Permanent Marker Stains – Now You See It, Now You Don’t


Hasn’t everyone had the horrifying experience of dropping a permanent marker onto an item of clothing or even the floor?

The sense of dread of not being able to remove the permanent stain can cause you considerable stress. However, depending on where the permanent marker stain is, there are several safe and effective ways to use everyday items you find around the house to lighten, or even remove the ink stain altogether.

In this blog, we will be sharing some tips on removing permanent marker stains by using rubbing alcohol, hairspray, nail polish remover, hand sanitizer and vinegar from things like your clothes, furniture, walls and even skin. 

Stains Shouldn’t Steal Your Sanity.

Have you discovered that the budding little artist in your home has decided to use a Sharpie to decorate your favourite pair of shoes? Not to worry. Simply take your shoes to the bathroom along with a cleaning cloth, cotton swabs, rubbing alcohol and some nail polish remover. Begin by using a cotton swab to dab rubbing alcohol onto the area with the marker stain. Pat the affected area with a cleaning cloth moistened with water to remove any remaining rubbing alcohol. If after repeating this process a few times and the marker stain is still present, try repeating step one but with nail polish remover this time. Once again, dab the area with a moistened cloth when you’ve finished, and the stain should be gone.

Stain on your shirt? That looks very bad.

A quick fix to clothes that have a permanent marker stain on them is to use a few cotton balls and some hairspray. Place the clothing out on a table or countertop. Begin soaking the cotton ball with hairspray. Gently begin pressing the dampened cotton ball into the stained area until you see the ink transferring from your clothes to the cotton ball. Change out the cotton ball when the first one begins to look discoloured. Keep repeating these steps until all of the permanent marker has disappeared from your clothes. If you have a little more time to spend on removing the stain, try soaking the affected clothing in milk overnight.

An Intense Stain Remover.

A child’s own skin is often the preferred canvas for using a Sharpie. Use the same process you would do for removing the stains from your shoes. Scrub the skin with a paper towel that has been soaked in rubbing alcohol until the marker is gone. For those stubborn stains, switch to nail polish remover.

Gives Stains the Brush-off.

Areas of the home where the majority of time is spent sitting – like couches and chairs – are often the victims of having ink pens or markers dropped on them. To remove the stains from these areas, you will want to use white vinegar. Begin by dabbing or spraying the area gently with white vinegar and then wipe it with a cloth afterwards. Repeat this step as many times as necessary to remove the stain. 

Walls are often another area that often gets used as a canvas for permanent marker art. A bottle of hand sanitizer comes in handy for this job. First, test a small amount of hand sanitizer on an area of your wall to make sure that it doesn’t remove the paint. If the paint stays put, then proceed to apply the hand sanitizer to the marker stains and use a sponge to wipe the wall. Repeat these steps until the stain is removed. Alternatively, you may need to kick it up a notch and move on to something more substantial, like rubbing alcohol. We strongly recommend that you test a small area of the wall first to ensure you don’t remove the paint.

We hope you have found this blog post both informative and useful. Stay tuned as we share more tips and tricks to keep your life cleaner one item at a time.

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