When your child uses the wall as their canvas or your accidentally get permanent marker on the wall it needs to be cleaned off carefully. This is a guide about removing permanent marker from walls.
By Mandy85 1
My two kids got a hold of my permanent marker and scribbled all over their bedroom walls. For a month now, I've been trying everything I can think of to remove it and nothing seems to do the trick. I've tried Totally Awesome, power spray, nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, Magic Eraser, hair spray, toothpaste, and many others! Please help me.
November 18, 2011
I've used Simple Green on permanant marker before & it usually works for me. But if it's been months, it may be so absorbd that it won't all come out. I used the Simple Green full strength with a rag, using a toothbrush in the harder spots. Most of it came out, I had a few barely visible lines left. This was on white painted walls though, so if you have colors, it mught make the color lighter.
By tanya 1
I have a 4 year old who loves to draw. I read on here that hand sanitizer works to take permanent markers off walls. It sure did, along with a layer of paint, but it did the job. I also tried rubbing alcohol. It didn't do anything.
The next best thing I used for my walls was SOS pads. They leave a blue tinge on the wall after cleaning but they work. It may take a few times to rinse the wall but it worked oh-so-well for me.
I hope it does for other people having the same issue with a small artist.
By Kapree2010 from Victoria, BC
By bridget 1
How do I get black permanent marker off the walls?
By Bridget from Scottsville, KY
March 31, 2011
Mr Clean Magic Eraser Gets Permanent Marker off items. Hopefully your walls are painted with at least a Semi-Gloss Good Luck!
How do you get black Sharpie off of white walls?
I was wondering if there was anything to use on my daughter's bedroom wall to get permanent marker off. Typical 2 year old.
Anne from Tasmania, Launceston
I tried the, hairspray, it did not work, I also tired the hand sanitizer, it worked really well, but it took the paint off of my wall. The best product has been the Magic Eraser, although it is taking for ever, it works without taking the paint off of my walls. (08/03/2006)
My Two year old used a sharpie all over my walls and and end table. Colgate whiting Toothpaste with scrub sponge took it right of with a little elbow grease. (08/04/2006)
WD-40 works wonderfully for removing any types of stains. No scrubbing required!! (08/11/2006)
Nail polish remover took it off my tape measure. (09/10/2006)
In our dorm, we got sharpie on our wall. We tried different cleaning agents that we had but found that Colgate toothpaste worked the best with some elbow grease. Specifically it was the "pro-health" toothpaste that had the 'crystals' in it. Cleans it off orange peel walls with semigloss. (09/24/2006)
By Philip Szelagowski
Try an old sock and some astringent. WORKS THE BEST. It usually comes off with one wipe! (06/25/2007)
WOW! Thanks to all who suggested Hand Sanitizer. I have never seen anything work so well. You are life savers! (09/07/2007)
Dawn Power Dissolver removes any permanent marker off anything and fast. Even clothes. It is amazing. It doesn't bleach the color or remove paint! (11/17/2007)
Vinegar works wonders, hint - hint (12/30/2007)
Thank goodness for this site and my son's preschool teacher's advice. After reading these posts I tried the hand sanitizer and it worked well but also took the paint off. Then I tried the preschool teacher's advice and used Comet powder with a wet washcloth and it really did the trick on the Sharpie marker on our walls. Hopefully making my 4 year old do much of the scrubbing will deter any repeat offenses - also suggested by his teacher:-) (02/15/2008)
How do you get pen marks and permanent marker off a wall?
Fasha from San Antonio, TX
Supposedly the Mr. Clean Erasers work wonders. Can't hurt to try them.
And there's this stuff, Motsenbocker's Lift Off #3
I don't know how well either work. If worse comes to worst, I would simply use a fine sandpaper on the marks and a small craft paintbrush to touch up the wall paint.
Hand sanitizer got most of it off our wall. Still took off some of the paint. Nail polish remover worked on our metal heater grate (make sure you wash it with soap and water after though because the remover will catch fire). Neither worked on both surfaces.
