How to Remove Set in Permanent Marker

Permanent marker stains can be tricky to remove once they have set in. Although not impossible, a bit more work is required to remove set in permanent marker as opposed to fresh. Whether on clothing, upholstery or a hard surface, set in permanent marker may require several attempts to successfully remove the stain.

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Remove permanent marker at first sight for the greatest success at removal.

Clothing

Step 1

Place the stained area of the clothing face down onto an old towel. Soak the stained area with rubbing alcohol. Allow it to sit on the fabric for a few minutes.

Step 2

Blot the back side of the stain with a cotton ball. Apply pressure while blotting to push the stain from the clothing onto the towel. Switch to a clean cotton ball as one becomes soiled with the marker.

Step 3

Continue blotting until the marker no longer transfers to the cotton ball. Apply more alcohol as needed.

Step 4

Spray the clothing with a laundry pretreatment spray. Launder the clothing as usual. Inspect the clothing prior to drying for any sign of the marker stain.

Step 5

Repeat the process, if necessary, until there is no trace of the permanent marker stain.

Hard Surfaces

Step 1

Wipe down the surface with a rag and hot, soapy water. This may be all that is necessary to remove the marker from a hard surface.

Step 2

Use a pink eraser to remove the marker from a hard surface. Rub the eraser lightly over the marker until it disappears. Use the eraser gently and with caution: it may damage some surfaces or finishes.

Step 3

Moisten a rag with non-acetone nail polish remover if the marker stain remains on the surface. Wipe the surface with the rag, applying gentle pressure and using a circular motion. Switch to clean portions of the rag as the marker begins to lift from the surface.

Step 4

Wipe down the surface again with a rag and soapy water. Follow up with a dry rag.

Carpet and Upholstery

Step 1

Moisten a rag with rubbing alcohol. Blot the rubbing alcohol onto the marker stain.

Step 2

Allow the alcohol to sit on the stain for several minutes. Blot the stain forcefully with the towel, switching to clean parts of the towel as it becomes soiled.

Step 3

Continue blotting until no more ink transfers onto the towel. Clean the area with soapy water or carpet and upholstery cleaner. Rinse the area with plain water.