Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing

This marker is meant to be permanent, but sometimes you need to remove it. This guide is about removing permanent marker from clothing.

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Tip: Use Hair Spray To Remove Permanent Marker

By Christina 1

As soon as possible, spray the mark liberally with hair-spray. Allow to sit for one minute then rinse in clear warm water. If some stain remains, repeat, until all stain is removed and then launder as usual. A friend of mine suggested this to me and it works great!

By Sparkles from Central, OH


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Question: Removing Sharpie Laundry Marker

By nanc 1

How can I remove Sharpie Laundry Marker from a gray sweatshirt?


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Most Recent Answer

By guest (Guest Post) Flag

February 22, 2008

It's possible and inexpensive. all you have to do is clean it with paris hilton perfume. The stuff smells like sweat but it really cleans it and afterwards it smell like a new louis vuitton purse.

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Question: Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing

My blue permanent maker fell out of my hand in art class and it got on my 100% polyester top. I washed and dried it. Any ideas on how to get it out?

By Amari from Rochester

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Most Recent Answer

By greenergrass 27 Flag

April 30, 2012

Oxyclean does wonders for me.

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Question: Permanent Marker on Polyurethane Jacket

By tina 1

I have a jacket with a 100% polyurethane shell. The lining is 65% polyester, 35% cotton. The shell has black permanent marker on it. Someone signed my chest when I went to a concert and it rubbed off onto my jacket. Please help.

By Tina from NSW

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Most Recent Answer

By Bilbo 1 7 Flag

December 9, 2010

We got permanent marker out of our carpet with baby wipes

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Question: Sharpie on a Green Hollister Shirt

My favorite green hollister shirt got tealish blue sharpie on it somehow. I was wondering if you knew how to get it off with out damaging the color of the shirt?

Thank you!

Aimee from Marysville, WA

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

Most Recent Answer

By guest (Guest Post) Flag

June 21, 2008

Try soaking the spot with hairspray and color safe bleach and then washing it. It might work sorry if it doesn't. Hairspray gets sharpie off walls so maybe it will. -halie

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Question: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

By Mary Jo 1

Is there any way I can get permanent marker out of a top?

By mjor adams

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Most Recent Answer

By connie leigh 2 6 Flag

July 27, 2011

Try spraying with a cheep hair spray and blotting with a paper towel. Worth a try you can use the rest of the cheep hair spray to kill wasps and bees just spay it on them and it kills them.

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Question: Removing Permanent Marker from Colored Clothes

How do you get Sharpie or permanent marker off colored clothes?

By Mary-Margaret

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Most Recent Answer

By RobinB 2 Flag

May 24, 2011

I got black marker ink out of a cotton/polyester comforter by coating the ink with Stain Stick first and then adding a coat of Spray 'n Wash. I washed it in a load by itself with my usual detergent. Good luck!

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Question: Blue Sharpie on a 100% Blue Linen Shirt

How do I remove blue Sharpie from 100% blue linen shirt?

By Mike

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Most Recent Answer

By Michele Herbon 14 2 Flag

May 7, 2011

Try using a Mr. Clean Magic eraser to dab at it. I've always found that OxyMagic (found at most stores) works wonders.

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Question: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

By Maché 1

How do you remove permanent marker from clothing?

By Maché from South Africa

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Most Recent Answer

By Robyn Fed 394 1,240 Flag

June 17, 2011

Here are different strategies to try:

Nail Polish Remover


Rubbing Alcohol

Gel based commercial stain removers

Stain Sticks

Baking Soda Toothpaste Paste not gel

Wash garment using cold water no laundry detergent and a cup of salt.

W D 40


Soak in lemon juice for an hour and then launder

Hope at least one of these helps!


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Question: Marker Stain on Nylon Jacket

By LeAnne 1

I accidentally washed and dried my nylon Columbia jacket with a permanent marker in the pocket. How do I get the blotches off my jacket?

