How to Remove Permanent Marker on Clothes

How to Remove Permanent Marker on Clothes (Quick And Easy Guide)

We’ve all been there. Permanent marker stains can occur at any time, from a child’s art project gone wrong to an accidental slip while labeling clothes. When such mishaps occur, knowing how to remove permanent marker from clothes becomes crucial. No need to despair, though; Bye Bye Stains is here to guide you through the process. We’ll explore numerous methods for removing permanent marker stains and give you the confidence to tackle these tough marker stains head-on.

The How-To: Removing Permanent Marker Stains

Step 1: Pre-Treatment

When attempting to remove permanent marker stains, it’s crucial to act quickly. As soon as you notice the stain, try to remove as much ink as possible. Use a paper towel underneath the stained area to prevent the ink from spreading. Get a few paper towels and blot the stain carefully. The aim is to get the permanent marker out of clothes without causing the ink stain to spread.

Step 2: Apply Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a highly effective solution for removing permanent marker stains. It works particularly well with fresh marker stains. Wet a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol and gently rub it into the stain using a circular motion. Continue the process until the stain begins to fade. This method works best if you have a few drops of alcohol and a fresh paper towel handy.

Step 3: Rinse and Repeat

Once you’ve treated the entire stain, with rubbing alcohol, rinse the stained area with cold water. If the stain is still visible, repeat the process. For stubborn stains, consider using a stain remover designed for ink stains.

Step 4: Wash Normally

After treating the stain, wash your clothes as usual. Check the stained area with wet cloth before drying to ensure all the stain has been removed. If any stain remains, repeat the cleaning method.

The above steps offer a general approach to remove permanent marker stains. However, there are alternative methods that work well for specific types of marker stains, such as sharpie stains.

Removing Sharpie Stains

Sharpie marker stains can be particularly challenging to remove. However, here are a few proven methods that effectively remove sharpie stains:

  1. Nail Polish Remover: This method is a bit more potent and may be suitable for more stubborn sharpie stains. Apply a small amount of nail polish remover onto a cotton ball and dab it onto the sharpie stain. Remember to put a towel underneath the fabric to prevent the stain from transferring.
  2. Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizer is another useful tool for getting sharpie out of clothes. It’s especially effective when dealing with sharpie ink. Apply the hand sanitizer gel directly onto the stain and scrub gently. The alcohol-based hand sanitizer should help break down the sharpie ink.
  3. Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide can effectively remove sharpie from fabrics. Pour a small amount onto the sharpie stain and let it soak before washing.
  4. Magic Eraser: Magic erasers are another great tool for removing sharpie stains. Wet the magic eraser and scrub the stained area gently.

Always test these methods on an inconspicuous area first to avoid damaging delicate fabrics.

Handling Permanent Marker Mishaps on Delicate Fabrics

Delicate fabrics require special care when removing permanent marker stains. Here’s a gentle method to get permanent marker out of delicate fabrics:

  1. White Vinegar and Baking Soda: Create a paste using white vinegar and baking soda. Apply it onto the marker stain and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing off.

Remember to always test any stain removal method on an inconspicuous area of the fabric to ensure it won’t damage the fabric.

Methods for Permanent Marker Ink on Various Surfaces

Not only do clothes suffer from permanent marker mishaps; other surfaces can fall victim as well. Here are a few ways to tackle these stubborn stains:

Dry Erase Marker Method

Surprisingly, a dry erase marker can aid in removing permanent marker stains from smooth surfaces like a whiteboard or plastic. Scribble over the permanent marker stain with the dry erase marker, then wipe away with a damp cloth. The solvents in the dry erase marker interact with the permanent marker ink, making the stain transferring it easier to wipe away.

Magic Eraser Method

Magic erasers work well on hard surfaces, including painted walls. They can even remove sharpie marks from a wall without damaging the paint. Simply wet the magic eraser and gently scrub the marker stain.

Rubbing Alcohol Method

Using rubbing alcohol is a great way to remove permanent marker stains from most non-porous surfaces. Apply rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball or a folded paper towel and gently scrub the stained area.

Nail Polish Remover Method

For tough marker stains, nail polish remover is quite effective. However, be cautious while using it, as it contains potent chemicals and volatile organic compounds that could damage some surfaces.

