How to Remove Permanent Marker from Skin & Walls

The permanent marker tends to be absorbed into the surface and firmly fixed. In case of contamination of hard non-porous surfaces, it is appropriate to use alcohol, acetone, special sponges, or erasers. To clean fabrics, you can use bleach, hairspray, citrus juice, or plain alcohol. The main task is to carefully remove the oil or alcohol marker from the soiled surface without rubbing it with persistent circular movements.

Drawings with an indelible felt-tip pen are often encountered by parents of young children who manage to outline everything to them, except for the paper and cardboard intended for this. An indelible marker fully justifies its name – it can be challenging to wipe it off even from the smoothest surfaces, not to mention fabrics, chipboard, and MDF, which simultaneously absorb the drawn trace. The main task is to decide how to erase the marker and at the same time not damage the surface and completely remove this trace. This article will learn some useful tips on how to remove permanent marker.

How to Remove Permanent Marker

marker sketch on notebook

1. Removing the Marker from Hard, Dense Surfaces

The peculiarity of such a surface is that the marker does not have time to be deeply absorbed before it dries to be removed quite easily using one of the methods below.

Ethyl Alcohol

Alcohol is the first and most recommended home remedy for permanent marker stains. A piece of rag, towel, or gauze must be moistened liberally with ordinary medical alcohol (but so that it does not drip) and thoroughly wipe the damaged surface. The traces of the felt-tip pen will gradually begin to dissolve and remain on the cotton wool. This is especially effective against alcohol-based markers.

Note! Try not to smear the resulting stain, not to worsen the situation. Wipe with a cotton swab only the area where there is a pattern.

It may take several approaches with new cotton wool until the color is completely dissolved.

Concentrated Ethyl Alcohol

An alcoholic beverage such as bourbon, rum, vodka, or moonshine is suitable as a source of alcohol. The higher the alcohol content, the more likely the marker will rub off. For example, low-alcohol drinks like beer are useless.

Using a Mixture of Toothpaste and Regular Baking Soda

A mixture of toothpaste and soda in a ratio of 1: 1 is a relatively aggressive environment that will split even a heavily absorbed mark. Likewise, alcohol may take several approaches. The mixture is prepared in a clean glass or plastic container, after which it is liberally applied to the painted spot.

To split the trace, you must wait a few minutes, then remove the mixture with a clean, damp cloth or cotton swab. If the felt-tip pen does not lend itself, try gently rubbing it into the drawing with your finger in a circular motion. In this way, you can wipe the marker from any plastic.

Using a Melamine Sponge or “Magic Eraser.”

You can find a “magic eraser” in some hardware stores. It is a melamine sponge, which is designed to remove a variety of stains from various kinds of surfaces. For the interaction of the sponge with the marker, the pattern must be moistened with plain water, after which, with persistent but gentle circular motions, begin to erase it.

At first, it may seem that the sponge is not working, but after 20-40 seconds, the pattern will “float” and begin to be absorbed into the sponge. Moisten the erased drawing with water constantly to not dry out.

Applying WD-40

WD-40 fluid is a lubricant for a wide range of applications. A distinctive feature is its wide penetration – it seeps through fragile cracks that even water cannot pass. Due to this, WD-40 is very active in splitting the mark from the permanent marker.

The product is usually sold in an aerosol can with a thin tube in stores. Gently apply a small amount of lubricant to the drawing; after a few minutes, wipe off what is left of the drawing with a cotton swab.

Stain Marker

A more narrowly focused tool can be called a stain marker. It looks exactly like a permanent one and can be painted on any surface. The difference is that the anti-stain marker is impregnated with a non-polar solvent, which instantly reacts when applied to a permanent mark. It is enough to carefully sketch the damaged part of the surface with a stain marker – and it can be wiped off with a cotton swab or cloth.

A stain remover is using to clean whiteboards. The permanent marker is so strongly absorbed into special surfaces that it can difficult to wipe it off even with the tools that come with the board. Sketch all the traces with a special felt-tip pen from stains – and the board will become like new.

