How to Remove Permanent Marker from Anything!

The name — permanent marker — tells us that “hey, this stuff will stay on things forrr-eh-ver“, but that’s not always true. I mean, the stuff is hard to get off surfaces and if you’ve got children, clumsy hands, or just experimental chances are you’ve wrestled with the question “how do I get this stuff off?” I have taken to hiding all the permanent markers because I don’t want to deal with the artistic scribbles of my children all over my things. While some things may, sadly, not be salvageable — many surfaces have a chance of becoming marker-free again.

Chance are you’ll have at least a few of these products around the house if you’re in a “get this permanent marker off” crisis. If you try one and it doesn’t remove the stain, try another.

1. Hairspray

Great for fabric and clothes. Get the stain a little wet with water and using a paper towel that’s been sprayed with hairspray, blot the marker and you’ll see it disappear.

2. Nail polish remover

Check that it’s safe for the surface you’re trying to clean.

3. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Don’t use on people.

4. Milk

Soak the stain in milk and let it sit until the milk changes color (to the color of the marker). Repeat until the stain is gone.

5. Rubbing alcohol

Use a paper towel and dab at the marker until all the color transfers to the paper towel.

6. Baking soda toothpaste

Sounds weird I know, but it works. Gently scrub the stain with toothpaste and you’ll see the stain lift.

7. Goof Off

The product’s whole purpose.

Have you ever had to remove permanent marker from your stuff?

Photo credit: adapted from krunkwerke | Flickr

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