Have the budding artists in your family got a bit carried away with the permanent marker? No worry – these tips will help you remove permanent marker from walls and surfaces.
How to remove permanent marker from surfaces
The first step in removing permanent marker stains is identifying the type of material that needs to be cleaned. Porous surfaces, like wood, need a different approach to non-porous surfaces like glass, plastic, and metal so how to get permanent marker off walls is different to how to get it off tables.
Porous materials: How to get permanent marker off wood
Although it is easier to get permanent marker off of wood that has been sealed with a finish, you can still remove stains from untreated wood.
Remember to test your chosen cleaning method on a small area first, and follow all safety precautions.
- Prepare the area before starting your stain removal. Permanent marker is difficult enough to remove on its own so make sure your surface is wiped clean
- Apply your chosen stain remover – white, non-gel, toothpaste mixed with baking soda works well. Apply it to the stain and rub in with a damp cloth
- Keep rubbing until the toothpaste (and stain) is complete removed. Change cloths as needed
- Wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any residue. Then dry
Non-porous materials: How to get permanent marker off plastic surfaces
Although you can use the same method as with wood, you don’t need to be quite as gentle when dealing with permanent marker stains on non-porous materials. Exchange the toothpaste and baking soda mixture for rubbing alcohol, hand sanitiser, or nail polish remover in the previous method or try using a commercial cleaner like Jif.
- Wipe down the surface with a dry cloth to remove dust
- Apply a small amount of Jif to the stain with a soft sponge
- Leave to work for a few minutes
- Rub the stain firmly with a clean cloth – the stain should come away
- Wipe the area with a damp cloth to rinse and then leave to dry
Top tip: hand sanitiser, rubbing alcohol, and nail polish remover may also be suitable for removing permanent marker from walls. Just remember to test on a small area first as it may fade the paintwork or damage wallpaper.