Toothpaste didn't do anything except make my wall and heater minty fresh. (03/21/2008)
Thanks for the advice. I got the permanent marker off with nail polish remover. It took a little paint off but nothing that I will have to repaint. (03/25/2008)
By mum of a 2 year old
My little girl, who is 2, decided it was a wonderful idea to canvas her art all over my walls. So I used toothpaste. At first it didn't work, but then I took an old toothbrush and scrubbed, I guess the toothpaste works with the bristles. It came off great and didn't take the paint off. (03/29/2008)
Rubbing alcohol usually removes permanent marker if it's soon after the accident. (04/02/2008)
My sister decided to make her room look pretty with some permanent marker, and we've tried many different products. I think overall, nail polish remover works the best! (04/13/2008)
What works really well, is hair spray with krylon clear. It makes the marker drip then you wipe it off with a magic eraser. (04/22/2008)
Ok, so we tried the WD-40 and it only faded it slightly. We also tried the Magic Eraser and to no avail it still didn't come off. So we tried the toothpaste trick and it worked! We just used Crest Cinnamon. Flavored and it worked fabulously! Thanks for the help all. (04/28/2008)
I used Mr. Clean Magic eraser. It works great. Gary Dominicus (05/04/2008)
I am moving out soon and my autistic son already did some damage on the apartment. He found a sharpie I didn't know we had, and in 3 min., marked on 4 walls, mostly in my kitchen, big black marks. I read the posts, and not having the wd-40 or eraser on hand, I tried toothpaste. Amazing! It came right off, but as said with some elbow grease. I got a good portion of it off in 3 minutes with a scrubby sponge and a wash cloth, to get it in the little hard to reach textured areas. It's coming off. I'm so thankful I don't have to repaint the apt.! Thank goodness for Google or I'd be up a creek with out a paddle! I'm bookmarking this site! (05/19/2008)
By chameleon galaxy
Oh my goodness, thank God for this site. My son just learned how to draw smiley faces. Well, he decided to practice on the walls with a purple permanent marker. I used everything this site said but nothing was really doing the trick. Finally the hand sanitizer worked wonders, took a tiny bit of paint off but nothing you can notice. Thanks so much. What did moms do before the internet. lol! (05/20/2008)
Use ajax, a sponge, and some elbow grease. I just cleaned permanent marker off my wall, and it came off like nothing.
Thank you for the toothpaste idea. I had got a little sharpie on my friends kitchen wall in his apartment... don't ask me how, and had to have it gone before he got back from the store. Toothpaste works miracles for small marks. (08/02/2008)
Oh my gosh, this is a life saver. My little brother thought it would be funny to write on our family white board while my mum and dad were out, but he mistook the permanent pen and white board pen and he couldn't rub it off! I am so happy that I found this site. The toothpaste trick with a toothbrush works like a charm! By Sophie (08/07/2008)
I had used some rubbing alcohol and some cotton wipes, it took the permanent marker right off. It did take off a tiny little bit of paint, but you can't notice a bit! (08/08/2008)
Oh my gosh, thanks to google I am saved! My little sis just wrote all over my computer screen! I was reading all the comments and found out about the rubbing alcohol, it came right off! Thank you! (08/28/2008)
Thank goodness for this site. Permanent maker came almost completely off the surface with toothpaste. (09/02/2008)
Do you hate when your children or brothers and sisters get permanent marker stains on the wall? Well, I have a solution for you and its very simple. All you have to do is use any toothpaste (maybe Colgate) and wipe the mark away. Works every time!
Try using a product called "Erase" by Zep. It takes it all off! (10/14/2005)
Mr. Clean Eraser works for this too! (10/18/2005)
WD 40 spray and hair spray work (10/19/2005)
Germanex or any alcohol based hand sanitizer! It works wonders. And for crayons or pen use an eraser. (12/23/2005)
I couldn't believe the hand sanitizer really worked. I'm house sitting and my 2 year old made pretty art work with perm. marker. I'm so relieved. Thanks for the advice. (02/01/2006)
Germ-X is working awesome in taking off the permanent marker! (03/31/2006)
By maddie N Abby's Mom
My year old decided to make his little creations all over my house, my doors are wood and my walls are concrete, I tried the "toothpaste" did not work, so I used nail polish remover, it worked like a charm and did not even take the paint off my walls or damage my wood doors, then I used baby wipes on him! Needless to say he will go in the bathroom when I have to go now... lol! (04/11/2006)
By Sasha J.
