How to Remove Permanent Marker Quickly

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How to Remove Permanent Marker Quickly
Several household items can remove permanent marker stains in a jiffy. (blue marker image by Maciej Mamro from

Permanent marker ink is designed to be just that -- permanent. However, there are times when you want to remove the ink from certain surfaces. For example, small children sometimes draw on walls, woodwork, furniture and other items with permanent marker before you can stop them. In these cases, there are several home remedies for removing the permanent marker ink that will preserve the finish of the surface underneath. Fortunately, the remedies work quickly.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Isopropyl rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Toothpaste
  • Soft cloth
  • WD-40 lubricant
  • Pencil eraser
  • Glass cooktop cleaner

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  1. 1

    Pour rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and gently wipe the permanent marker stain. This works well on smooth surfaces such as glass or enamel paint. Test in an inconspicuous area first to make sure the alcohol will not harm the finish.

  2. 2

    Squeeze a dab of toothpaste onto a soft, damp cloth and gently but firmly scrub the permanent marker mark. When the markings are gone, wipe with a clean, damp cloth to remove traces of toothpaste.

  3. 3

    Spray the permanent marker with WD-40 lubricant and wipe with a clean, dry cloth. Remove all traces of WD-40 after the marker has been removed. This may harm some surfaces so test in an unnoticeable area first.

  4. 4

    Rub the permanent marker with an ordinary rubber pencil eraser. This works especially well on smooth surfaces and will remove permanent marker from whiteboards.

  5. 5

    Coat the permanent marker in whiteboard marker. Wipe off the whiteboard marker and the permanent marker will come off with it.

  6. 6

    Squeeze a small amount of glass hob cleaner onto a clean, damp cloth. Rub the permanent marker gently in small circles until the markings are removed. Wipe the surface with a clean, damp cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • Any one of these remedies should work by itself. If it does not, use another one until the stains are removed.
  • A Mr. Clean brand Magic Eraser will also remove permanent marker stains.
  • Do not use any of these remedies to remove permanent marker from skin, especially if the markings are on children's skin. The chemicals might harm their skin. Let the marker wear off naturally.

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