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Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing

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Permanent Marker

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


Solutions: Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing

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Tip: Use Hair Spray To Remove Permanent Marker

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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Here are questions related to Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing.

Question: Removing Sharpie Laundry Marker

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



Most Recent Answer

By ChEeRbAbi101 (Guest Post)02/22/2008

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.

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


Most Recent Answer

By greenergrass04/30/2012

Oxyclean does wonders for me.

Question: Permanent Marker on Polyurethane Jacket

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

Most Recent Answer

By Bilbo [1]12/09/2010

We got permanent marker out of our carpet with baby wipes

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

Most Recent Answer

By (Guest Post)06/21/2008

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

Question: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

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

By mjor adams

Most Recent Answer

By connie leigh [1]07/27/2011

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.

Question: Removing Permanent Marker from Colored Clothes

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

By Mary-Margaret

Most Recent Answer

By RobinB05/24/2011

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!

Question: Blue Sharpie on a 100% Blue Linen Shirt

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

By Mike

Most Recent Answer

By Michele Herbon [4]05/07/2011

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

Question: Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

How do you remove permanent marker from clothing?

By Maché from South Africa

Most Recent Answer

By Robyn Fed [388]06/17/2011

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!

Question: Marker Stain on Nylon Jacket

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

Most Recent Answer

By lesley [1]02/13/2011

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)

Question: Removing Sharpie From Clothing

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

Most Recent Answer

By Cheryl12/30/2009

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.

Question: Removing Permanent Marker from Dry Clean Only Clothing

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

Most Recent Answer

By Barbara Pope [10]12/06/2009

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.

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

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

Question: Removing Set In Ink

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


Question: Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing

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

Question: Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing

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

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.

Question: Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing

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

By Jo Ann

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.

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.

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.

Question: Clothes Washed and Dried with Permanent Marker

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


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

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