How to Get Permanent Marker Out of Clothes

How to Get Permanent Marker Out of Clothes – The Best Methods

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We have all used permanent markers at some time or other in our lives, from marking things that we are going to store or just helping the kids with their school project. However, some may have also experienced those times when they have found permanent marker stains on clothes. This does not mean you have to throw them out, it is possible to get those stains out of your clothes. We will be helping you with this by showing you how to get permanent marker out of clothes.  



Consider These Factors Before Removing Permanent Marker

Contrary to their name, the permanent marker stains do not necessarily have to become permanent. There is some good news; with a bit of patience and a lot of effort, you will be able to get permanent marker stains out of your clothes. We will be dealing a bit later with how to remove permanent marker from clothes. However, there are a few factors you need to consider first, like the color of the marker, how long the stain has been on your garment before you tried to remove it, and what type of material your clothes are made from.

Removing Marker from Clothing Wool


When to Remove Permanent Marker

These marker stains are very similar to the stains caused by paint or ballpoint pen ink. While most of the paints and ballpoint pen inks are water-based, the permanent markers are oil-based. This means that the markers all contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can evaporate quite fast.

So, the faster you can remove any stains before it dries, the more successful you will be in removing marker from clothing.


The Color of the Permanent Marker Ink

The permanent markers ink is specially designed to penetrate the cell walls of plants or cellulose, which is effectively used when dying paper or fabrics. This whole process makes the stain permanent, however, by using the correct product, the stain can be removed quite easily, and we will be dealing with this later.

Sharpie Removal from Clothes


The Type of Material

One of the products used to remove permanent marker stains is acetone or nail polish remover. However, if you are going to use acetone to remove a marker stain from an item of clothing that is made from wool or silk, then you may end up with huge holes in the garment. Here is some good advice; if the garment is made from leather, then the best products to use are vinegar or WD-40. Avoid using rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, acetone, or hairspray.

For garments made from cotton, wool, denim, or polyester, the best product to use is acetone or rubbing alcohol.

However, if the garment is very thin, then it is best to dilute the rubbing alcohol in some water. Also, you should test a small hidden section of the garment first to see what happens. For garments that contain spandex, you need to be more careful. First, apply some alcohol-based hand sanitizer over the stain and leave it to soak in for a few minutes. Now apply some Clorox Stain Remover and Color Brightener and leave for 10 minutes, then wash with your normal washing and detergent in hot water.



How to Get Permanent Marker Out of Clothes

Permanent marker stains do not come out of your clothes by simply washing them in the washing machine and using some laundry detergent. You need to disintegrate the oil and alcohol contained within the ink. Sharpie inks are made up of various types of alcohol that carry the color pigments, and they also contain resin or polymers that bind everything together. This is why the ink will not wash out by using soap and water but needs something acidic to remove the stain. Do not be too concerned by the label on these sharpie markers that read “permanent.”

How to Get Sharpie Out of Fabric

This does not mean that the ink will be permanent if spilled on your clothes or other fabric, you can successfully remove sharpie marker stains from your clothes. However, the secret lies in the fact that the sooner you remove the stain, the quicker and more successful you will be. Permanent markers are also commonly referred to as Sharpies, which is a popular marker brand name. Let us now give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to remove Sharpie from clothes. For many of the methods concerning how to remove permanent marker from clothes, you can get most of the products and ingredients around the house.


Remove Permanent Marker Using Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is one of the more successful methods when trying to remove marker stains from your clothes. The alcohol helps to break down the polymer and other materials that bind the dye to the material. After removing the stain from your clothes, you need to pass the garment through the normal hot washing cycle on your washing machine to ensure all the dye particles are removed.

Easily Removing Permanent Marker

  • Place some folded paper towel or cardboard underneath the stain. This will act as a support as well as allow the stain to transfer to the paper towel and not to other parts of your garment.
  • You can now use a clean cloth to soak in the rubbing alcohol.
  • Begin at the outside edge of the stain and work towards the middle and blot the marker stain. You will instantly see the color is transferred to your cloth or cotton ball.
  • You may need to replace the paper towel at certain intervals as the ink is transferred to it.
  • Now you can turn the garment around with the stain facing down and put a clean piece of paper towel underneath and continue rubbing the stain as above.
  • Next, you take some dishwashing liquid or laundry detergent and pour it over the stain and continue rubbing as above until you are satisfied that the stain is gone.
  • Lastly, place the garment into the washing machine on a hot water cycle.


