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How to Remove Whiteboard Marker From Clothes

Updated March 23, 2017

Whiteboards, or dry-erase boards, revolutionised classrooms, but they have their own set of troubles. Dry-erase markers are specially formulated for use on a whiteboard, which uses a porcelain coating over a metal core. The problem arises when dry-erase markers end up on clothing. The ink can appear impossible to remove, and once the stain is set in, it becomes even more problematic. Try to remove the stain as quickly as you can after you discover it, and before washing and drying, if possible.

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  1. Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a corner of a clean towel or washcloth. Do not apply the rubbing alcohol from the bottle directly to the stain itself as this will cause the stain to spread. Rubbing alcohol works as a dry solvent to remove the ink. Do not wet the garment first, as this will also cause the stain to spread.

  2. Blot the rubbing alcohol onto the stain. Work from the outside in to keep the stain from spreading. Continue to reapply alcohol, using a blotting motion, until the stain fades. Depending on the size of the stain, this step may take a while. Be patient, because rushing this stage may cause you to not be able to remove the stain at all.

  3. Apply a small amount of dish soap to the site of the stain and use a damp corner of the towel or washcloth to work the dish soap into the fabric. Scrub gently until any of the remaining stain has disappeared. The dish soap will help to remove not only any remaining dry-eraser ink, but also the rubbing alcohol.

  4. Launder the garment as usual. Allow the clothing to air-dry, if possible, so you can verify that the entire stain has been removed. If any of the stain remains, avoid using a clothes dryer because that could cause the stain to set permanently.

  5. Tip

    If you do not have rubbing alcohol on hand, you can use hairspray as a substitute.


    Use rubbing alcohol and other cleaning formulas in a well-ventilated area. Keep rubbing alcohol out of the reach of pets and children.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Clean towel or washcloth
  • Dish soap

About the Author

Cricket Webber

Cricket Webber began writing for fun as a young adult and started writing professionally in 2010. She is based in the deep South. Webber specializes in articles on greener living. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in education from Converse College.

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