How to Get Permanent Marker Off of a Wood Grain Door

Permanent marker on wood grain seems impossible to remove.
The marker ink will likely have settled in the little knots and grooves and won‘t clean off with soap and water. Fortunately, you should be able to remove the marker stain and save your door easily. You need only a common household product–you might have it in your house and, if not, it is easy to find–and in very little time (unless the stained area is very large) you will have your door stain-free.

Step 1

Put on rubber gloves so you do not get the cleaning product, or permanent marker, on your hands.

Step 2

Spray WD-40 directly on the stain. Let it sit for one minute. It will start dissolving the permanent marker ink during this time.

Step 3

Use a dry cotton ball (or the corner of a white cloth or paper towel) to rub the stain. A lot of marker ink should transfer to the cotton ball.

Step 4

Spray the stained area of the wood door again with the WD-40 and wipe it with a fresh cotton ball. Continue until all of the permanent marker is gone from the door.

Step 5

Dampen a cloth and wipe it over the door to remove WD-40 residue.

Things You Will Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • WD-40
  • Cotton ball
  • Cloth


  • According to, instead of WD-40 you can use regular (white and non-gritty) toothpaste to remove stains from wood. Wipe it over the stain and rub off with a cloth (or cotton ball).
  • If you have neither WD-40 nor toothpaste on hand, you can try rubbing alcohol. Apply it to a cotton ball and rub it over the marker ink.


  • WD-40 is flammable, so don’t smoke while you are cleaning your door with this product.