Stationery Eraser

How to remove permanent marker from very smooth surfaces like plastic, plastic film, or laminated wood? You can use the usual stationery eraser, sold either separately or placed on pencils. It may take some effort to make the mark succumb to the eraser.


Some creams for this purpose contain substances that can dissolve patterns. The method is similar to one of the options described above – a small amount of cream should apply to the drawing, rubbed a little, and removed from the cream with a damp cotton swab or rag after a couple of minutes.

Application of Acetone

Acetone is an active solvent that successfully interacts with even the most stubborn stains. Like alcohol, dampen a cotton swab or a clean, soft cloth with a small amount of acetone and wipe the surface. The result is not long in coming. You can erase a permanent marker from plastic with both acetone and alcohol.

Attention! Acetone is a rather dangerous substance. Avoid contact with open skin eyes inside the body. Work with rubber gloves. Do not inhale; observe safety precautions!

 Acetone is the most versatile tool that allows you to remove black felt-tip pens from lacquered and wooden doors, tables and countertops, furniture, refrigerators, mirrors, elevators, and porches. Acetone can wash the marker off bricks, walls, glass, metal, and other resistant materials. It should not use when cleaning the tinting of cars, TVs, phones, Barbie dolls, plastic bags, PVC, vinyl – the plastic used in the production is likely to dissolve along with the pattern. In this case, use alcohol.

2. Cleaning Fabrics from the Marker

marker draw on fabric

The problem with this cleaning is that the paint is absorbing very quickly into the depths. It is more difficult to remove a stain from velour, jackets, and jeans than a smooth surface; however, there are ways.

White Fabric

For white fabrics, it is ideal to use bleach. Soiled clothes or pillows are soaking in bleach. The reaction can occur instantly, there, and after a few minutes. In any case, you need to monitor the condition of the fabric carefully, and as soon as the marker dissolves, the clothes are immediately washing with plenty of plain water.

If the clothes are heavily soiled, they must soak in bleach. Make sure that it does not start to erode the fabric. As soon as the marker disappears, the fabric should rinse well with plain water and dried. Particularly persistent residues can try to wash off.

Satin Fabric

For satin fabric, you need to use a specially prepared mixture. In a separate clean bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of milk and vinegar, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and borax. The ingredients are thoroughly mixed and applied directly to the drawing. It may take 10–20 minutes to react with a pattern (do not worry, the prepared mixture will not affect either the structure of the fabric or its color).

After elapsing, the damaged area should blotted with a clean, damp sponge. You may need to wipe a little, but do not be zealous. You need to get wet and rub gently until the stain disappears. If it does not disappear at once, repeat the procedure.

Strong Fabrics

It is much easier to wash the marker on fabrics that are indifferent to the properties of alcohol and acetone (for example, dermantin). With a moistened cotton swab, it is necessary to wipe the mark from the marker. You will most likely need to change a few cotton wool before the stain can remove. After that, the cleaned area should thoroughly wiped with a clean, damp cloth.

Regular Fabrics

You can use citrus juice (lemon or lime) to remove felt pen marks from most standard fabrics. The juice is harmless to any fabric, but at the same time, it allows you to wash the permanent marker very effectively. Juice can squeezed directly from the fruit onto the stain then blotted with a cotton swab. If there is any doubt about the aggressiveness of citrus, further dilute the juice with water. Rinse the cleaning cloth with water.

3. Removing the Marker from Carpets

Rubbing alcohol most commonly used in carpet cleaning. It is the stain removal technique that is important here. By following the recommendations, you will not spoil the product – alcohol will not affect the fabric of the carpet and its color in any way but will only affect the pattern. Lay the carpet on a table or floor with the damaged part facing up. Pour some rubbing alcohol onto the marker stain. It is necessary to remove the stain with a clean cloth or cotton wool, applying it to the surface moistened with alcohol.

