How to remove highlighter marks from clothing

Updated February 21, 2017

Highlighters felt-tip pens leave bright marks on paper to draw out certain lines of text and make them more obvious. With so many different colour varieties including pink, yellow, blue, green, and purple, it's not surprising that some use it for artwork as well. Highlighters leave barely noticeable marks on skin but are more than apparent on both paper and clothing. Removing highlighter marks from clothing is a simple task if you use the right methods.

Place a clean towel under the garment and blot the stained area with a clean cloth dipped in isopropyl alcohol. The stain should transfer to the towel. Once the stain is gone from the garment, machine wash it immediately.

Soak the stained area in a bowl of milk for 30 minutes before washing as usual.

Soak the garment in salt water before placing it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Use a damp sponge to scrub the stain out before putting it in the washing machine.

Dip cotton wool balls in nail polish remover and blot the stain with it. Continue to blot using fresh cotton wool balls until the stain is gone. Wash the garment as usual.

Lay the garment on a clean towel and spray the stain with hairspray. Wipe the stain gently with a soft clean cloth to push it on to the towel. Once the stain is gone, machine wash the garment.


Pre-treat the stain before washing or it will become set in and be more difficult to remove.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean towel
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Soft clean cloth
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Cotton wool balls
  • Nail polish remover
  • Hairspray
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