By LeAnne from DeForest, WI

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Most Recent Answer

By lesley 2 159 Flag

February 13, 2011

To remove Marker Ink.

You will need:

Nail Polish Remover

Cotton Balls

Dishwasher Detergent

Soak a cotton ball with the remover.

Gently press it on the affected area, turning the ball & pressing it until the cotton ball is somewhat saturated with the marker ink. With a new cotton ball, repeat the processtwo more times, or until very little ink is left.

The apply a few drops of dishwash detergent (I find Dove works the best) to the area, rub in gently, & launder as you would normally do.

I believe you will find this will remove the marker ink. If it is a more stubborn ink mark, just repeat the process until you are satisfied.

Good Luck, Hedera :0)

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Question: Removing Sharpie From Clothing

By sab7715 1

I have 5 one inch letters on a 100% cotton blue shirt made with a Sharpie. I have already washed it and the Sharpie letters are still there. It was done with a black Sharpie. How do I take the letters out?

By sab7715 from Rock Hill, SC

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

Most Recent Answer

By Cheryl 12 Flag

December 30, 2009

Try lots of alcohol or hairspray. It may come out a bit at a time so several tries may be needed. Another product would be GoJo or waterless hand cleaner.

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Question: Removing Permanent Marker from Dry Clean Only Clothing

By Lauren 1

I got dark blue sharpie on my slate gray coat. The part of the coat that got the stain is cotton, and the inside of my coat is polyester and the coat itself is dry clean only. How do I get the stain out with out putting it in the washer?

By Lauren from Omaha, NE

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

Most Recent Answer

By Barbara Pope 12 98 Flag

December 6, 2009

Try a little alcohol. Alcohol breaks up inks. If you don't have that handy, try hairspray, as it has alcohol in it. Try it in a nonconspicuous place first just to make sure it would affect the color.

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Question: Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing

I got permanent marker on a sweatshirt that is 50% polyester and 50% cotton. I tried hairspray, but it didn't work. Any other suggestions?

By b.f

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Question: Removing Permanent Marker on Clothing

I first used rubbing alcohol then I rinsed the warm water, nothing. Should I still try hairspray and rinse with warm water?

By Mary M

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Question: Removing Set In Ink

How do I remove ink from clothes that have already been washed and dried?


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Question: Removing Marker Stains on Clothes and Shoes

By Becky C. 1

How do you get markers off of clothes and shoes?

By Becky C.

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Question: Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing

By john123456789 1

My favorite jacket has been drawn on with permanent marker and the stain has been there for months. Is there any way to remove dried permanent marker?

By John

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Question: Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing

By Carol D. 1

I am sorry to kick-start the thread again, but could do with some advice. I have a fully signed England shirt (in black permanent marker), which is great. Unfortunately at the top, it's signed "to all at XXX'', XXX being my work place. But I've been given it as a gift from management. Is there a way of removing the "to all at, etc." without removing any of the rest (signatures)? Thanks.

By Caroline

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Question: Removing Sharpie from Athletic Shoes

So last year I let a bunch of friends write on my pair of Vans with a Sharpie and stuff on them and around on the rubbery part. I wanna know what is the best way to take it off, or at least make it less noticeable?

By Allison E.

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Question: Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing

What kind of hairspray do I use? Does it have to be aerosol hair spray?

By Jo Ann

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Question: Removing a Marker Stain on Clothing

How do I remove a marker stain from my 97% cotton and 3% spandex skirt?

By Jackie C.

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Question: Getting Permanent Marker Out of Clothes

I bought some permanent markers at the 99 Cents store and they leaked on my best pair of shorts and the red ink is near the crotch. All of it came out, but it left a little red spot so please help! The shorts are dark green.

By Gianna C.

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Question: Removing Permanent Marker from Dried Clothing

How do I get black permanent marker stains out of an orange 100% cotton t-shirt that has already been washed and then dried in the dryer?

