8 ways to remove permanent marker stains

Here are 8 ways to remove permanent marker stains! Lil’ Duck and his friends have found the Sharpie permanent markers on occasion and boy can those make a mess! Thankfully, it can be removed, although I still need to work on the carpet. With this list, be careful as to the surface, as some of these things will ruin certain surfaces. I’d suggest spot-testing and using common sense (i.e. not putting bleach on carpet, not using chemicals on skin, etc. ;)). Now if only I could get red koolaid out of carpet…

  1. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (also works for crayons, but don’t use it on skin, of course)
  2. WD-40
  3. Anti-bacterial hand gel
  4. Hairspray
  5. Cooking spray
  6. Nail polish remover
  7. Bleach (depending on the surface)
  8. Goof Off

*Updated to add other suggestions….

Eagles Wings suggested acetone for taking sharpies right off of plastic or hard surfaces (keep away from children, of course).

Renee said that rubbing alcohol will also remove permanent markers from smooth surfaces.

Mz Jay had an incident where:

My daughter got her hands on a thick black permanent marker(sharpie) she drew on paper but quite alot of it got on the kitchen table that has a wood finish on top. I used toothpaste and a toothbrush and it removed all the marker on the table! I let the toothpaste sit on all the marks for about 5 minutes and got an old toothbrush and scrubbed away! My table does not have any marker left on it, and the best part is that the toothpaste did not ruin my wood table or the finish that’s on it. I would suggest using the white toothpaste rather than the gel types that are on the market.

457 Responses to 8 ways to remove permanent marker stains

  1. Pam Gotcher May 11, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

    I’m doing a penny floor and had to trim some coins – marked with Sharpie perm marker – Bar Keepers Friend took the perm marker off, no problem. It is abrasive, but just putting it on and letting it sit for a minute removed almost all.

  2. Emily March 1, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

    well i got sharpie on my plastic table and i used nail polish remover to get it off

  3. Louise February 5, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

    Hand sanitizer worked! I was in a panic as my daughters got Bright Pink Sharpie marker on my parent’s newly refinished dining room table! Whew!

  4. mary lou October 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    Thanks so much! Got permanent marker on my Pergo type floor. The .Mr. Clean Magic Eraser took it right off!

  5. Madison July 28, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    WD-40 took the Sharpie off of all surfaces that were tagged!

  6. Rae May 18, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    After trying cooking spray and wd40 to no avail, rubbing alcohol did the trick. Came off like it was never there.

  7. Georgiana Harshfield April 16, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

    I got a Sharpie (red) spot on a white and black striped jacket od mine. Can you PLEASE tell me how to remove it? The jacket was quite expensive and one of my faviorates.
    Thank You

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