Sharpie Removal From Clothes Using Baking Soda

Baking soda is one substance that every household uses, for all types of cleaning solutions. Baking soda can break down and remove stubborn stains because it is an alkaline solution. It is the best method to use for sharpie removal from your clothes, and it is also non-toxic so there will be no strong fumes or odors when using it.

  • You need to first take some paper towels or cardboard and insert it behind the stain to protect the rest of the garment.
  • Take a plastic cup and add 30 ml of baking soda, then add 15 ml of water.
  • In place of water, you can add lemon juice. The high acidity can dissolve the stain more effectively.
  • Using a paper towel or cotton ball, spread some of the mixture over the stain and let it stand for about 30 minutes to one hour.

Removing Permanent Marker

  • Using a brush, gently rub the stain in a circular motion until you can see the stain lifting off the garment. Make sure you rub the garment carefully if it is a delicate fabric.
  • Rinse the garment under some running water, if the ink stain is washed away you can go onto the next step, or you can repeat the process.
  • Lastly, put the garment into the washing machine and wash it using your ordinary washing detergent, and hopefully, the sharpie stain has been completely removed.


Remove Permanent Marker Using Hairspray

Sharpie removal from clothing can also be done using hairspray. However, many of the brands have altered their formulation recently and reduced the alcohol content, which makes it less effective in removing the stain. So, make sure you use the cheaper brands, which contain more alcohol. This method works best when applied to polyester and synthetic fabrics.

Easy Sharpie Removal from Clothing

  • Always start by inserting a piece of cardboard or paper towel under the stain to protect the rest of the garment.
  • Try to use a hairspray that has a pump and not the aerosol can.
  • Spray the hairspray directly onto the stain so that you soak the stain thoroughly, and let it stand for about ten minutes.
  • Now take the cotton ball or clean cloth and press it tightly against the stain until you see the stain transferring to the cotton ball or cloth.
  • Repeat these processes until you are satisfied the mark is not there anymore, then rinse off with water.
  • Wash your garment in the washing machine and use cold water and ordinary washing detergent.


How to Get Sharpie Out of Fabric With Hand Sanitizer

Does sharpie wash out of clothes? When using hand sanitizer, this can be quite effective. When buying hand sanitizer, you must consider the alcohol percentage. Only buy a sanitizer that has a very high alcohol content, as it is the alcohol that does the job. This works very similar to rubbing alcohol for removing marker from clothing. The benefit of using hand sanitizer is that most people have some in their homes, cars, and even in their handbags.

Remove Permanent Marker

  • Pour a generous quantity of the hand sanitizer onto a clean cloth.
  • Gently rub the stain from the outside to the center to prevent the stain from smearing more of your garment.
  • If the stain is smaller, then just press the wet cloth firmly down on the stain.
  • Once this step is done, leave everything for about ten minutes.
  • Continue this process, changing the paper towel or cloth until all the stain is gone.
  • Rinse the garment under some running water, which should then remove the stain as well as the sanitizer.
  • Place the item in the washing machine, using a cold-water wash and ordinary detergent.


Removing Permanent Marker With Toothpaste and Lemon Juice

Using this method is very easy, cheap, and accessible as every household has both of these products available. To be of use, you must use the non-gel type of toothpaste. Once applied, it magically removes the sharpie stain in no time.

  • Take a small bowl and squeeze about a half-teaspoon into the bowl.
  • Now add a few drops of lemon juice, this makes the mixture easier to apply and the lemon juice also helps in removing the stain.
  • Apply this mixture, making sure you cover the entire stain.

Does Sharpie Wash Out of Clothes Easily

  • Gently rub the stain using a cotton ball or with your fingers until you are satisfied the entire area is covered.
  • Once done, let everything sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Use a paper towel and wipe the stain off, wipe from the outer part of the stain to the middle.
  • Take the garment or fabric and clean it under running water.
  • Place in the washing machine and use cold water and ordinary detergent.


How to Remove Sharpie From Clothes With Acetone

Nail polish remover is made up mostly of acetone, which is a very strong solvent that can remove all kinds of stains from your clothes or other fabrics, including sharpie and paint stains. It has a very similar effect to rubbing alcohol, and you need to use it with caution as it may cause some damage to certain fabrics. For this reason, it is suggested that you first apply a small amount to the inside of your garment to determine its reaction.

