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How to remove permanent marker from different surfaces

Got a little artist at home, or just some accidental grafitti on the table? In either case, we're here to show you how to remove permanent marker with our straightforward guide!


Reading Time: 5 minutes

removing marker stains of white desk with a yellow cloth

Key steps:

To remove permanent marker, here are some products you might already have at home:

  1. Rubbing alcohol and a damp cloth

  2. Toothpaste and baking soda

  3. Domestos Thick Bleach

  4. Glass cleaner

Whether you have little ones who love to be artistic in places they shouldn’t, or you’ve been a bit clumsy with an un-capped pen, it’s easy for the permanent marker to end up on your surfaces – and not so easy to remove it! Luckily, though, there are methods you can follow to get rid of these marks. Follow our guide to how to remove permanent marker and never stress over pen stains again.

Wondering how to remove permanent marker from a whiteboard? Simply rub over it with rubbing alcohol after each use to keep your board stain free. For additional tips on how to make your whiteboard look spotless, check out our article on whiteboard cleaning.

How to remove permanent marker from a wall

If you’re looking for how to get permanent marker off a wall, there are a few methods you can follow. The easiest is with rubbing alcohol, which will get rid of the mark without stripping your paint – though it’s always a good idea to test on a small, hidden spot first. Once you’ve tested the rubbing alcohol, pour it onto a washcloth and wipe over the pen marks. Then, use a sponge and water to wash down the wall, getting rid of any remaining colour.

How to remove permanent marker from plastic

To remove permanent marker from plastic, try out these methods:

  • Draw over the mark with a dry erase marker and immediately wipe it off, removing the pen stain underneath.

  • Use glass cleaner, spraying it directly onto the pen mark before wiping off with a soft cloth.

  • Mix together baking soda and toothpaste, applying it to the stain and rubbing it until the mark is removed.

  • A good cleaning product, such as Domestos Thick Bleach or Handy Andy, can also remove certain permanent markers, so give these a go – just be sure to test bleach on an inconspicuous part of the plastic before using, and always read the safety instructions.

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These methods also work solve queries on how to get permanent marker off a fridge and how to get permanent marker off a whiteboard, so test them out and find the one that works for you!

How to remove permanent marker from wood

Whether on a table or a kitchen surface, permanent marker on wood is easier to get off than you might think. You can apply toothpaste to the area and rub it with a damp rag until it disappears, or use nail polish remover or hairspray, applying directly to the stain before wiping off. With wood, it’s always important to do a spot test first to make sure you don’t ruin the surface and be careful not to scrub the stain or varnish off.

From tips on how to remove permanent marker from a whiteboard to get stains off of wooden surfaces, there are lots of methods you can try. So, even if you have a child who loves to draw on walls or write on tables, you’ll never have to worry about permanent markers again. Just make sure you read our tips on removing pen marks from skin and clothes, too!

Originally published