How to Remove Marker Stains From Clothes

A marker stain can ruin clothing if not treated properly.

Whether the stain is from a permanent marker, dry erase marker or even so-called washable marker, treating the stain as quickly as possible is the key to effectively removing it. Don't throw away the clothing just because there is marker on it. By following the proper measures, you can remove a marker stain from clothing and no one will ever even know it was there.

Work from the underside of the stain. Lay clean paper towels down and place the garment with the stain facing down on them. Be sure to do this on a surface that cannot be damaged by any seepage of the marker stain or the products you will be using to remove it.

Place rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball. You can also use hairspray as an alternative.

Blot the stain with the cotton ball. Do not rub the stain or it may spread to other parts of the fabric.

Continue blotting the marker stain until it seems to be removed. Change the cotton ball and paper towels frequently to avoid spreading the marker.

Rinse the clothing in cold water to remove as much of the alcohol and marker as possible. Do not use hot water to rinse, as this will set the stain in.

Place the article of clothing in the washer and wash as recommended on the label. Do not place the clothing in the dryer until you have examined it and determined that the marker stain is gone. The heat from the dryer will set the stain in further if it is not completely removed.

Use nail polish remover on any stain that is still present. Dab the nail polish remover onto the marker stain using a cotton ball, just as you did with the alcohol. Keep in mind that nail polish remover may damage some types of fabric, particularly synthetics, so test it on an inconspicuous area prior to use.

Wash the garment again as you normally would. Allow the clothing to air-dry. If the stain is still present, repeat the above steps until it has been removed.

Things You Will Need

  • Paper towels
  • Rubbing alcohol or hairspray
  • Cotton balls
  • Nail polish remover

About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.