By Marilyn M.

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Question: Clothes Washed and Dried with Permanent Marker

By sally schwartz 1

I've read all the great suggestions for removing permanent marker from clothing. But what if they have already been washed and dried before realizing the marker was in the wash? Nothing has worked and I'm afraid the stains have been heat set.

By Sally from St Louis, MO

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

Archive: Permanent Marker Stain From Clothing

How do you get a sharpie permanent marker stain out of a 100% cotton polo shirt? Can anyone help?




Try taking hair spray and spraying it on a rag and rubbing it on the stain. repeat til the marks come off. Rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover might work but they could mess up the color so you might want to spot check it. Hope this helps you. (06/12/2004)

By raspberry383


I took permenant blue ink out our jeans with hairspray and a q-tip. Spray the HS directly on the ink and rub with the q-tip. Then, wash in the laundry. (04/23/2005)

By Christine

Hairspray Worked

This is for rasberry383(3): You are so awesome for sharing this helpful and extremely useful information. I used your tactic with the rag and the hairspray on my light brown throw pillows (which can't go in the wash) to take out a Sharpie decoration from my newly 2 year old son. He also drew all over his pants, ankle area, shirt, and face. However, he's napping now, so I'll try the hairspray on those later (except for his face and ankles, of course)!
Thanks so much! You're the best! (11/17/2005)

By Gena


Good ole ajax, warm water, and a towel brought it right out! (12/08/2005)

By rcgrant16 at

Magic Eraser, Rubbing Alcohol and Mineral Spirits

I used three main products to remove permanent marker from my military equipment (names of the people who used it before me)

For Plastic, Metal, Wood, Ceramics: Use "Mr Clean's Magic Eraser" (this works on even the oldest marker stains some older than 50 years)

For Clothes, Canvas, Clothing Tags: Use rubbing alcohol, and if it doesn't work use "Mineral Spirits". Miniral spirits is another alcohol, but poisonous, you can find it in the paint section of any hardware store, Don't confuse with paint thinner! Mineral Spirits will remove anything without damaging cloth as long as it isn't left on it for too long (01/15/2006)

By Pvt. Van Zyl


My daughter's American Girl doll got Sharpie on its arm. Instead of replacing the arm (for $25), we smeared Oxy-10 on it and left it for two weeks. The stain is completely gone! I found this idea on another web site--thought I'd share it. Don't know why it worked. (01/17/2006)

By sezsmith

Hairspray Worked for Me

I tried some of the suggestions, and was able to get black permanant marker off my daughters new pale pink Ralph Lauren down jacket by spraying the areas with hair spray and letting it saturate, then applying Dawn dish soap to a baby toothbrush and scrubbing the area. It finally came off with the combination of both. Good luck! (01/23/2006)

By palomajing

Clorox OxyMagic

I just got a tan cloth couch two days ago. I have a toddler who is learning to use washable markers. He woke up early this AM. Before I knew it he had black marker on the arm of the couch. My husband thought it was ruined. He went to work. I used Clorox OxyMagic and rubbed the stain . In seconds the stain was GONE. And my husband will think it took all day to get the stain out. (02/09/2006)

By Linda

Hairspray Not Working For Me

I have tried the hairspray method on a pair of blue jeans and it seems as though it is removing the jean color, so now it is faded in this one spot and the black permanent marker is still somewhat there? Any suggestions on fading the marker and not fading the pants anymore? (02/16/2006)

By tejay

Hairspray, Alcohol and Spray 'n Wash

I used the hairspray and most of the permenent marker stain came out. Then I put on alchohol and washed it with cold water, then i put spray 'n' wash on it and washed it (in a machine) and it came out great! These were my favorite pair of jeans and I was SO happy! (02/23/2006)

