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How to Get Marker Pen Off Wood

Marker pen stains on wood can happen easily when the ink bleeds through the paper your child is drawing on or is accidentally swiped across the surface. Permanent marker on wood presents two problems: The pigment in the marker is meant to adhere to the surface, and the porous wood quickly absorbs the marker stain. Remove the marker pen stain as quickly as possible using supplies that won't harm your wood's finish.

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  1. Spray the ink stain on the wood surface with aerosol hairspray. Use enough hairspray to create a small pool of liquid on the ink.

  2. Blot at the hair spray-covered ink stain with a clean, dry cloth. Press the cloth onto the ink stain to lift ink from the wood. Move to a clean portion of the cloth and continue to blot, lifting as much ink stain as possible.

  3. Squirt a pea-sized amount of white toothpaste onto a clean cloth. Rub the toothpaste into the remaining ink stains on the wood surface, using circular motions. Change to another clean cloth and continue to rub as the ink stain transfers to the cloth.

  4. Pour 2 caps full of saddle soap liquid into a bucket and add 1 gallon warm water. Stir the solution to make a soapy mixture. Wash your wood to remove the hairspray, toothpaste and any remaining marker ink stain. Rinse with plain water, then dry your wood with a clean cloth.

  5. Tip

    Store markers and pens on higher shelves where small children can't help themselves. Use a magic stain erasing sponge to remove ink marks from wood.


    While acetone is recommended to remove marker and ink stains it can also remove your wood's finish.

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Things You'll Need

  • Aerosol hairspray
  • Clean cloths
  • White toothpaste
  • Saddle soap
  • Bucket

About the Author

Mary Ylisela

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.

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