How to Remove Permanent Marker – The Ultimate Guide for Cleaning


We all have a Sharpie incident story, right? You do have one? Care to tell us? Most of them start with a toddler or with a clumsy person. And the result is always a permanent marker stain. These are some of the most difficult and challenging stains to treat. After all, the name says it, permanent market. But what do you know? There is a way for how to remove permanent marker.

The trick is finding the right method for the material. For example, you cannot use the same method for how to remove permanent marker from plastic and how to remove permanent marker from leather.

How to remove permanent marker from hard surfaces?

Let’s start with hard and non-porous surfaces. Usually, these are the surfaces where you have stains. Here are a couple of ways to get the permanent marker off.

  • Try alcohol, any liquor above 80 proof, but rubbing alcohol is the best. Apply to clean towel and then use the wet spot to rub the stains
  • Mix baking soda and toothpaste in a 1:1 ratio and apply directly to the stain. Leave it for a moment or two, and then rub with a damp cloth onto the stain with circular motions. This method is best for how to remove permanent marker from finished wood
  • You can try a magic eraser, a special cleaning pad designed to remove stains from different surfaces. Scrub the stain from the surface
  • WD-40 is a great cleaning product you can spray directly onto the stain, scrub with a clean cloth, and remove permanent marker
  • A pencil eraser can help by rubbing it against the stain
  • From non-porous substances, you can try using sunscreen by spraying it over the stain and working with a clean cloth
  • Last, but not least, dampen a cloth with acetone nail polish remover and scrub the stain

How to remove permanent marker from fabrics?

This is something we all hate to happen. But, as sad as it makes us, it happens. An incident with your fabrics, especially clothes is intimidating. It is a scary thought. Imagine permanent marker ruining your favorite sweater. No worries, there is a way for how to remove permanent marker.

  • Bleach is the safest and surefire way to remove marker from white fabrics. Dilute a small amount in water. If you soak the item, keep an eye on the item to make sure the bleach will not dissolve. Wash the item after you remove the stain
  • Mix vinegar, milk, borax, and lemon juice for satin fabrics. They respond perfectly to a tablespoon of each ingredient. Mix them together in a cup, and apply directly to the stain. Damp a sponge into the cup and then dab at the fabric
  • For sturdy fabrics, use rubbing alcohol. You can try this method for towels and sheets
  • On regular clothing, you can use citrus juice, either from lemons or limes to gently remove stains. Simply apply a small amount of freshly squeezed juice directly to the stain

How to remove permanent marker from carpet?

If you have an incident with your carpet, try some rubbing alcohol. The best way is to pour rubbing alcohol into a clean cloth. Dab the cloth onto the stain, but do not rub it. Rubbing will spread the stain and weaken the fabrics. Simply keep dabbing until the stain disappears.

Another way is to apply a hairspray on the stain. With a clean towel dab it away. No matter which method you use, after removing the stain, damp the carpet. Pour some water and then use a clean towel to dry the carpet.

Some people have success with using an iron. This will lift the stain out and you can clean it with a cloth.

Remove permanent marker from leather

The biggest challenge with leather is to act quickly. You need to treat the stains as soon as possible. There are a couple of methods. Use the one that you have close to you.

You can apply aerosol hairspray, sunscreen, or white vinegar on the stain. Dab your stain remover quickly, and then blot with a damp cloth.

Remove permanent marker from plastic

Plastic items are usually a secondhand bargain. The main reason they are so cheap is a stain. But do not let some stains prevent you from getting a cheap product you can use at home. All you need are some methods for how to remove permanent marker from plastic.

  • Try dry-erase marker, wipe it over the area with a rag, and the stain will come off. Repeat if there are more stains
  • If the area is bigger, try rubbing alcohol that will dissolve tough stains and residues
  • Vinegar is the most versatile and effective cleaning agent, and you can use it on plastic
  • Baking soda has many cleaning uses in the home, including removing permanent marker from plastic

How to remove permanent marker from wall?

Walls are children’s favorite drawing surface. They often end up the subject for drawing inspiration. And that includes a permanent marker as well.

There are a few methods for removing the stains. You can try regular toothpaste, but not gel, a magic eraser, lemon essential oil, or aerosol hairspray. But the most successful method is rubbing alcohol. Just be careful when you rub the wall. Be gentle. If you are harsh and rub too hard, you can remove the pain off the wall.

Remove permanent marker from furniture

This method is for wood furniture and wood floors. In other words, how to get sharpie off wood table. This might come as a surprise, but you can try peanut butter. Other successful treatments include rubbing alcohol and regular toothpaste.

Blot the treatment onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a damp washcloth to remove the treatment and the permanent marker.

Other furniture

Last, but not least, let’s talk about how to remove permanent marker from some “other” pieces of furniture.

For your leather upholstery, use an aerosol hairspray. Apply it onto a clean cloth and scrub the stain. You will need to switch to a cleaner section of the cloth until you fully remove the stain. Clean the hairspray residue with a clean and damp cloth.

For your microfiber upholstery, apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to a clean towel. Scrub the stain for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a different towel and scrub the stain for 10 minutes. With a third, dampened towel, clean the remaining residue.

I am a mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter, writer, living in Virginia Beach. I love creativity, ideas, crafts, arts, photography, movies, food, coffee, naps, outdoors. I love to make stuff!