A permanent marker exploded and got all over everywhere (please don't ask how). Usually I just use water and soap to get it off, but takes too much work. So I was wondering:

Is there a method to remove permanent marker from all surfaces?

If not, what are some methods to remove it from different surfaces?

  • How did that happen? Significant change of pressure? ;-) Commented Feb 14, 2015 at 0:17

8 Answers 8


Rubbing alcohol is usually a catch-all method to remove permanent marker. Just apply to a clean towel or a cotton ball and then rub it on the stain. Also, there are different methods to remove permanent marker from different surfaces.


  • Baking soda and toothpaste - apply a mixture of baking soda and toothpaste to the stain; then rub it using a clean, damp towel in a circular motion
  • Dry erase marker - see this answer
  • Nail Polish Remover - use this in the same way as rubbing alcohol


  • For white fabrics, use bleach
  • Citrus Juice - use this in the same way as rubbing alcohol; for weaker fabrics, dilute it first


  • Aerosol hairspray - for leather only; just spray on the stain and rub it with a clean cloth
  • Windex - apply to clean cloth and dab at the stain


  • Rubbing alcohol on a clean towel
  • Soap and water

For more info see this WikiHow

  • 2
    "Nail polish remover" == Acetone, while extremely effective against inks, glues, fats, resins... it will also readily damage varnishes/paints (nail what remover? ;) ), plastics including synthetic fabric and coatings. There is probably only one more aggressive solvent in common household use: Nitro thinner. Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 21:41

Get a piece of cloth and alcohol then rub it. If it doesn't want to remove use hydrochloric acid just so little enough because it is dangerous ... best to stick with alcohol and vinegar

  • 2
    From my understanding, HCL would burn or irritate no matter the strength... not really sure this is a good idea.
    – Phlume
    Commented Feb 15, 2015 at 13:04

I have experienced that a reapplication of the marker on certain plastics/vinyl/painted metal will re-liquify it and allow you to rub it off with a cloth, in lieu of rubbing alcohol.


I know for magic marker on whiteboard, you draw directly over it with a whiteboard marker. It comes right up.

It might work on furniture that has a glassy non-absorbent surface.

  • If you draw over it with the same exact permanent marker it will liquefy the previous mark since it is the same chemical, then you can hurriedly clean off. Commented Feb 16, 2015 at 18:50
  • @subjectivist yeah, nah. That doesn't work.
    – Pete
    Commented Dec 18, 2021 at 5:48

Lysol air freshening spray will melt permanent marker and lots of different kinds of paint as well, but may modify the surface underneath if now removed immediately...


Removing permanent marker from skin: HAND SANITIZER.

Most of us do not walk around with rubbing alcohol or soap and water on our person. However, many of us do carry little individual-sized bottles of hand sanitizer (gel). Squeeze some on the effected area and gently but vigorously rub with fingers then wipe with tissue, paper towel ... or whatever is handy. Stubborn marker may need to repeat the process or scrub with fingernails, then wipe with tissue, paper towel, etc.


A solution of distilled white vinegar, dish soap, and water works the best for removing dry-erase marker stains off fabric furniture, especially a microfiber couch. When dish soap is combined with vinegar's acidity, a powerful molecule is produced. Furthermore, the 5% acetic acid content of distilled white vinegar makes it the perfect choice for this mixture.


The first and easiest way to clean any dirty substances is using soap with clean water. This tip works best for water-based ink that is often used in washable markers for children such as those of Crayola.

Simply apply a good amount of soap to the inked surface and add some water. Then, scrub that spot well for a few minutes to remove the ink. Rinse the spot with clean water and repeat several times until the spot is totally clean.

  • 2
    The question is about permanent markers. The ink in this case is not water soluble.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 15:08

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