determining the type of leather and the type of ink and then using the right approach for removing the mark or spot. Suede requires professional cleaning.
Ink stains are easier to remove when they are fresh. Before cleaning smooth leather, the owner should check the cleaning method in an inconspicuous spot to ensure it does not do more damage to the item. Home removal processes are effective with ball point and water-based inks, but permanent ink is difficult to remove without damaging the item. One option for leather with permanent marker stains is having the item dyed a darker color to conceal the ink.
If the ink is one of the removable types and the leather is smooth, the owner can attempt to remove the stain by wetting a white towel with rubbing alcohol and blotting the stain, working from the outer edge toward the middle. For small stains, a cotton swab is effective. Over saturating the stain with alcohol can cause spreading, and scrubbing too hard can damage the article. After removing the stain, the owner should allow it to air dry and apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather soft and supple.