Does Sharpie Wash Out of Clothes

  • First, insert a paper towel underneath the mark.
  • Soak a clean cloth with the nail polish remover, then and start wiping or blotting the stain.
  • Do not pour the nail polish remover directly over the stain as it will result in the stain spreading further onto the garment or fabric.
  • Continue to blot or wipe until the stain is gone.


Removing Marker From Clothing With Vinegar

Vinegar is a product that we all have in our homes, and because of its natural acidity, it is a perfect product to use for removing permanent marker stains from your clothes. However, because it is not as strong as rubbing alcohol, it needs to be left on the stain for a time to be effective for removing the stain. Vinegar is also a great option for softer and more delicate fabrics, like cotton.

Remove Permanent Marker from Cotton

  • Again, place something such as a paper towel underneath the stain.
  • Soak a sponge or paper towel in the vinegar and apply it to the stain.
  • Once the area is soaked enough, leave everything for around 30 minutes.
  • Now repeat step two by soaking the area again. You should observe the mark coming off.
  • Take the garment and then rinse under some running water.
  • Put the garment into the washing machine and wash it using cold water and ordinary detergent.


Removing Permanent Marker With Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has the same effect as bleach as it makes the stain colorless instead of removing it from the garment or fabric. The hydrogen peroxide can break down the molecular bond that the sharpie stain has between the solvent and the dye, which leaves the stain colorless.

Easily Removing Marker from Clothing

  • Protect the garment by placing paper towels under the mark.
  • Dampen a clean cloth with the hydrogen peroxide and start to wipe or blot the stain.
  • You can then leave the solution to sit for about 15 minutes.
  • Repeat the process where necessary until you notice the stain losing its color, then rinse off with water.
  • Put the garment into the washing machine and wash it using cold water and ordinary detergent.


Removing Marker From Clothing With WD40

If you do not want to use alcohol or any strong chemicals to remove the sharpie stain from your clothes, then the ideal solution is to use WD40. This is a lubricant and degreasing product. The only disadvantage of this method is that it may leave an oily stain behind, so you need to use it with care. All you need to do is apply the WD40 to the stain, then blot it off using a paper towel.

Rinse it with water and wash it in the washing machine with your other clothes.


Remove Permanent Marker With Milk

Milk is not just to be used on your cereal in the morning for breakfast or to make your favorite milkshakes, but it can also be effectively used in removing permanent marker stains from your clothes. Just pour some milk into a bowl, place the garment into the milk ensuring that it covers the whole stain, and leave it to soak overnight. You can repeat the process until the mark has been removed, and then launder the garment with all your other clothing items.

Removing Permanent Marker with Milk



How to Get Dry Erase Marker Out of Clothes

Maybe you are unaware of a sharpie marker stain on your clothing. You then only discover the stain the following morning. Is it possible to remove a permanent marker stain that has dried out completely? For this problem, you can use some rubbing alcohol and follow the method described above. However, if you have already washed the garment in the washing machine and only then do you discover the satin, is it still possible to remove it? Yes, it is possible, but you need to use rubbing alcohol that has 91 percent alcohol content for it to work, and then follow the process below.

How to Get Dry Erase Marker Out of Clothes

  • Take a large bowl or a bucket and fill it with the extra strong alcohol solution. It may be advisable to do it outdoors or in front of an open window due to the strong fumes.
  • If the stain is small, you can use a smaller bowl or dish and soak for about ten minutes.
  • Now take the garment out and very gently rub some salt into the stain.
  • Next, you need to mix 240 ml of rubbing alcohol with 240 ml of milk and pour it over the stain.
  • Now you need to scrub the area, do not worry about a gentle action, putting in some effort.
  • Rinse off the garment and check to see if the mark has been removed.
  • If not, repeat the process of rubbing alcohol, milk, and salt until the stain disappears.



How to Get Sharpie Out of Fabric or Upholstery

When you and your family are working on a project using permanent markers, and you have taken all the precautions to protect your clothing, like wearing an apron or covering your clothes with plastic sheeting. However, what about other types of fabric like upholstery. Have you taken precautions to protect your carpet, couch, or other forms of upholstery in your home? What to do if you find sharpie stains on other fabrics in your home?

How to Remove Sharpie from Clothes



When you discover sharpie stains on your new carpet, your heart sinks, and you may be wondering how you are going to save that carpet. There are many ways to remove the sharpie stain from your carpet but let us consider just a few that may work.