By Laura

Rubbing Alcohol

Thank you so much for the comments everyone left for me on the web regarding removing marker stains from clothes. Without the web and the comments I would have been very sad and out about $125. My son left a purple marker in his pants and it went throught the wash, along with my new designer favorite top. I used the rubbing alcohol first, rinsed and washed with regular soap and It's completely gone! I am so happy! Yipee!! (02/27/2006)

By Cyndi


Thanks to all of you and Google I was able to remove a black permanent marker stain from my designer wool jacket. I sprayed hairspray in an inconspicuous spot and brushed with an old toothbrush. Once dried you couldn't see where it was. So I held my breath, sprayed some Aquanet on the marker stain, rolled a q-tip on it to remove the ink, and brushed with old toothbrush to restore the nap. Good as new! Thanks a million! (03/20/2006)

By D-bee


I got purple permanent marker on my hoodie and I sprayed hair spray on it and let it soak and then I put dish soap on it and rubbed it with a toothbrush. Then I washed it in the washer and it was gone!! (05/02/2006)

By Anna

My Experience

My daughter let all her friends sign her new scooby doo shirt. Most kids used washable markers that came off in the wash except the one who used black permanent marker. I tried bleech since the shirt was white didn't work, the HAIRSPRAY which worked a little but when I used the goof off (goo off) with a toothbrush there was only dots of marker left behind. I'm sure the rest will wash out in time. I had gotten an autograph from a singer I met and in time it washed out. I also tried my famous "Nail polish remover" that does work but only on hard surfaces. But, must be used lightly not to discolor paint or rub off stains. (05/09/2006)

By Mary


Thank you guys so much, my friend drew all over me with sharpy and thanks to you it came off. (06/08/2006)

By Kako

Archive: Permanent Marker Stain From Clothing

How do I get permanent marker off clothing?

Cmuu from ID


RE: Permanent Marker Stain From Clothing

Read label first, do not use if the fabric is acetate (it will melt). Use acetone fingernail polish remover. First try it on the inside somewhere where you can't see it to make sure the fabric won't fade. Put an absorbent paper towel underneath and blot and dab the spot with a Q-tip with fingernail polish remover. The cheaper the nail polish remover the better (Don't use the kind for false nails, as it's not acetone.) (08/05/2006)

By Cyinda

RE: Permanent Marker Stain From Clothing

My son atacked his new NIKE shirt with a sharpie! I thought it was a goner, so sad, it was a 2 piece outfit! I googled remove sharpie from clothing and this site came up! I did this:

I squirted the material with rubbing alcohol, saturating it. Then with an old toothbrush, I scrubbed my heart away. I didnt test it, it was ruined anyways. Then squirted it with hairspray. Then scrubbed with Dove soap and now soaking it in water. Its gone! Amazing! thanks! (08/11/2006)

By Sarah from Tennessee

RE: Permanent Marker Stain From Clothing

I've read the Mister Clean stain pen works wonders, even on Leather! (08/26/2006)

By Cyinda

RE: Permanent Marker Stain From Clothing

I took a few ideas and incorporated them into my own. I got a streak of permanent marker on my favorite pair of blue jeans. I took hairspray, peroxide, moose, and sunscreen and sprayed them on the marks. I then took a toothbrush and scrubbed the stains away. I hope it works for you. (09/03/2006)

By Chris

Archive: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

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

Michelle from Sydney, Australia


RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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)


RE: 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)

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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)

RE: 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

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

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

By jason

RE: 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)

RE: 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.

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

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

By Sharpie?

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

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

By pbart

RE: 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.

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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 :)

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

RE: 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

Archive: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

How do I get what appears to be purple permanent marker out of a neon green sweatshirt jacket? I've tried hairspray then washed and then tried the hand sanitizer. It has bled over the other parts now.

