How to Remove Permanent Marker From Ceramic Sinks

Ceramic sinks are usually (but not always) glazed to make them less porous, and therefore more stain resistant.
Despite this stain resistance, permanent marker ink won’t simply wipe off after it has dried on a ceramic surface--whether the surface is glazed or not. You’ll need to use chemicals beyond soap and water--chemicals that will break the bond between the permanent ink and the ceramic’s surface. You have several chemical products to choose from, including a few you may already have around the house.

Step 1

Provide ventilation to the room and extinguish sources of open flame, such as cigarettes and candles--the chemicals you’ll be using are very flammable.

Step 2

Put on a pair of rubber or vinyl gloves to protect your hands from ink stains and from the chemicals to remove the stains. Spray WD-40 directly over the marked area or apply fingernail polish, using a cotton swab or ball.

Step 3

Rub the ink mark with a dry cotton ball or swab (whether you choose to use a swab or ball depends on how big the stain is. For small stains, use the swab--it will be easier to avoid spreading the marker stain).

Step 4

Reapply the fingernail polish remover or WD-40 if necessary. If the ink did not fully come off the first time, leave the WD-40 or nail polish remover on the stain for up to a minute.

Step 5

Rinse the ceramic sink and then wash it with regular detergent or hand soap to remove residue from the stain-dissolving chemicals. Buff the sink dry with a soft towel.

Things You Will Need

  • Rubber or vinyl gloves
  • WD-40 or nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Detergent
  • Sponge

Tips

  • Avoid touching the sink with marker-stained gloves or the soiled cotton swabs/balls or you may transfer marker ink back to the surface.
  • If your sink is unglazed ceramic, you can still try these products to remove the ink stain but it may take longer.