Note! In no case do not rub; apply! So alcohol guaranteed not to affect the carpet itself.

The dissolved marker will begin to move into the tissue gradually. After several impregnated fleece or fabric changes to a clean one, the trace will completely pass from the carpet.

You can also use hairspray by applying a small amount to the stain and immediately wiping it with a clean towel.

After all, manipulations, wipe the cleaned surface with plain water.

4. Removing a Marker from Furniture

Hair spray is perfect for removing felt stains from eco-leather, leatherette, and upholstery.

Rub the lacquer into the cloth with a rag and wipe off the paint stain. As the marker penetrates the cloth, a fresh coat of varnish should apply from time to time and the dirty cloth replaced with a clean one. When the stains have completely disappeared from the surface of the leather, remove the remaining paint with a clean cloth and clean the leather with a special cleaning agent. This method is suitable for all leather surfaces, including clothing, shoes, and soles.

A combination of hydrogen peroxide and ethyl alcohol is using for the fabric surface. The soiled surface wiped for 10–15 minutes with a cotton swab moistened with peroxide, after which it is replacing with a cotton swab with alcohol, with which the stain is also wiped for 10–15 minutes. As a result, the marker should completely go into the last fleece. The cleaned place is gently wiped with a damp cloth, after which excess moisture is removing with a dry one.

You can use acetone, alcohol, or hairspray for the rest of the furniture. The substance is applied to a cotton swab or cloth, gently wiping the outlined surface. The remains of an aggressive solvent must remove with a slightly damp cloth.

5. Removing the Marker from the Skin

Have you accidentally scribbled on your skin with a permanent marker and are now angry that despite your best efforts to wipe off the marker, the mark remains in place? Luckily, several effective cleaners can safely remove permanent markers from your skin. Many alcohol-based household products, such as hand sanitizer and even hairspray, can effectively and completely remove traces of permanent marker.

Spray the Stained Skin with Hairspray

Alcohol-based hairspray is great for removing permanent marker marks from your skin. Move to a well-ventilated area and spray the leather on the skin to completely cover the stain with the spray liquid. Use your fingertips or a cloth to rub the polish into the stain. When most of the ink has dissolved, wash your skin in a bit of soap and water, and then pat dry.

Wash your Skin with Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizers contain a high concentration of alcohol, which effectively dissolves and removes permanent marker stains. Squeeze some disinfectant into the palm of your hand, and then rub it in a circular motion on the stain on your skin. In just 15-30 seconds, the marker will slowly mix with the disinfectant and dissolve. Rinse your skin with warm water. Repeat the procedure until the ink completely wiped off the marker.

Wipe Off the Marker with Insect Repellant

Like hand sanitizers, repellents contain isopropyl alcohol, which dissolves permanent ink. Apply repellent generously to the marked area and rub it into the skin with your fingers or a paper towel. Continue spraying the skin until all traces are going, and then wash the skin with soap and water. You can also use rubbing alcohol.

Wipe Off the Stain with Coconut Oil

 Before using coconut oil, wash your skin with warm water and a little soap and dry. Apply a little coconut oil with your hands to the marker-stained skin. Rub the oil into the stain with your fingers or a paper towel until the marker marks are completely going.

Use a Small Amount of Sunscreen

Cover the marker stain with a thick layer of sunscreen, then rub it into your skin in a circular motion with your fingertips. Continue adding the product and rubbing it in until the marker ink dissolves. Rinse off residual sunscreen and ink with warm water.

Rub Baby Oil or Baby Lotion into the Stain

Baby oil and baby lotion are mild yet powerful cleaners that can effectively remove permanent marker marks. To use them, apply oil or lotion to a paper towel, then blot and rub the marker stain with it. Then wash your skin with warm water to remove residual ink and excess oil or lotion.

Use Shaving Cream

To use shaving cream, apply it generously to the stained skin. Then use your fingers or a paper towel to rub the shaving cream into the stain. If necessary, add more cream. Keep rubbing the cream in until the ink is off the skin, then wash it off with warm water.

