Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

How do I remove black permanent marker from a blue cotton dress?

Michelle from Sydney, Australia


Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing


Hairspray works for ink, maybe it would work for that. Thoroughly spray area, ink disappears before your eyes. You might have to spray wait, spray wait some more. Wash as normal. (10/03/2007)

By lansor

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I some how got clothing permanent marker on my brand new 30 dollar tan pants for work. I was devastated. I went running to the bathroom to try to wash it with soap and water but nothing happened. Then I went and tried, tide, tide to go, bleach, and even Oxi clean. Even tried soaking tide and oxi clean int he wash together to try to remove the marker. It didn't work.

I thought I'd try the internet to see what I could find and came across this. I used finger nail polish remover, hair spray and even peroxide and finally after a few minutes it lightened up and actually started to work. The mark now is still there but no longer very dark. Thank you SO much to everyone who gave their advice. I work in a preschool so I will keep this in mind for next time it happens! (10/12/2007)


By cheekymonkey

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I Just Got Permanent marker on my favorite jeans. When I googled and got this page and the Hairspray advice saved my jeans, they are dark jeans so I'm the only one who can tell.

hairspray on a q-tip fades the mark sufficiently

Thanks (10/18/2007)

By Deborah


After a whole hour of actually shedding tears over my brand new Victoria's secret yoga pants being ruined by an inch long sharpie line stain I have sprayed my RUSK THICK BODY AND TEXTURE AMPLIFIER (hair product) on it and with a help of toothbrush and dove soap managed to slowly but surely get rid of the stain! PS do NOT use clorox bleach for colors as it will only make the stain run and attack other areas. (10/20/2007)

By Milina

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Dawn Power Dissolver is amazing at getting permanent marker off anything. I tried it on carpet, tan pants and a cotton tank top. It doesn't bleach the color. I rinsed it in cold water and had to re-apply a couple times. I love the stuff. (11/17/2007)


By ChaoticMom

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Just got tons of purple sanford sharpie on a neon green columbia! Thank goodness for bar soap and spray and wash. No way was that going to bleach it.
1) Put water and bar soap on it. 2) Let it soak in COLD water for a few minutes (10). 3)Use Spray n Wash--a plenty and scrub. Came out in five minutes. Looks like new! No bleaching! Or chemical that are flammable!

Hot water sets dyes! Flammable chemicals often bleach! (that's why it appears that the marker is fading). (11/20/2007)

By Knudsen

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I put permanent marker(purple) on my p.e. shirt. and I was forced to take it off or else I would have to by a new one. I sprayed hairspray and rubbed it with a bar of soap, scrubbed it with an old toothbrush and it was gone! (12/04/2007)

By Moriah

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Thank you so much! I got sharpie on my dad's Christmas present when the marker leaked through the wrapping paper. I got it out so fast with the hair spray! You guys saved me. It cost 60 bucks, and it was on sale so I could not return it! (12/24/2007)

By David

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I didn't have any cleaning products in the house, but slightly panicked, couldn't resist trying some way of cleaning my brand new jeans (was sketching some designs for skydiving gear on paper on the floor).

I sprayed the stains (red permanent marker) with AFTERSHAVE and almost immediately noticed the stains disappear.
I then tried cleaning it with toothpaste, which seemed to remove the remaining bits. (12/28/2007)


Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I used a combination of acetone and rubbing alcohol scrubbing it with a toothbrush, then I washed it in hot water with just a touch of regular bleach (shirt was pink) All but one barely noticeable spot came out. (01/12/2008)

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Try using Amodex. It's a cleaner recommended by Sharpie. I've used it extensively on various types of fabric, and it works. Most of the time I can get the mark out completely; at the very least it fades the mark significantly. The only place that I know of that sells it is Fahrneys Pens (

By Diane

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

well I agree, they have a reason why they call permanent marker , PERMANENT marker. Well as soon as I got it on my clothes I rubbed cold water on it , hot water only makes the stain WORSE. After I rubbed cold water on it , I have a special soap that is made to take out car paint and is made with a sand-like texture & I rubbed it on my shorts, over time it dried, and BAM its out, not totally but it looks better then it did when it DID have a stain. Not everyone has the same soap that I used, but if you do, then it will work. (02/15/2008)

By Jasmine

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Just had my best white shirt written on in blue permanent marker by some less than funny friends. I'm must soaking it in vodka and cold water, and it seems to be doing the trick. If it's not completely out by the morning I think I'll be purchasing some hair spray and giving that a try. Cheers for the advise! (02/19/2008)

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

My boyfriend and I got in a permanent marker fight and he didn't realize the marker was open, needless to say it was all over one of my favorite white shirts! I was so mad. Immediately we put it in cold water (never put it in hot because that sets the ink) and tried to scrub it out with the soap, didn't work. We then tried the tide stick, didn't work.

