5 Best Ways To Clean Newsprint From Leather

how to clean newsprint from leather

Do you have newsprint on your leather? If so, don’t panic. This article will show you how to clean it off!

So how do you clean newsprint from leather? The best way to clean newsprint is by using a leather ink stain remover. However, there are also household items such as rubbing alcohol, non-acetone nail polish remover, or hairspray you can use to clean the newsprint from your stained leather items.

To learn how to use some common household items to clean newsprint stains from your leather, keep reading this article.

What Type Of Ink Or Vehicles Are Used For Newspaper?

It is important to understand what sort of ink is used for newsprint. This is because different inks require different treatments to remove them from leather, and not every ink can be removed.

The most common ink used is vegetable-based ink with the most prominent component in newspaper ink being soybean oil. It is also common to find petroleum oil in newsprint ink, especially in colored inks.

For many years, petroleum-based inks used to be a lot more common due to how fast they dry and the kind of quality of their print.

However, with petroleum products becoming more expensive, efforts were made towards more organic alternatives like soybean oil.

There are also a number of ingredients and chemicals that go into the production of the ink. Some of these include dyes and pigments.

While some of the dyes and pigments are organic others were inorganic and synthetic. The latter include iron oxide (red), titanium dioxide (white), and carmine or brazilwood dye – these can be removed from leather through a process known as dry cleaning.

The organic dyes are more difficult to remove and this is because they contain carbon, which can stain the leather.

There are also additives like waxes (paraffin) that help the newspaper ink to dry a lot faster.

Is It Easy To Remove Newsprint From Leather?

So, the question remains, how easy is it to remove newsprint from leather? This depends on the type of ink used, and if you are willing to use some elbow grease.

Ink comes off very easily from smooth leather surfaces, while it can be a little bit more difficult to clean newsprint ink from suede and nubuck leather.

The good news is that there are a few ways to do it, and we will go over them now.

The first way is to use a craft eraser. This can be used on all types of leather, and in fact, it does an amazing

How To Clean Newsprint From Leather?

1. Using Leather Ink Stain Cleaner

The leather ink stain cleaner is actually one of the best and safest ways to clean newsprint from leather.

This is because the leather ink stain cleaner is specially designed to remove ink and works to dissolve and break up ink, which can then be wiped away with a lint-free cloth.

It is also gentle on leather and can usually be used on all types of leather materials including suede and nubuck leather.

However, before using it on suede or nubuck leather you should always test a small area. This is because these types of leathers are more sensitive and can be damaged if the cleaner is used incorrectly.

So all in all, this is the safest alternative to go for but it will cost you a little bit more. Simply grab a leather ink stain remover like this one from Amazon and knock the ink stain right off your leather goods.

There are a host of other stain removers you can go for apart from the one listed above. Each of these stain removers will come with its own methods of application so you would want to follow the instructions on each package to the t.

2. Using Non-Acetone Nail Polish

This is a slightly more laborious way of removing newsprint from leather, but it sure is effective. You will need to use 100% pure acetone nail polish remover to remove the ink.

This is because pure acetone works by dissolving oil, which will help it break down the newsprint ink. To use this method, there are a couple of things you will need. Let’s get into it.

Things Needed:

  • Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover
  • A Toothbrush
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Leather Conditioner


Step 1:

  • Start by pouring a little bit of non-acetone nail polish remover on the microfiber cloth.

Step 2:

  • Now use the microfiber cloth to blot or rub on the ink stain.

Step 3:

  • Continue this process until you have removed all of the newsprints from your leather goods.
  • If the stain is a stubborn one, put the toothbrush in the non-acetone nail polish remover, and use it to gently scrub on the leather.
  • You can also get a little bit of water involved for extra cleaning power.

Step 4:

  • Once the newsprints are gone, use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe away the rest of the non-acetone nail polish remover.

Step 5:

  • Now condition the leather and leave it to dry.

As you can see, this method is a bit more time-consuming and requires a little bit of elbow grease on your part but it works nonetheless.

The good thing about this method is that the acetone nail polish remover will not damage your leather but it can dry out its fibers a little bit, which is why you should always use a leather conditioner after cleaning with this method.

3. Using Dish Soap And Cool Water

This is the simplest DIY method of removing newsprint ink from leather, but it does also require a little bit more elbow grease on your part.

Dish soap is a safe way to remove ink from leather because it contains surfactants.

These are chemicals that break down the surface tension of water, which helps dissolve anything mixed with it.

Here’s how you can use this method to clean newsprint from your leather goods.

Things Needed:

  • Dish Soap
  • Cool Water
  • Microfiber Cloth or a Lint-Free Towel


Step 1:

  • To get started, you will need to mix up some dish soap with cool water.
  • Use a ratio of one tablespoon of dish soap to every cup of water.

Step 2:

  • Now dip your microfiber cloth or lint-free towel into the soapy water.
  • The reason you will be using a microfiber cloth or lint-free towel is that they are great at absorbing liquid, which will help ensure that the newsprint ink doesn’t spread.
  • If you don’t have either of these materials, then go ahead and use cotton balls for this step instead.

