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! Remove permanent marker stains - Sharpie Stain Removal 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 I need to get the red kool-aid out of my 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, of course).
  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). Emily said that she got Sharpie on her plastic table, and used nail polish remover to get it off, so there is another vote for that method. I would carefully test that in an inconspicuous area first though, as acetone might damage your surface (yikes!).

Renee said that rubbing alcohol will also remove permanent markers from smooth surfaces (which probably uses a similar idea to #3 above).

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.

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

Louise casts another vote: “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!”

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

459 Responses to 8 ways to remove permanent marker stains

  1. Mr. Jay September 5, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Mouthwash does wonder too, just pour some on the ink and let it set for five or so minutes; use a q-tip to verify if the ink is coming off. Cheers.

  2. Em September 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    to get red cool-aid out of carpet use a 1:1 solution of ice cold ammonia & water (throwing a few ice cubes it the mix helps). wet a washcloth with it, place it over the stain & press a hot steam iron on it. the stain will come up in the washcloth, but don’t over-do it, otherwise the carpet color will come with it. this trick works with other biological stains too…(my 2 year old choked on some pizza & tossed it up…tummy juice & tomato sauce didn’t wanna come out even fresh, but this did the trick!).

    Another side note of things that work well: Same 2 year old, now 3 colored on my walls with crayon…everyone’s been there… But make a paste with baking soda, scrub the walls down & rinse with a paper towel dowsed with white vinegar got the walls SO CLEAN without having to paint over the crayon!

  3. Kelly September 1, 2012 at 7:42 am #

    OMG!! My granddaughtes wrote on my white formica kitchen cabinets with an orange sharpie makrer. The white toothpaste took it all off. Thanks a million!!!

  4. Vickie Brown August 31, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Grandson put black. marker on hardware floor carpert wooden puzzle little on his toes small amt couch leather need help

  5. laila August 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    thank god got it of with nail. polish

  6. laila August 30, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    how does it come of skin ,i tried washing my hands with soap and water.

  7. Ande August 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    Just wanted to let you know that shaving cream takes out stains on carpets!
    Cheers!

  8. Abi August 25, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Anti bacterial gel works! Thank you soo much you saved my life(;

  9. Carolyn August 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    I had a smiliar problem with my granddaughter and a marker on the kitchen wooden table. I used several things that didn’t work. I tried the toothpase, and it worked. Thanks to the person who posted this. It saved the day.

  10. N/A August 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    My daughter wrote with sharpie all over the walls in my bedroom with sharpie. I tried everything, but to no avail. Finally, when we were about to just paint over it, my oldest daughter suggested sunscreen. I was a bit skeptical at first, but gave it a try. I was surprised to find the sharpie simply wiping away with a tissue. It worked instantly, and we didn’t even have to scrub to get it off! It just wiped away!

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