Hand Sanitizer Method

Hand sanitizer can remove permanent marker ink transfer and stains from a variety of surfaces, just like it does for sharpie stains on clothes. Simply apply the hand sanitizer and scrub with a clean cloth.

Pro Tips for Removing Permanent Marker Stains

  1. Act Fast: The quicker you address the permanent marker stain, the easier it will be to remove.
  2. Blot, Don’t Rub: Blotting the stain helps to lift it off the fabric, while rubbing can push the stain further into the fibers.
  3. Always Rinse in Cold Water: Cold water helps to lift the stain, while hot water can set it in.
  4. Test First: Always test any removal method on a hidden area of the fabric or surface first to prevent unwanted damage.
  5. Switch It Up: If one method doesn’t work, don’t be discouraged. Different kinds of permanent markers and fabrics might respond better to different methods.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will permanent marker come off fabric?

Yes, it is possible to remove permanent marker from fabric, but it often requires prompt action and the right methods. The key to get permanent marker off is to act fast and use the right stain removal tools like rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, or even white vinegar and baking soda.

What removes permanent marker from clothes?

Several substances can help remove permanent marker from clothes. These include rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, hand sanitizer, and hydrogen peroxide. Home remedies like white vinegar and baking soda can also help. However, what’s most effective can depend on the specific type of fabric and the age of the stain.

Does Sharpie marker stay on clothes?

Yes, Sharpie markers are designed to be permanent and can stay on clothes, even after washing. However, with the right methods and treatments, it’s possible to remove sharpie stains from clothes.

What is the best stain remover for marker?

The best stain remover for clothes permanent marker stains, can depend on the type of fabric and the nature of the stain. For instance, rubbing alcohol is a versatile choice that can remove many types of ink stains, including those from permanent markers. However, for stubborn or dried stains, a commercial stain remover specifically designed for ink stains may be more effective.

Can stain remover remove Sharpie?

Yes, many commercial stain removers can effectively remove sharpie stains. Always follow the instructions on the product label for best results, and consider doing a spot test on a hidden area of the fabric first to ensure it won’t cause discoloration.

What removes dried permanent marker?

Dried permanent marker stains can be more challenging to remove, but it’s still possible. Rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover can be particularly effective. Apply either of these substances to the dried permanent ink stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then blot it gently with a clean cloth.

Does white vinegar remove permanent marker?

Yes, white vinegar can help remove permanent marker stains delicate fabric, particularly when combined with baking soda. The combination of vinegar and baking soda creates a mild scrubbing paste that can lift the marker stain from the fabric.

Do marker stains come out?

Yes, with the right method, marker stains can come out of most fabrics. Quick action, careful blotting, and the use of effective cleaning solutions like rubbing alcohol or commercial stain removers can all contribute to successful marker stain removal.

What removes marker stains?

Marker stains can be removed with a variety of substances. These include rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, hydrogen peroxide, and hand sanitizer. Home remedies like a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda can also work to remove ink stains. A magic eraser can also be a powerful tool to remove marker stains from hard surfaces.

How do you get marker stains out of colored clothes?

Colored clothes may require extra care to avoid fading or discoloration. Start with a gentle method, such as blotting with a damp cloth. If this isn’t effective, try using rubbing alcohol first, but be sure to test it on a hidden area first. You could also try a commercial stain remover that’s safe for colored clothes.

What is the best way to remove permanent marker stains?

The best way to remove permanent marker stains often depends on the specific situation — the fabric, the age of the stain, the type of marker, and so on. However, a good general process is to blot the stain, treat it with a solvent like rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover, and then wash the fabric normally. For stubborn stain stains, a commercial stain remover may be needed. Remember, prompt action can make a big difference in the success of the stain removal.


Permanent markers are a useful tool, but they can lead to some seriously stubborn stains. Whether it’s clothing, walls, or other surfaces, these stains can seem impossible to remove. But with these tips and tricks, you can confidently tackle any permanent marker mishap.

Remember to act quickly, treat the stain properly, and experiment with different methods until the stain disappears. With a bit of patience and perseverance, you’ll find that no permanent marker stain is truly a clean permanent marker one.

For more stain removal tips and tricks, check out the Bye Bye Stains blog. Let us be your guide in fighting all types of stains, from ink stains to ballpoint pen ink, from stubborn sharpie stains to tough marker stains. After all, our mission is to make sure you can say “bye bye” to those pesky stains.






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