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How to Remove Set in Permanent Marker

Kimbry Parker

Permanent marker stains can be tricky to remove once they have set in. Although not impossible, a bit more work is required to remove set in permanent marker as opposed to fresh. Whether on clothing, upholstery or a hard surface, set in permanent marker may require several attempts to successfully remove the stain.

Remove permanent marker at first sight for the greatest success at removal.

Warning

Always test the product you are using on a small, inconspicuous area to make sure that it will not damage or discolor the fabric or surface.

Clothing

  1. Place the stained area of the clothing face down onto an old towel. Soak the stained area with rubbing alcohol. Allow it to sit on the fabric for a few minutes.

  2. Blot the back side of the stain with a cotton ball. Apply pressure while blotting to push the stain from the clothing onto the towel. Switch to a clean cotton ball as one becomes soiled with the marker.

  3. Continue blotting until the marker no longer transfers to the cotton ball. Apply more alcohol as needed.

  4. Spray the clothing with a laundry pretreatment spray. Launder the clothing as usual. Inspect the clothing prior to drying for any sign of the marker stain.

  5. Repeat the process, if necessary, until there is no trace of the permanent marker stain.

Hard Surfaces

  1. Wipe down the surface with a rag and hot, soapy water. This may be all that is necessary to remove the marker from a hard surface.

  2. Use a pink eraser to remove the marker from a hard surface. Rub the eraser lightly over the marker until it disappears. Use the eraser gently and with caution: it may damage some surfaces or finishes.

  3. Moisten a rag with non-acetone nail polish remover if the marker stain remains on the surface. Wipe the surface with the rag, applying gentle pressure and using a circular motion. Switch to clean portions of the rag as the marker begins to lift from the surface.

  4. Wipe down the surface again with a rag and soapy water. Follow up with a dry rag.

Carpet and Upholstery

  1. Moisten a rag with rubbing alcohol. Blot the rubbing alcohol onto the marker stain.

  2. Allow the alcohol to sit on the stain for several minutes. Blot the stain forcefully with the towel, switching to clean parts of the towel as it becomes soiled.

  3. Continue blotting until no more ink transfers onto the towel. Clean the area with soapy water or carpet and upholstery cleaner. Rinse the area with plain water.

The Drip Cap

  • Permanent marker stains can be tricky to remove once they have set in.
  • Whether on clothing, upholstery or a hard surface, set in permanent marker may require several attempts to successfully remove the stain.
  • Allow it to sit on the fabric for a few minutes.
  • Apply more alcohol as needed.
  • Wipe down the surface with a rag and hot, soapy water.
  • Switch to clean portions of the rag as the marker begins to lift from the surface.
  • Blot the rubbing alcohol onto the marker stain.