How to Get Permanent Marker Out of Clothes

Permanent markers are used very often at home and in offices, but once in a while, as we use them, they slip and stain our clothes.  These stains, most times, are often very noticeable; luckily, there is a solution on how to get rid of these permanent marker stains. 

10 Ways to Get Permanent Marker Stains Out of Clothes

The best way to do this is by using alcohol solutions; other methods include hand sanitizers, hairspray, and other household products like toothpaste and nail polish remover. 

In this article, you will learn ten easy ways to remove marker stains without the help of a professional. 

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing Alcohol

This is one of the most effective and accessible methods of removing permanent marker stains from clothes. The process is simple, rub alcohol — clear alcohol in particular — to the affected area, then wash the cloth with a good detergent. 

The process of rubbing alcohol on the affected area helps break up alcohol and the polymer that binds the marker ink to your cloth. After this, a thorough wash is enough to carry away any lingering stain, whether by hand or machine. 

Baking Soda

Baking Soda

Baking soda is also an effective method of removing marker stain because it is made up of alkaline, capable of breaking down oil in the oil-based stain. This method is most effective when the ink stain is still fresh. 

One of the primary benefits of using baking soda as an ingredient for removing permanent marker stains is that it is non-toxic and has a strong odor.

The first thing to do is to cover the unstained parts of the cloth; you can do this by putting a paper towel or cardboard behind the stain, then mixing one tablespoon of water with two tablespoons of baking in a disposable cup. For more efficiency, replace lemon juice instead of water — the acid in lemon juice makes the mixture more efficient. 

With the mixture, thoroughly rub the affected area with a paper towel or cotton ball and let it sink in for about thirty minutes. 

Rinse the mixture with enough water, preferably running water. At this point, you will no longer see the stain. Finally, wash the cloth normally. 

Use Vinegar

Vinegar has just the right acidity. This makes it a perfect cleaning agent for almost all stains. Permanent marker stain inclusively. However, it is not as strong as other options on the list, like hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol. This is not a problem because it is as effective as the others if you let the vinegar stay on the cloth longer. 

You have to place the stained cloth on a paper towel or protective cardboard under the stained area to help absorb drops. Soak a sponge or a paper towel in vinegar, then dab it gently on the stained area, moving the sponge around the affected area. 

Once that is done, allow the vinegar to sink in for about 30 minutes, then repeat the process, but this time dab the stain from the edge to the middle of the affected area; while doing this, you will see the stain going away. Continue until there is no more marker stain. Rinse with running water and wash the cloth with a washer. 

Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer

Almost all hand sanitizer is made with alcohol; a good hand sanitizer is a perfect substitute for rubbing alcohol. Hand sanitizer can also remove marker stains from other surfaces, like metal, wood, and rubber. The good thing about this method is that you can find hand sanitizer handy during emergencies anywhere, including in public. 

Avoid glittery and colorful hand sanitizers in public so you don’t leave the cloth with a stain. Make sure you only use clear, plain, high alcohol content sanitizers. 



Although not all, many hairsprays have high alcohol content; you need to check properly before picking a hairspray to use. Ensure that you check the container to ensure it has just enough alcohol content before you try out this method. If it has a good amount, then give it a try. 

This method works on almost all cloth materials, including fabrics such as polyester. Sometimes marker stains may be difficult to remove on synthetic fabric like polyester, so this method should come first if dealing with such materials. 

Nail Polish Remover

Nail Polish Remover

Most nail polish remover is made from solid solvents. Although designed to remove nail polish, it can also remove other strong stains. Ensure you apply it with care because it can affect your fabric. Before applying, dab a single drop on the inside seam of the cloth to ensure that the polish will not affect the cloth before you can fully apply it to the stained area. 

Without Alcohol 

If you don’t want alcohol or any solid chemical formula to remove permanent marker stains, WD40 might just be a perfect alternative. The only downside of this method is that WD40 might create a new oily stain on the cloth, so you have to be extra careful. 



Toothpaste helps with marker stain; this doesn’t mean you should use any random toothpaste and expect results. Only a few paste types work effectively, especially non-gel types of toothpaste. You can add a spoonful of baking soda for better results. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

This works just like bleach; they make stains invisible rather than remove them. It works perfectly for permanent marker stains. Hydrogen Peroxide has the proper chemical ability needed to break down molecular bonds between the stain and your cloth, making the stain clear. 

Applying this method is just as you would for bleach, although Hydrogen Peroxide has more potent chemicals. 

Oxygenated Bleach

Oxygenated Bleach also works; you can remove tough stains using this bleach. 

This bleach comprises a significant hydrogen peroxide component and works the same way. To use this ingredient, strictly follow all the instructions on your bleach bottle. You will most likely have to pour the solution into the water and mix it properly. Soak the cloth for about thirty minutes before washing it by hand or with a washer. 

If you have a completely white garment, you may want to try using chlorine bleach. Remember that this super-strong product can damage some fabric types, so read the care label inside your clothing before trying this!

If you are dealing with a white cloth, consider using chlorine bleach. Always have it at the back of your mind that this is a super-strong product and would likely cause damage to the cloth, so read the cloths care label before trying this method. 

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