How to Remove Permanent Marker (from Anything!)

Stop stressing over wall scribbles and unexpected streaks. This permanent marker removal guide will save your woodwork, clothing, and more.

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Brick

For permanent marker on brick, make a 50-50 solution of baking soda and water. Work into permanent marker stain with a soft-bristle brush. Let sit for five minutes. Rinse the brick surface. If stain remains, apply hydrogen peroxide, bleach diluted with water (follow the directions on the bottle), or a multipurpose waterless mechanic's hand cleaner (follow the manufacturer's instructions). Let sit for a few minutes. Rinse with clear water.

Canvas

For permanent marker on canvas upholstery, blot the stain with rubbing alcohol until removed. (Test on an inconspicuous part of the upholstery first to make sure colors do not run.) Sponge with clear, cold water. Blot dry. Note: Follow any instructions on the upholstery's label as well.

To remove a permanent marker stain from canvas, rinse item under steady stream of cold water until water runs clear. Blot stain with rubbing alcohol (test on an inconspicuous spot first), rinse, and air-dry. Wash according to the garment's label. Air-dry, and repeat if necessary. Check to make sure the stain is gone before drying according to the directions on the garment's label.

Carpet

To remove permanent market from natural-fiber carpet, treat with a consumer dry-cleaning solvent, according to the manufacturer's instructions, then blot dry. Dab with warm sudsy water, then blot dry. Dab with plain water, then blot dry. Repeat if necessary.

To remove permanent market from synthetic carpet, dab with cloth dipped in a solvent, such as a consumer dry-cleaning fluid (follow the manufacturer's directions) or acetone-free nail polish remover. Wait 15 minutes. Dab with warm sudsy water. Wait 15 minutes. Blot dry. Blot with a warm wet cloth. Blot dry.

Ceramic Tile

To remove permanent marker from ceramic tile, wipe the stain with warm sudsy water. Then dab with rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab. Wipe with warm sudsy water again. Rinse and dry. If stain remains, carefully draw over the mark with a dry-erase marker, then rub it with a clean, dry cloth. If stain remains, dab on toothpaste and baking soda. Let dry. Wipe with water, then wipe dry.

Chenille

To remove permanent marker from chenille upholstery, blot the stain with rubbing alcohol until it is removed. (Test on an inconspicuous part of the upholstery first to make sure colors do not run.) Sponge with cold water. Blot dry. To remove a permanent marker stain from washable chenille, rinse the stain under a steady stream of cold water until the water runs clear. Blot stain with rubbing alcohol, rinse, and wash according to the garment label's directions. Check to see if the stain remains before drying as directed.

Concrete

To remove permanent marker from concrete, make a 50-50 solution of baking soda and water. Work into permanent marker stain with a soft-bristle brush. Let sit for five minutes. Rinse the concrete surface with clear water. If stain remains, try hydrogen peroxide, bleach diluted with water (mix according to the bottle's directions), or a multipurpose waterless mechanic's hand cleaner. Let sit for a few minutes. Rinse with clear water.

Corduroy

Blot the permanent marker stain with rubbing alcohol until it is removed from the corduroy upholstery. (Test on an inconspicuous part of the upholstery first to make sure colors do not run.) Sponge with cold water. Blot dry. To remove a permanent marker stain from washable corduroy, rinse the stain under a steady stream of cold water until the water runs clear. Blot stain with rubbing alcohol (test on an inconspicuous spot first), rinse, and wash according to the garment label's directions. Check to see if the stain remains before drying as directed.

Cork

Buff the permanent marker stain out of the cork surface with a microfiber cloth. If this doesn't work, carefully draw over the marker with a dry-erase marker. Wait a few seconds. Wipe clean. Repeat as necessary. If stain remains, apply a little rubbing alcohol with a cotton swab, being careful to apply it to the stain only. Wipe with a damp cloth, then wipe dry.

Cotton

For permanent marker on cotton upholstery, blot the stain with rubbing alcohol until removed. (Test on an inconspicuous part of the upholstery first to make sure colors do not run.) Sponge with clear cold water. Blot dry. To treat permanent maker on cotton, place stain facedown on paper towels. Sponge rubbing alcohol on and around the back of the stain. Change out paper towels as they absorb the stain. Rinse with clear cold water.

Laminate Floor

Place a drop of rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth and apply to stain. Be careful to apply to the permanent marker stain only. Wipe the floor with a barely damp cloth, then immediately wipe dry.

Linen

For permanent marker on linen upholstery, blot the stain with rubbing alcohol until removed. (Test on an inconspicuous part of the upholstery first to make sure colors do not run.) Sponge with clear cold water. Blot dry. To remove a permanent marker stain from washable linen, rinse item under steady stream of cold water until water runs clear. Blot stain with rubbing alcohol (test on an inconspicuous spot first), rinse, and air-dry. Wash according to the garment's label. Air-dry, and repeat if necessary. Check to make sure the stain is gone before drying according to the directions on the garment's label.

Linoleum and Natural Resilient Floorings

To remove a permanent marker stain, dab the spot with rubbing alcohol (test on an inconspicuous spot first). Rinse; let dry.

Painted walls

Start by treating the permanent marker stain with warm sudsy water and multipurpose household cleaner, according to the manufacturer's instructions. If they don't do the trick, dab the stain with a cotton ball that is damp with rubbing alcohol. Blot with water, then blot dry.

Silk

To remove permanent marker from silk, dab carefully with a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol. (Test on an inconspicuous spot first.) Dry immediately with a hair dryer set to low. Repeat as stain lifts. Blot with water, then blot dry.

Stainless Steel

Carefully draw over the mark with a dry-erase marker. Wipe with a soft, clean cloth. If stain remains, dab the stain with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Wipe dry.

Suede

This is a tricky stain and is best left to a professional cleaner.

Velvet

Blot the permanent marker stain with rubbing alcohol until it is removed from the upholstery. (Test on an inconspicuous part of the upholstery first to make sure colors do not run.) Sponge with cold water. Blot dry.

To remove a permanent marker stain from washable velvet, rinse the stain under a steady stream of cold water until the water runs clean. Blot stain with rubbing alcohol (test on an inconspicuous spot first), rinse, and wash according to the garment label's directions. Check to see if the stain remains before drying as directed.

Vinyl

To remove a permanent marker stain, dab the spot with rubbing alcohol (test on an inconspicuous spot first). Rinse; let dry.

Wool

Mix a solution of 1 teaspoon neutral detergent and 1 teaspoon white vinegar in a quart of warm water. Blot stain on the wool surface with clear water. Repeat as long as stain lifts. Blot dry. If stain remains, blot with rubbing alcohol or a consumer dry-cleaning solvent. Blot with clear water, then blot dry.

Features to Look For in a New Washing Machine

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