How to remove permanent marker from painted walls

Written by carolyn luck
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Do not dismay if your child writes on the walls with a permanent marker, as there are several methods you can try to remove the stain without damaging the paint or the drywall itself. Melamine sponges, such as the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, are effective for this type of job. If you don't have one handy, use items you have around the house, including rubbing alcohol or toothpaste. Your walls can be marker free by following just a few simple steps.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Melamine sponge
  • Warm water
  • Alcohol
  • Cotton
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Damp cloth

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  1. 1

    Wet the melamine sponge under warm water, making sure to fully soak it. Ring out excess water, leaving it wet enough to drip if squeezed. Place the sponge on the wall and rub the stain with brisk, circular movements. Severe stains will require some elbow grease. Rinse the sponge with warm water, ringing out any ink that has been transferred from the wall. Repeat this process as necessary until the stain is gone, rinsing the sponge with each repetition.

  2. 2

    Dip a piece of cotton, such as a cotton ball or a Q-tip, in some rubbing alcohol. Rub the cotton back and forth swiftly over the stain until the marker is transferred onto the cotton. You may need several clean cotton balls, depending on the size and severity of the stain. You can use any type of rubbing alcohol for this job.

  3. 3

    Squeeze a full helping of toothpaste onto a toothbrush and gently rub the stain with brisk motions. Rinse the toothbrush under warm water and reapply the toothpaste before repeating the process. Wipe the wall with a damp cloth once the stain has been removed. Choose a white paste, rather than a green gel. Avoid brands that have abrasive micro beads, which can scratch the wall.

Tips and warnings

  • Whether you're using a melamine sponge, rubbing alcohol or toothpaste, test the process first on an inconspicuous section of the wall to ensure that you won't be doing any damage to the surface.

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