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How to Remove Permanent Marker from Surfaces

Everyone knows the panic of getting ink on something other than paper, but don’t worry! Simply follow our guide on removing permanent marker easily.


Tips on removing permanent marker from surface

If you’ve got a little one who likes drawing in places they shouldn’t, don’t worry – you’re not the only one! From walls to chairs, permanent marker seems to find its way onto any surface when there are children around and sometimes even when they’re not. But, despite its name, these markers don’t have to leave permanent stains. Follow these tips on how to remove permanent marker to take care of any little accidents in your home.

If you’re worried about ruining your home when figuring out how to get permanent marker off walls or furniture, always test our solutions on a small area first or check the manufacturer’s advice.

How to Get Permanent Marker Off Plastic

Plastic, and other non-porous surfaces, such as vinyl or nylon, are actually pretty easy to clean up after a disaster with ink. Here’s how to get permanent marker off plastic:

  • Rubbing alcohol – This’ll break down the chemical in permanent inks quickly. First, test a small area and read the label before using, then apply to a cloth and wipe the mark until it fades.
  • Hand sanitiser – As long as this has alcohol in it then it’ll work. Follow the same instructions for rubbing alcohol.
  • Toothpaste and baking soda – Combine one-part white toothpaste with one-part baking soda before testing it on a small area of your stained surface. If it’s all okay, apply it directly onto the mark and use a cloth to scrub off the stain.

How to Get Permanent Marker off Walls

You can use all of the same methods as you would for plastic when looking at how to get permanent marker off walls. If they don’t work, you can try using nail polish remover – just remember to test it on a small patch of your wall first. If it is ok then apply the nail varnish remover to a clean towel and scrub gently at the mark. Work gently to avoid stripping the paint.

Remove Permanent Marker from Wood

Once again, use the same methods as you would for plastic or walls on wood if it’s finished rather than bare. If it’s bare – or ‘unfinished’ – test the cleaner on a small area first. If you’re worried, you might need to bring in the help of professionals who will know how to get permanent marker off.

Removing Permanent Marker from Leather

If you’re wondering how to remove permanent marker from leather, be careful of moisture. Too much and you might damage the surface of the leather which you definitely don’t want! Follow these tips to remove permanent marker with hairspray instead:

  • Using a can of hairspray, spray some directly onto the mark.
  • Grab a clean towel and begin to rub the area gently, watching the mark slowly lift.
  • Clean off the hairspray after removing permanent marker from the surface and treat the leather with a suitable leather conditioner.

Next time your kids draw on a surface with pen or you happen to accidentally do it yourself, don’t panic! Simply refer back to this guide and read up on how to get permanent marker off. It really isn’t that difficult once you know how and have the right products – just remember to always test them first to ensure their safe for your surfaces.

permanent marker on surfaces
  • Use a dry cloth to get rid of all the dust and dirt before you start removing permanent marker.
  • Apply your chosen substance to get rid of the mark after testing on a small area.
  • Wipe the area clean afterwards with a slightly damp cloth.
  • Originally published