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Please help, how do you get ink pen out of vinyl/leather seats?

11 November 2002
St. Louis
Long story short, I bought my wife a brand new 2012 QX56 with light tan interior last month. Got a call today that my 2 year old took blue ink pen on the 3rd row seat bottom and back of the 2nd row upright. I know that in automotive usually leather is on the part that you sit in and vinyl is usually wrapped on the backs of the seat. Regardless my wife got the ink out on the seat fairly easily but whatever is left on the back of the 2nd row just under the headrest is not coming out for nothing.

She used a lot of crap she read online which most is just silly but include hand sanitizer, hair spray, various cleaners. She said she got out about 80% of the stain but you can still see every stroke. I got home several hours later and tried goof off, rubbing alcohol, something called tech stain which says it removes ballpoint pen from vinyl, zaino leather cleaner, white vinegar, and it does absolutely NOTHING.

Any ideas what really works? I'm guessing the stain penetrated deep into the vinyl/leather and colored it instead of resting on the surface. Really pisses me off considering this car is less than one month old. Grrr. Thanks for any advice.
There's this product called "Goof Off" (I saw it at Bed, Bath and Beyond the other day). It's very good at erasing ink/paint. Use caution because it probably can also strip the dye in the leather
There's this product called "Goof Off" (I saw it at Bed, Bath and Beyond the other day). It's very good at erasing ink/paint. Use caution because it probably can also strip the dye in the leather

OOPS, read your post again and you already tried it......My bad
I actually used that first because that is my "go to" cleaner for anything stubborn. Nothing. I used to have goo gone too but that never cleaned anything so didn't even bother looking for it.
How about Mr. Clean magic erasers? I use them on the boat seats, but I am not sure if it will bleach out the leather or not. They work pretty amazing.
you might try oxyclean. i've used a concentrated mix / paste on stains that professional cleaners couldn't / wouldn't touch. i would put a bit in water, let it dissolve and then apply. keep an eye on it and rinse like heck when you're done.

good luck.
Car is under warranty. Why mess with it even though warranty does not cover it. Let's see how well Nissan handles these situations? They owe you. They have professional cleaners they use when prepping a pre-owned and I've seen BMW dealers get "anything" out!

Point it out when it goes in for routine service and they may just throw it in as a freebie. If they destroy the vinyl, they will replace it. Hey, I've had a Benz dealer clean dog puke out of my car for free. Like that lottery ad says: "Hey ......... ya never know!" :smile:
Oh forgot, the first thing she tried was magic erasers. NO luck. I tried nail polish remover too last night and it didn't work. It is definitely faded but still there and no change from anything that I have tried. I might ask the dealer, good suggestion. 2nd choice is take it to leather/vinyl store like Dr. Vinyl and see what they say.
You could try Grease Lighting that usually takes off anything I need. Or get gum remover/ vandalism spray.
Sounds like by the time you're done the seats are going to be ruined from all the chemicals anyways. Just buy new seat covers and call it done. My daughter poked a pen through one of my seats, I just bought a new cover and called it good for, ah..... About two weeks...... then I poked a screw driver through the same seat in almost exactly the same place she did.

A friend of mine bought a similarly expensive vehicle as yours and had a 5 gallon paint bucket go flying when he hit the brakes. the bucket opened up covering the inside of his SUV with paint. It was around a month old.
Once you are done with the cleaners I would recommend conditioning the leather with leatherique. That is some good stuff. Makes the leather soft as a glove.
I think at this point, it is on there for good unless I go to the dealer to see what they can do or go to an expert like Dr Vinyl to see what they can do. It's mostly faded but you can still see everything. I agree with the leather being compromised from too many chemicals which is why I conditioned it after each attempt.
My wife's G35 got a stain on the light beige armrest in the back seat from a cheap baby mirror. It left a blue mark that would not clean off. I dyed it with spray dye from the following place.


It worked great and you couldn't tell it ever had the stain.

From the website:
"What Is It? Classic dye is a product custom formulated in factory colors for coating leather or vinyl"

Here is a link to the color codes for Infinity:

It might be worth a try.
Good luck.
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With all options mentioned and you come in with Fomula 409!

If that works underneath all previous attempts, I'll eat your fleugelbinders!

I mean, really, guy! 409 and a lot of rubbing?
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