  • Try using materials that everyone has in the house. For example, mix a solution of dishwashing liquid, vinegar, and some water, and use it on the stain. Leave for a bit and then clean off.
  • Take some milk and mix it with cornstarch until it forms a paste. Apply to the mark and allow stand for a few hours, then brush it off and vacuum up the residue.
  • If the above methods are unsuccessful, try using rubbing alcohol. Apply it to the stain let it stand for a few minutes, and then blot the stain out using a damp cloth.


Sofa or Couch

A permanent marker stain on your favorite couch may seem impossible to remove. However, there is no need for panic, as there is a way that has been successfully used in the past. For this to work properly, you need to apply several different cleaning methods in one, and this is how it is done.

How to Get Sharpie Out of Fabric Easily

  • Pour two cups of cold water in a bowl or spray bottle; now add one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and one tablespoon of vinegar to the water.
  • Now take a sponge or clean cloth, dip it into the cleaning solution and dab it on the stain, or spray the solution onto the stain. Try not to soak the stained spot or area, but merely dampen it.
  • Let it sit for about 30 minutes but use a clean cloth to dab the stain every five minutes to assist in absorbing the ink.
  • Dampen a dry clean cloth in some cold water and dab the stain with it and try to remove the vinegar and dishwashing liquid from the sofa.
  • Take a paper towel or cotton ball and dampen it with some rubbing alcohol and begin to dab the stain, do not rub it, as it will spread the stain. Change the cloth or cotton balls as they become clogged with the stain. With a clean cloth and some water rinse the stain again.
  • If you still notice some color from the satin remaining, take a magic eraser and gently rub the spot until all the color is gone.
  • Next, take a clean cloth and some water and rinse the stain again.
  • Take some paper towels and place them over the wet spot on the sofa. Then put a book or other heavy object on top of the paper towel and leave until you are satisfied the area is completely dry.


Leather Furniture

Like any other surface that you find with sharpie marker stains, the key to success is removing the stains as quickly as possible and not leaving the stain for too long. This is the method best suited for leather upholstery.

  • You can use an aerosol hairspray can, sunscreen or vinegar.
  • Spray or dab the stain remover you have chosen over the sharpie stain.
  • Now using a damp clean cloth, blot the stain off your leather furniture.


Microfiber Upholstery

Microfiber is a material consisting of polyamide and polyester. The material is soft, absorbent, and durable and is used on all kinds of furniture. So, how do you go about cleaning such a material that has sharpie marker stains?

  • Use a clean cloth and place it into some rubbing alcohol.
  • Pat the stained area with a wet cloth or sponge and then allow everything to dry.

Removing Marker from Clothing

  • Once dry, take a brush to help fluff up the material again.
  • Instead of using rubbing alcohol, you can also use nail polish remover or hydrogen peroxide.


Permanent marker stains on your clothes can be a problem, but by using some or all of the above methods, you should be able to remove the stain without any problems. Remember, the secret is to act as quickly as possible.


Take a look at our how to remove permanent marker from clothing webstory here!



Frequently Asked Questions


Does Sharpie Wash Out of Clothes?

Sharpies are designed to be permanent markers, and they are permanent when applied to paper and some other surfaces. However, they were never intended for use on fabric. Thankfully, you can remove sharpie stains from your clothes by following various processes, using products found around the house.


Can You Use Vinegar to Take Off Permanent Marker From Clothing?

The acidic content in vinegar makes it a very strong natural stain remover, but for removing sharpie stains from your clothes or fabric, you need to use distilled white vinegar.


Can You Get Dry Sharpie Stains Out of Clothing?

Once the marker stain has dried, it becomes more difficult to remove but it can be done by using rubbing alcohol that has an alcohol content of over 90 percent. The best option is still to not leave the permanent marker for too long on the fabric.


What Everyday Products Can Be Used to Remove Sharpie Stains From Clothes?

There are many ordinary products you can use to eliminate marker blemishes from your clothes. For example, there is nail polish remover, toothpaste, vinegar, hairspray, hand sanitizer, and you can even use milk.


Can Hydrogen Peroxide Remove Sharpie From Clothing?

This is one of the best, safest and gentlest methods to use for removing sharpie stains from your clothing, as well as from many other types of fabric. The process works similarly when making use of rubbing alcohol.

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