Lisa from Kent, WA


RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

There is a product called weld-on #3 or 4. It is a product for gluing plexi-glass (plastic), it's not expensive. Put the garment on something non-porous & do one area at a time. Put the weld-on in something that you can squeeze or pour very slowly from, this stuff is really thin. Soak the area with it & blot with paper towels or something absorbent. It might take a few times, but the stuff will dilute & remove permanent markers, ie: marks-a-lot, sharpie, etc. I have used it many times for just this thing. Oh, wear gloves, it will dry out your fingers.

(b)Editor's Note:(/b) Because this is a glue and not a solvent, I'm not sure how this would work. Please get a rag, put some permanent marker on it and test before using this method. (10/16/2008)

By chris t.

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

SPOTSHOT spray stain remover takes Permanent Marker right out. My son drew all over our new fabric sofa with a sharpie and this stuff worked like magic! I assume it would work on clothes, etc. but test a spot before going crazy with it! (10/22/2008)

By MorgansMommy

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I used regular acetone nail polish remover to get red sharpie off white jeans. You do have to put paper towel behind the stain to blot and it takes a while but I got it all out. (10/26/2008)

By robin

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I cannot believe that hairspray and acetone could work so well. I had a light pink cotton knit (very expensive label type) and I didn't realize my dark blue permanent marker did not have the cap on. It stained the front of my top but thanks to your advice, it disappeared. I did roll an old towel between the blouse because it can bleed. Thank you kindly for your advice. (10/29/2008)

By Despina, Melbourne, Australia

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I used plain rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, and a q-tip. I then blotted the stain with alcohol-soaked cotton balls but it was taking too long, so I rubbed a q-tip soaked in alcohol on the stain. It worked like an eraser.

FUN FACT: the reason why anything alcohol-based (hairspray, vodka, plain rubbing alcohol) removes permanent ink is because the ink is alcohol based. At least the sharpie/bic-brand, typical perm. marker is alcohol-based because there are non-alcohol-based permanent markers out there. (10/29/2008)

By zmarie

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

My husband is in the Military. The Air Force just issued new uniforms, but the cost comes out of the soldier's pockets. My husband just purchased one of these new uniforms, it has these little pen holders on the sleeves where my husband likes to put his sharpies for work.

I always check his pockets before I throw them in the wash, but the sleeves are new and I forgot to check. I washed and dried them. My husband put on his uniform today and I about died when I saw the stain(s). I'm hoping some of these remedies work. Crossing my fingers (11/04/2008)

By Christie

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I bought my 10 yr old a $40 sweatshirt and the first time she wore it, a friend of hers wrote on it with extra wide blue sharpie. Needless to say my daughter was very upset. I was very excited after I read this and used rubbing alcohol and it came right out. She will be so happy! (11/05/2008)

By lynn

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Try a cup of salt without detergent or anything in the washing machine in cold water. I've gotten black dye out of white fabric! (11/05/2008)

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I had black sharpie in my favorite light yellow linen blouse and acetone (polish remover) deleted all like MAGIC.

Thanks for the help! (11/09/2008)

By Adriana

Archive: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

How can I remove black permanent marker from my son's bright green shirt?

Joyce from Lexington, SC


RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I accidentally fell asleep with a neon yellow Sharpie highlighter. As a result my 98% cotton pants had some nice highlighter marks on them. After a week sitting in the laundry basket and about 10-15 minutes of soaking the affected areas and scrubbing with rubbing alcohol and cotton pads (I used a towel underneath the material to prevent bleeding) the stains came out completely!