Step 3:

Step 4:

  • Condition the leather once you have removed all of the newsprints with a high-quality leather conditioner.
  • Be sure to get the conditioner into all of the leather’s pores for best results.

This method is a bit more time-consuming but it is also the safest way to remove newsprint ink from leather.

This method works best on smooth leather surfaces, so if you have any textured leather then you’ll need to use a different method.

Also, if your leather goods are dry or cracked at all, then you will want to apply some leather moisturizer before using this method.

4. Rubbing Alcohol

Another method you could use to clean newsprints from your leather goods is to use some rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is one of the most versatile cleaning products around, and it also has the ability to remove ink stains.

The way the rubbing alcohol is going to help you remove the newsprint ink is by breaking down the oily resin that’s mixed with it.

To clean newsprints from leather using this method, here’s what you will need.

Things Needed:

  • Rubbing Alcohol (Above 90%)
  • Microfiber Cloth or Lint-Free Towel (Or Cotton Balls)
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Leather Conditioner


Step 1:

  • To get started, you will need to apply a generous amount of rubbing alcohol onto your microfiber cloth or lint-free towel.

Step 2:

  • Now dab the microfiber cloth with the rubbing alcohol and start blotting the ink stain.
  • Continue this process until you have removed all of the newsprints from your leather goods.
  • You can also dip the cotton swab into the rubbing alcohol and then use it to target specific areas of the leather where the newsprints stains are very small.
  • You should also use a cotton swab to clean any areas where you can’t apply pressure such as creases and flaps.

Step 3:

  • If the newsprints are still not coming out, then you need to apply more rubbing alcohol onto your microfiber cloth or lint-free towel.
  • Steps two and three should be repeated until all of the newsprints have been removed from your leather goods.

Step 4:

  • Once the newsprints stains are gone, use a clean damp cloth to wipe off the excess rubbing alcohol.
  • Then follow up using a dry clean cloth to gently dry the leather goods surface.

Step 5:

  • Now you will need to condition your leather with a high-quality leather conditioner immediately to prevent the rubbing alcohol from eating into the leather.
  • Be sure you get the conditioner into all of the pores so that your leather doesn’t dry or crack.

This method is a bit faster than the dish soap and water method, but it can be messier.

While using this method, you’ll need to be careful not to drip any rubbing alcohol onto other areas of the leather as it can also remove the color from the leather.

If you do drip alcohol onto other areas then wipe it off immediately with a wet cloth or paper towel before it has a chance to soak in.

5. Using Hairspray

Lastly, another method you could use to remove newsprint ink from leather would be hairspray.

Hairspray is a great product for removing ink stains because it is rich in chemicals that can break down the oily resin.

The way you’re going to use hairspray for this method is by spritzing it directly onto the newsprint ink and then letting it soak for a few minutes.

This method works best on smooth leather surfaces, so if you have any textured leather then you’ll need to try a different method.

To get started with the hairspray method of removing newsprint ink, you will need the following things.

Things Needed:

  • Hairspray (Non-Aerosol)
  • Cotton Swabs Or Microfiber Cloth
  • Leather Conditioner


Step 1:

  • Start by spritzing the hairspray directly onto the newsprint ink stains until it is saturated.

Step 2:

  • Immediately after spritzing the newsprint ink with hair spray, you will need to work it into the leather by massaging and blotting.
  • You will need to repeat this process until the newsprint ink starts to come up.

Step 3:

  • After the newsprint is out, use a moisturizing soap and water to clean up the residue.
  • Finish off by using a dry clean cloth to dry the surface of the leather.

Step 4:

  • Finally, condition the leather with a high-quality leather conditioner to prevent any leftover residue from eating into the leather.
  • Leave the leather item to dry.

How To Prevent Newsprint Stains On Leather And Tips

As you can tell, dealing with newsprint stains on leather can be a little tricky. So along with learning how to clean newsprint stains from your leather items, you should also learn how to prevent them.

  • Avoid leaving newspapers on leather surfaces such as couches, bags, etc especially if either the leather or newspaper is damp.
  • Do not wrap shoes, bags, or other leather items in newspapers. The best alternative is to use brown paper.
  • Always condition your leather after cleaning the newsprint stains.
  • Using a leather cleaner and conditioner to clean newsprints stains from your leather should always be your number 1 priority if you have a few bucks to spare.
  • Never dry your leather in direct sunlight after cleaning them.
  • Always test out the method of your choosing in a small hidden area of the leather before you use it on the entire item.
  • Do not use any solvents or cleaners on old and antique leather items as it can actually cause permanent damage.
  • Always dry the leather by blotting it with a dry clean cloth.
  • Do not rub the leather as you dry it since this could cause damage to the surface of your item.

Final Thoughts

In this article, I have shared with you 5 unique methods for how to clean newsprint from leather. These methods are effective and you should do your best to follow the instructions so that you can get the best results.

Remember to test out each method on a hidden area of your leather item before using it on the entire surface.

As always, it’s such a delight that I could offer a helping hand to you today. Thanks for stopping by and I hope that this was helpful! Thanks again.


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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