When I got home I found this site and the hairspray really worked! I have almost got it completely removed. Just a little more work. I put a paper towel behind the area I sprayed with hairspray then rubbed it with a q-tip. If you don't put the paper towel the ink will just be soaked up by the other side of the shirt! I have done this many times throughout the day. I spray it a lot, scrub it then spray it and let it sit. It gets easier and easier. Glad this worked! (02/24/2008)

By Lynda

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

+1 for hairspray. Thanks! (03/02/2008)

By jason

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

YES the Hairspray worked removing the permanent black marker from my light colored blue jean levi's! Who would've known! Thank you for the site! (03/19/2008)

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

This really did work fairly well.
I was writing on a blank cd and I accidentally dropped the huge permanent marker on my blue, cotton shirt. I tried Spray N Wash, nothing.

Got on here for tips, sprayed it with some Herbal Essences hairspray, scrubbed with a Q-tip and toothbrush and after a little elbow grease. It was hardly even noticeable. I'm sure it will come out in the wash as well. thanks! =) (04/03/2008)

By B.

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I bought a gorgeous canary yellow dress from Anthropologie, and was given a 30% discount for a tiny permanent marker stain at the back. They said I could bring it back if I couldn't get the stain out. I took it home, found this website, tried the hairspray thing, and it worked! You can't see a trace of the marker. 70% cotton 30% polyester.

Thank you to whoever wrote that suggestion! Now I have a dress to wear to my friend's wedding. (04/11/2008)

By Jessica

Permanent Marker on Clothing / Fabric Pillow

My daughter decided to dedicate one of our decorative pillows to Pinkie Pie, one of her "My Little Pony" toys. So she drew a picture on a red pillow using a black Sharpie. It was a cute picture, but not what we wanted on our decorative pillows.

I tried every one of these suggestions, and they worked better on the red dye in the pillow fabric than they did on the marker. Now I have a light orange pillow with a black drawing of a happy face and the word Pinkie Pie. Needless to say, I'm pretty upset, but I guess I have to find a new pillow. It was worth a try, though. (04/21/2008)

By Beatus M

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

4 year old son
blue sharpie permanent marker
micro-fiber sofa

you can guess the trouble i was in ...

for some things theres Shout!

for sofas, hairspray! priceless. (04/25/2008)

By Troy from NC

Permanent marker on suede

My 2 year old decided to use a dark blue permanent marker on our brand new suede couch. Luckily the couch is dark brown, but by using hairspray (John Frieda worked better than my husbands white rain?) and Q-tips I got all of the stains out, you can't even see them! Also, on a whim I tried the hairspray and Q tips on our coffee table and it got those stains out, too! Thanks for the hairspray advice! (05/09/2008)

By Sarah

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Wow. Mine just came off with soap and a toothbrush! (05/19/2008)

By Sharpie?

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Just to add to this. Sensodine toothpaste gets permanent maker of skin wonderfully and Hand Sanitizer gets it off hard surfaces really quite easy. Still trying to get it off my sons bumper pad that my 4 year old drew on. (05/29/2008)

By Vicky

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Thank You, Thank You All! I used hairspray to get a permanent marker stain off a beautiful shirt I just got, it came right out with a Q-tip. Worked great. (06/05/2008)

By April

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Hello, get "hair color stain remover" from Shopers. It works way faster than hair spray! :D (06/06/2008)

By Maryam

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Kenra hairspray worked on my tablecloth. Thanks for the tip! (06/12/2008)

By pbart

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

OK here goes, while I was at work last night, my 2 year old daughter got a hold of a black sharpie. I have a new microfiber couch and love seat. When I got home, I discovered her art work. I used hairspray first then a tooth brush and some crest whitening with baking soda and peroxide. It took a little while but after one hour no more stains.

Ok, first, hair spray and let set.

Second, used my finger and smeared the toothpaste along every line.

