How to remove pencil marks from fabric

Pencil marks on fabric are unsightly and diminish the appearance of the fabric. If you find pencil marks on your clothing, upholstery, tablecloth or any other type of fabric, don’t worry. There is no need to throw out the fabric or just deal with a pencil mark. You can remove pencil from fabric with common household products.

Rub a soft art gum eraser over the pencil mark to remove as much as possible. Rub gently so you don’t damage the fabric.

Mix 1/4 cup cool water, 3/4 cup rubbing alcohol and 1 tbsp of bleach-free liquid dish soap in a bowl. Dip a toothbrush into the solution and scrub the pencil mark gently until it is gone.

Rinse the fabric under cool water. If the pencil is on upholstery, rinse with a rag and cool water then blot with a dry rag to remove excess moisture.

Wash the fabric in the washing machine, if possible. For non-washable fabrics, let it air dry after rinsing.

Combine 1 qt. of water and 3 tbsp household ammonia if the pencil marks persist. Blot the solution onto the pencil stain with a rag, and then blot the fabric with a dry rag. Alternate blotting with the ammonia solution then the dry rag until all of the pencil is gone. Rinse the fabric and wash as usual.


Always test the product you are using on an inconspicuous spot before applying it to a more noticeable area. Wear rubber gloves and work in a well-ventilated area when using ammonia.

Things You'll Need

  • Art gum eraser
  • Water
  • 3/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 tbsp bleach-free liquid dish soap
  • Bowl
  • Toothbrush
  • Rags
  • 3 tbsp household ammonia
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About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.