How to Remove Permanent Marker From Glass

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves

  • WD-40

  • Cotton swabs or paper towels


Do not try to remove the stain with abrasive scouring pads or cleaners--this can scratch the glass.

Image Credit: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

Permanent marker ink will generally not wash off with soap and water alone, even if you scrub the stain. This doesn't mean other products will not remove it, however. Unless a glass surface is scratched or etched, most of the ink will be on the top and should not be difficult to remove as long as you use the right chemicals, even if the permanent marker stain has been there a while.


Step 1

Open a window or door for good ventilation. Turn off open flames--the product you are about to use is flammable.

Step 2

Put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands. Spray WD-40 directly on the glass and let it sit for a few minutes. recommends covering the area with plastic wrap for a few minutes, but this may not be necessary to remove marker stain from glass--you may need to do this if this is an old stain, however.

Step 3

Use cotton balls or swabs (for small areas) or dampened paper towels to wipe the stain. Touch the paper towels or swabs only directly on the stain so you don't smear it over the glass--smearing it will mean you'll have to spend more time removing the marker ink completely.


Step 4

Reapply WD-40 if necessary. If the stain is relatively new, it should come off easily. If it is old, you may need to reapply the solvent several times and/or apply it then cover it with plastic for a few minutes. Plastic keeps the WD-40 from evaporating as quickly, giving it more time to break down the ink.

Step 5

Rinse WD-40 residue from the glass with clean, damp cloths or paper towels. If marker ink was on a glass food dish, wash it with warm soapy water after using the WD-40.



Corey M. Mackenzie

Corey M. Mackenzie has been a professional freelance writer for more than two decades. She received a B.A. with honors from Wichita State University. Corey specializes in writing about pets, interior decorating, health care, gardening, fashion, relationships, home improvement and forensic science. Corey's articles have appeared in Garden Guides, Travels and other websites.