Use a Makeup Remover or Wipes

To use liquid makeup remover, apply a small amount to a paper towel or tissue and then rub the stained skin. If you’ve got makeup remover wipes, rub them and use them to remove the marker stain.

Wipe Off the Stain with White, Creamy Toothpaste

To erase permanent marker marks from the skin with toothpaste, you need to use a creamy white paste, as gel toothpaste will not be as effective. Turn on warm water and wet the stained skin, then apply a thick layer of toothpaste on it. Leave the paste to act for 1-2 minutes, and then begin to rub it into the skin with your fingertips or a cloth. Rub the stain until the ink dissolves, then rinse off the toothpaste with warm water.

Use Nail Polish Remover or Acetone

Although nail polish remover and acetone are not technically leather products, they are how to remove permanent marker from your skin. Unfortunately, nail polish remover evaporates very quickly, so it may have to apply to the stain many times. Dampen a cotton ball or cloth with a small nail polish remover or acetone and rub the stained leather. Continue adding product and rubbing the stain until it disappears. Then rinse your skin with warm water and pat dry.

6. Remove Marker from Leather Upholstery

Leather coverings, as well as leather furniture covers, can clean of marker with hairspray. In addition, baby or coconut oil also used.

You need to apply a small amount of oil to a rag and wipe the stain. After that, be sure to dry the surface with a clean cloth.

You can use what is at hand. Suitable makeup remover, wet wipes, shaving lotion.

When using makeup or shaving lotion, take a small amount and apply it to the fabric. Wipe the surface and then wipe with a dry cloth.

With wet wipes, it’s easier: take a napkin and wipe the marker from the surface.

7. Ways to Clean the Marker from the Wall

You can remove the trace from the marker with your own hands without resorting to the help of specialists. It is not necessary to buy expensive unique products in stores; you can handle it on your own, with the help of improvised means, and wipe the marker off the wall.


The marker can be removed with alcohol. It should be noted that only the one in which the alcohol content is at least 45% is suitable. If there is no pure alcohol, ordinary vodka (cologne) will do.

Melamine Sponge

It can be purchased in an online household store. A miracle sponge can clean any surface from various stains, including scrubbing the marker from the wall in the entrance. Wet the sponge with water and rub the contaminated surface. If it is not possible to remove it immediately, treat the surface repeatedly.

Polish Hair

This is an effective way to remove a marker from a wall. In place of the inscription with a marker, spray varnish abundantly. You have to wait for it to soak in. Then we take a piece of cloth and begin to rub in a circular motion.

It should be noted that this method is not suitable for all walls since you can remove the layer of paint that painted the wall. To avoid this, try first on a separate area to do this procedure. The last step is to wipe the place with a damp cloth and wipe it dry.

Office Eraser

Some markers are easily cleaned with a regular eraser designed for ordinary pencils. This method is suitable if the contamination is fresh. The method is very simple – you need to rub the contaminated place with an eraser.


It is effective for any pollution. The tool is strong, so you need to handle it carefully. To avoid damaging the wall where there is an inscription, you need to try using acetone on a small piece of the surface. If the paint has not come off the wall, feel free to use acetone to wash the trace of the marker.

Conclusions: What to Remember

Effective ways to erase permanent marker: secrets and tips for home

The permanent marker has extraordinary durability. Traces of it must be removed by special means.

When working with chemicals, it is essential to adhere to safety measures:

  • Work with gloves.
  • Carefully test each substance on a piece of cloth or material.
  • Do not inhale toxic fumes of ammonia acetone.
  • With special care, remove the permanent marker from the skin of children.
  • You need to start with more gentle means. If the result is unsatisfactory, use aggressive substances.
  • Keeping permanent markers away from children is a great way to save your favorite items.

The key to a practical result is the speed of reaction and quick cleansing with improvised means. We hope you found how to remove permanent marker in this article above helpful.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top