By School girl

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Well let's just say a 4year old, red sharpie, and white jacket don't mix. But using hairspray and a towel do. Thank god for the internet! (11/26/2008)

By Sass0921

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

If you are thinking... " OMG There is no way it's going to come out" and you are panicking because its your favorite white shirt! Don't worry like I did, save yourself the trouble! Red permanent marker got on my white shirt. It took me about 2 hours but I used SHOT SPOT, soap, rubbing alcohol, nail polish, hairspray, spray + wash. It works. You can get it out and LOTS of water! It also got on my light jeans and I did the same thing! Thanks a million for this site. (12/04/2008)

By Charlee

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

My granddaughter got black permanent marker on her new Christmas dress (how I have no idea!) I tried hairspray which didn't work but the rubbing alcohol did get it out! Be careful when scrubbing - I used a soft toothbrush but it appears that the fabric is so delicate that it might have harmed it. I'll see when I get it out of the washer. Thanks for the hints. (12/06/2008)

By Kathy

sharpie red marker

Today I got a big red sharpie permanent maker on my white jacket. I was panicking because I knew it would not come off. So nail polish remove, vodka, rubbing alcohol, stain be gone. The stain is now not there! (12/06/2008)

By iknowwhat

Archive: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

How do you get a permanent marker stain out of clothes?



RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Rubbing alcohol worked awesome. We got it out of blue pants. (12/25/2008)

By Jordan

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I bought a huge, beautiful bright pink and white print cotton scarf and discovered marker ink on a large portion of it. Before investing in acetone nail polish remover that I might never use again, I used my go-to cleanser, Tide. Using gentle effort, the ink came out of a small test area. It has since been soaking in a basin with Tide for three hours. Checking it, almost all of the ink is gone. In the remaining areas, I put some Tide directly on and left it to sit. Thirty minutes later, those marks have significantly lightened. The entire scarf is back in the basin where I'll leave it until all marks are gone. Thanks very much to everyone for your contributions to this site! I'll keep the suggestions nearby. (01/04/2009)

By Annie

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I got purple Sharpie permanent marker on my white fleece North Face jacket, and the use of acetone aka nail polish remover worked. Thanks!

P.S. I would suggest using non-colored acetone if possible. Not sure if this makes any difference but just to be on the safe side. (01/05/2009)

By Holly

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Thank God for Mr. Clean multi surface cleaner. So my daughter got a hold of blue permanent marker. Drew all over her stroller. Well, I soaked it in soap and water for about 1/2 an hour and nothing. I didn't expect much, so I went on the internet and found this website. I tried everything.

The first thing I tried was hairspray. That didn't work. Then I tried rubbing alcohol. That didn't work. Then I tried the nail polish remover. Again no luck. I thought I was going to have to buy a new stroller. Then I remembered something from when my daughter got a hold of a pen once and colored all over my couch.

I used Mr.Clean multi surface cleaner and it worked like magic on my couch with pen. It came off super easy. So I tried it. I sprayed tons of the all purpose cleaner all over the stroller and I let it sit 25 minutes. Literally I timed it. Then I took a tooth brush and scrubbed it a little. Then I sprayed some more. Let it sit another 25 minutes literally again. And scrubbed it, the second time I scrubbed it the color started to fade. But it still wasn't nearly close to gone. So I tried it again, soaked it, scrubbed it and it eased up a little more. I probably did it a total of 7 times. And the stain is completely gone. Nothing left at all. So if you tried everything and it didn't work, don't give up, try Mr. Clean! (01/09/2009)

By Bobchickawowwow

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I had a six inch streak of Permanent Red Sharpie 1/8" wide, on a new pair of blue jeans. Has been setting in the clothes hamper for the last four days. I took a folded paper towel, placed it underneath the fabric, then sprayed the streak with SPOT SHOT. Took a clean white old rag, rubbed and blotted it in all directions. I did this twice.
After the 2nd application (in less than 3 minutes) the stain was gone. (01/17/2009)

By Jeff E

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Just a few hours ago I accidentally left a permanent marker in an apron from work and it smeared all over the dryer. Panicked, I Googled something about permanent markers and dryers. After reading some advice regarding my dilemma, I decided to use the Dawn Power Dissolver. It was amazing! I sprayed it on, waited fifteen minutes, and then used a t-towel to wipe out the dryer before washing it out with a plain towel and warm water. No elbow grease or scrubbing at all. It worked perfectly. I'm going to keep a spare Dawn Power Dissolver around the house from now on just in case. (01/19/2009)


RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Non-acetone fingernail polish got yellow permanent sharpie out of our Build-a-bear's ballet tutu (gotta love 4 year olds). (01/21/2009)

By Connie

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I used the nail polish remover. It worked great to my surprise. Thanks! (01/26/2009)

By ronda

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I got blue Sharpie on my white sweatshirt. We tried nail polish remover, and it is working. Put a towel or something between the fabric. Then, pour nail polish remover on the stain and blot with paper towel. This is very effective. Thank you so much! (02/06/2009)

By Blue stain

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Hairspray first, soap and water after. Worked on marker on fabric van seats. Thanks. (02/15/2009)

By AzDad

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I had black marker on my daughter's white new shirt. I tried hairspray and blotted, then soap and water and it worked great! (02/24/2009)

By Christina

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I accidentally washed a corrector pen marker in the washer, and turned lots of stuff blue. I used hairspray, then peroxide, then stain stick and washed them again, and the stains are gone! Thanks guys! (03/03/2009)

By Stefanie1506

Archive: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I got a few spots of black permanent marker on my blue school uniform. It is a cotton blend material. How can I get it out?



RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

If you have access to ethanol (perhaps in your school's Chemistry lab), make a 95% solution (95 parts ethanol to 5 parts water) & apply directly to the stain. Rinse thoroughly with water and wash as usual. If ethanol is not available, you can try spraying hairspray directly (& heavily) onto the stains before placing uniform in the wash. Good luck! (04/17/2009)

By patty0747

Archive: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

How do I remove black Sharpie permanent marker from a medium blue 100% polyester shirt?

By Steve V. from Clinton, IA


RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I emailed Sharpie and this was under their FAQ answers:

"The successful stain removal of ink stains differs from case to case because of the many types of fabrics, colors, inks, and time elapsed before stain removal. We cannot guarantee stain removal since many variables can be involved. Testing first is always recommended as well as following both the stain remover and clothing manufacturer's instructions. Following these steps should result in partial or complete removal.

General Rules:

  1. Treat stains as soon as possible. Fresh stains can be removed more easily than old ones.
  2. Check manufacturer's labels as to fabric content and any special instructions

  3. Always test stain removal solution first on a hidden part of the article or on swatch of fabric taken from seam allowance to insure no color loss or damage will occur.
  4. Where possible, lay stained article face down on paper towels or clean white cloth and apply stain removal solution to underside of stain so that stain can be removed from the surface instead of pushing it through the fabric. Replace towels or cloth as they absorb stain to prevent stain transfer.

  5. If enlisting the aid of a professional laundry or dry cleaner, be sure to indicate what the stain is and the type of fabric.
  6. Do not iron stained garments or put in dryer as this may set stain.

Also try Amodex Stain Remover for permanent ink: Amodex Products, P.O. Box 3332, Bridgeport, CT 06605, Phone:(203) 335-1255 or go to

Hope this helps and good luck. (10/15/2009)

By metroplex

Archive: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

I drew a red line with a permanent marker on a wool cap by mistake, how can I remove it safely?

By Sabine


RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Pour some rubbing alcohol in a small bowl and dip stained part in alcohol, let soak a while. Remove with stained area hanging downward, squeeze over sink. Repeat and change alcohol if it has changed color and has pink in it. (11/25/2009)


Archive: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

How do I remove a red marker stain from beige cotton slacks?

By Viki from Mulino, OR


RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and lightly rub with the swab with a folded paper towel underneath to "pull" the ink out. This also works with dry cleanable clothing. Just don't rub to hard, as this will lighten the spot more and "fuzz" the fabric. Hope this helps.

By forevrinlove5160

RE: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

You can get a product called Amodex. It's available at grocery stores, etc. in the stain remover section. It works best on stains that have not already been treated with other products. (01/23/2010)

By MarilynLV

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