Third, used tooth brush in small bowl of warm water, and made circular motions small circles a lot of scrubbing. Went over it a second time with fresh water and rubbed dry with clean towel. (06/17/2008)

By Johnnie b.

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

RE:removing Silver Sharpie Permanent Marker Stains off Cloth

Thanks for the great advise on removing Sharpie Permanent Marker off clothing. I had a Silver Sharpie EXPLODE on my brand new Nike Golf shorts while playing a round. After I got back to my hotel, I goggled removing sharpie off clothing and found this web site. I tried the hair spray(Paul Mitchell Freeze n Shine) spraying directly on spot and worked it in with a bar of soap the hotel had in the bath.

As it started coming off, I rinsed what I could off with cold water. Much of it came out, but It definitely was still there. So, I resprayed the area again and put the now damp resprayed shorts in a plastic bag to take home the next day. I figured the area worked on would probably fade (it was a quarter sized blob of silver sharpie ink). I almost just threw them away, because it didn't look as though it was going to come out completely.

The next day, when I got home, I rubbed the area with Spray n wash and threw them in the wash and I could not believe it, but there was not even a trace left! Thanks for the awesome FREE advise. It Worked!
FYI, the shorts are 92% polyester and 8% spandex and are cranberry color. The area treated didn't fade at all! (06/22/2008)

By winksknits

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Used hairspray on stains before and it works. My son had black permanent marker on his jeans. I had no hairspray so used body spray (I guess maybe the alcohol) q-tips then scrubbed with clorox 2 and toothbrush. Came out pretty good. (07/21/2008)

By Lukesmom

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I accidentally got some black sharpie on my husband's favorite pants, some light grey chinos from J.Crew, right before he had to leave for work. He didn't have time to change, so he left for work. When he got home I generously sprayed some John Frieda: Frizz Ease hair spray directly onto the stain (without rinsing first) and scrubbed the mark completely off with a Q-tip. It worked like a dream! (07/22/2008)

By gjhm2

I need something to work!

I got some kinda black stain on an orange shirt! I tried Spray n' Wash, no luck. I have no idea what the stain is but i just need to get it out! Anyone have ideas? (07/23/2008)

By Em

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Thank you so much! I was naming an really nice brassy/gold coloured top and the permanent marker I was using slipped and dotted the front of the top.

I soaked the shirt for about half an hour in cold water and some washing detergent. Wrung the top out and while it was still slightly wet spayed with hairspray and rubbed with a Q tip.

After about 10 minutes of rubbing the stain was almost completely gone. I sprayed and left some hairspray on it then put it through the wash and it's gone! Again, thank you so much! (03/08/08) (08/03/2008)

By Lyndsey

works like a charm

I bought a new back pack in April, and my mom of course was like ashlynn. I just bought you that your using it next year to, and of course I was bummed. Being the teenager that I am, I got bored and maybe a little creative, and wrecked the back pack. My mom didn't know that you see i drew all over it with black sharpie, but it was ok, because I sprayed hair spray on the back pack and rubbed it with a Q-tip, then washed it. The black sharpie was gone in a snap. Mom never even found out :P good luck xo (08/05/2008)

By Ashlynn :)

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

My son made a fake tattoo and he did it with permanent marker and now it's all over the bed clothes. Would white malt vinegar work to get the stains out?

Email me if you have answers at jonathan_richa143 AT

By jonathan

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I use cheap hair spray to remove permanent marker or ink from a ballpoint pen, spray until soaked and rinse with cold water, repeat until all marker is gone. You can wash in the washer and then do it again if necessary. but don't put into the dryer until all ink is removed. Rubbing alcohol works well also. I learned this trick years ago, after working in a supermarket. The markers and pens would always leak in a pocket. (08/25/2008)

By cheryl

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I just bought my daughter a new outfit she mark on it with a sharpie. Hairspray worked like a charm. (09/01/2008)

By summer shepherd

Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Long story short, I have a white NFL jersey that somehow turned pink, used the RIT stuff that gets rid of pink and it did, but it also turned all the numbering stitching white or very faded to the point where it didn't look good. So, I decided to use a sharpie to to color in the threads, worked like a charm. I wanted to save my $80 jersey. Then I had to wash it and had red marker (now pink) all over the jersey. I knew that would happen though.

The rubbing alcohol trick worked like a charm. I'm amazed by it. I can't believe it worked that well and that easy. Thanks for this thread on it. (09/13/2008)

By Eric


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