How to Remove Permanent Marker

You round the corner into the living room and see your child holding a permanent marker, proudly displaying their artwork on the carpet (and themselves). Oh sh**. Is the carpet doomed?. Have no fear, we have a few hacks up our sleeves for how to get rid of the permanent marker stains. 

We know that carpet cleaners usually don’t cut it for permanent marker removal. In this video we tested 5 different machines and they were no match against the marker. We couldn’t leave you hanging so we’ve made another video on how to get rid of those stains. 

How to Remove Permanent Marker:

Disclaimer: All fabric and carpet types react differently to cleaning solutions so exercise caution and do a small patch test first. These methods will work on sharpie, jiffy, whatever permanent marker that has made it onto your carpet.

We tested 3 different products to see how effective they are in removing permanent marker from carpet. Each one contains alcohol which is the main ingredient needed to lift the stain.

  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Hairspray
  • Hand Sanitizer

All 3 options work well but we found isopropyl alcohol works the best for removing permanent marker stains. But if you don’t have that on hand, and have hairspray or sanitizer instead. They can work in a pinch.

Act fast! The sooner you tackle the permanent marker, the better. If it’s a set-in stain, you may be out of luck. 

  1. Spray the stained area or pour some of your choice of cleaner on a cloth. Scrub the stain. Don’t be afraid to apply pressure and really get in the fabric and fibers to see it lifting. Note: Be sure to continuously switch to a clean part of the cloth as you go so the ink isn’t transferring back into the carpet from the cloth.
  2. Once the stain is lifted, wipe with a clean damp cloth to get all the product residue out from the carpet and let dry to see the results. Repeat these steps if the stain is still visible.
  3. If the fabric is removable, throw it in the laundry for a fresh clean after removing the permanent marker stain.

From marked to marvelous! To prevent future creative incidents, stash away or replace those permanent markers with washable ones for those little hands that like to create masterpieces. For more stain help, see our stains and fabric care section on our blog.

For a list of our favorite products, click here

– Denise @GoCleanCo

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