How You Can Remove Permanent Marker Stains from Clothes

It’s not impossible!

Almost all of us utilize permanent marker for various purposes at work, home, school or university. They are really helpful, but the dark side is their potential accidental marks on clothes, especially if they reach the hands of kids. The thoughts about affected or marked clothes as unusable ones or clothes that we can’t wear anymore are not true.

Although a permanent marker can leave a frightful effect not only on your cloth but also on you, there is hope to rescue your favourite garment. You just have to be patient and exert some effort to tackle the stain of your permanent marker.

Important Tip to Remove Permanent Marker Stains

Time is a very important agent that influences the process of removing the permanent marker stain from your cloth. You should immediately take a step as soon as the cloth gets affected.

You may read: Clean White Plastic Chairs

The faster you behave, the easier the process will be. In case you retard, the stain may be harder and you may have to repeat your attempts more.

Reasons Behind…

The permanent marker’s ink has alcohols and oils as carriers. They make the ink stay on your affected garment or generally any surface. These carriers resist water as it can’t break their bonds.

So, the detergent or product you will use to dispose of the permanent marker from your garment should be able to break the bonds of the alcohol and oils of the ink.

Preparations & Recommendations

  • In case the marker’s stain is still new and wet, blot it with a microfiber towel, cloth or strong paper towel as much as you can. Avoid scrubbing or wiping the stain to avoid spreading it.
  • Prepare some paper towels to compose a thick layer that allows you to put the stained area of your garment on it as a first step in the cleaning procedure. Instead, utilize a cloth towel to absorb any leads.
  • Test any substance you will choose to treat the stain on a misty part of your cloth before you try to apply any method as some fabrics are sensitive.
  • Repeat the removal process if there are some remains.
  • Wash your garment separately after you finish your chosen method of cleaning to prevent the stain from transferring to other clothes.
  • The automatic dryer’s high heat makes cleaning the marker’s stain impossible. So, avert using it if there is still permanent marker ink remains.
  • In case your fabrics require only dry cleaning, consult an expert cleaner. If this is hard and you have to clean by yourself at home, execute the same procedure of cleaning with alcohol that you will find in the cleaning methods below, but without the usual washing.
  • You should take your garment to an expert cleaner if its colour is changed or blended after testing or if it is embellished and structured such as a suit jacket.

Methods You Can Use to Remove Permanent Marker Stains    

Rubbing Alcohol

  • Rub around the stained area gently with a sponge wet with alcohol.
  • Soak a cloth in alcohol then dap it on the stained area.
  • Repeat the previous step for about 10 minutes.
  • Replace the paper towels underneath your garment if they need as they absorb the stain.
  • Wash your garment in the washing machine.

Hand Sanitiser Gel

  • Spread a suitable amount of the sanitiser on the stain with a sponge.
  • Let it be for 15 minutes.
  • With a clean towel, blot the stained area.
  • Wash.

Baking Soda

  • Mix suitable amounts of water and baking soda to create a paste then apply it to the stain.
  • Gently and only on the affected area, rub the paste.
  • Leave it for 15-60 minutes.
  • Wash the garment.


  • Mixture some liquid soap, vinegar and water together.
  • Wet a sponge in this solution then dap it gently on the stained area.
  • Cleanse the sponge and repeat for 20 minutes.
  • Flush with water.


  • Put cow’s milk in a bowl.
  • Soak only the stained area in the bowl for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse with water then launder it in the washing machine.

Commercial Stain Removers

  • Apply the remover to the stain and let it according to the instructions of the product.
  • Launder according to the instructions.


  • For white clothes, utilize chlorine bleaches. When it comes to coloured ones, make sure that you utilize safe special bleaches for coloured clothes.
  • Use the bleach in the washing machine after checking the product instructions. Instead, soak the stain in the bleach for about 10 minutes then wash it.


  • If it has a percentage of alcohol it will work effectively, especially if it is a high percentage.
  • Never use it on wool or leather.
  • Spray it on the stain.
  • Leave it for 1 minute then make paper towels absorb the ink by blotting.
  • Repeat if necessary.


  • Mix a suitable amount of toothpaste and some lemon juice drops.
  • Put this mixture on the stained area.
  • Leave it for 5 minutes.
  • Wash your garment.

Nail Polish Remover

  • Wet a sponge with the remover. Dap it around then on the ink stain.
  • Wash.

Final Words

There are also some hacks that can hide the stain of your permanent marker. Dying your garment, for example, is a good solution whether the dye is the same colour as the stain or a darker colour.

Using patches, buttons or ribbons is also an excellent solution. Or just make your garment a creative design!

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