WOW the hand sanitizer worked GREAT! I am a college student and had made a poster earlier this semester, using my wall as an easel. The permanent marker bled right through the paper! I was so worried I was going to get charged for it - I had tried scrubbing it with Lysol, bleach, and dish soap with no success. Whoever came up with this idea is incredible. Thanks again! (05/11/2006)
Toothpaste is a big no helper and nail-polish remover works great! (06/21/2006)
Go with the hand sanitizer, the toothpaste did Nothing!! Thanks for the tip (06/30/2006)
Thank everyone! My son put black maker in my brand new white bed and thank goodness that nail polish remover worked i tried every thing even tears...(lol) but on nail polish remover worked awesome. (07/11/2006)
My son drew all over on our outside walls with permanent marker and I just rubbed them with Colgate and cotton balls and they came up 100%!
My renter's little boy wrote with permanent marker all over the walls. It has been about a month and I'm now finding out about it. Is there something extremely good I can use to get it off?
Faith from Nortonville, KY
Some permanent markers can be totally removed with plain rubbing alcohol and some just fade a bit. It depends on the brand of the marker and the finish of the paint. (of course flat paint is harder to clean and eggshell is much easier) Rubbing Alcohol has worked for me. I put some in a well marked spray bottle and squirted it on to the wall, then waited several seconds then wiped it off.
At Boeing they use Ketone to remove permanent marker, so I understand people saying that fingernail polish remover works because it's usually made with acetone. But what they fail to say it that you need to use the type that does "not" say "for artificial fingernails", because the kind made for fake nails has no acetone in it. (09/11/2008)
Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer all the way, invisible in seconds. Takes a little unnoticeable paint off, but works like magic. (11/05/2008)
Lava soap. I tried the alcohol and nail polish remover on small test patches, but they seemed to start removing the paint from the wall. The toothpaste was working, but took a lot of elbow grease. Then suddenly I remembered that I'd used Lava soap to remove ink and grease from clothing before. It worked like a charm. Granted, I'd already lightened the marks with the toothpaste, but the soap finished the job with a lot less scrubbing. My sister swears by the Mr. Clean erasers (used one to clean a "mural" of marker off a full wall), but I didn't have one on hand and didn't want the stain to set. (12/06/2008)
By Tired Mom
Got black marker pen on the walls, doors? No worries. Just get a special sponge called,"White Magic" and your troubles are over. No chemicals, or detergents just add water and a bit of rub a dub dub. I got my "White Magic" from Howard's Storage World, but who knows where else you could find it. (12/16/2008)
While I was doing the dishes my 2 year old decorated the walls with a big Sharpie. I used Ammonia (straight from the bottle). It took it off of all the surfaces, except the one that is done with flat paint and the papered wall. I'll get back to you on that when I figure something out (12/21/2008)
An organic cleaner with Citrol works wonders. (02/05/2009)
By Randall P.
I used alcohol and a toothbrush. The toothbrush worked to get into the different texture of the wall. However, it works a lot better if it is a fresh marking, But I used it on a old marking to it just took a little more scrubbing. (02/08/2009)
I tried Magic Erasers, it took the shine off the paint and left the marker. I tried hand sanitizer, took the paint off of the wall. I'm no longer using this stuff on our hands. Dr. Bronner's All in One soaps are miracle workers. Takes permanent marker off with ease. It works on any and all surfaces. Fantastic stuff. You can buy online or health food stores. My 2 year old hit various surfaces just today. Dr. Bronner's saves the day, again. (02/24/2009)
I have a permanent maker stain on my wall where my son decided to go wild. How should I remove this?
By smathis123 from Murray, KY
Hi! Have you tried a Mr. Clean Eraser? That has worked for me. Good luck! :) (06/10/2009)
There is an awesome product that will take off anything! Usually available at hardware stores such as Ace. It's called "Oops, mistake remover", there is another called "Goof Off" as well. However, hand sanitizer, Axe (or any of those deodorant body sprays) will get off permanent marker, and sometimes regular rubbing alcohol works! (06/16/2009)
How do I get Sharpie markers off white walls?
By skittledwood from Morenci, AZ
Rubbing alcohol. Takes out most permanent marker stains on virtually anything. (08/26/2009)
I've heard that if you use WD 40 it will remove permanent markers off clothes, so why not walls? (08/28/2009)
By Jane Mae
If you have already tried to cover/paint over the marker like I did; you realize that Kilz doesn't work, after 3 coats it still bleeds through. I read on a different thread that grey primer works. I stopped last night and got a can of oil-based grey primer and sprayed one of the areas and it works. Yea! Now just have the rest of the room to do. (11/10/2009)
How do I remove permanent marker from my walls?
By Makina from Lexington Park, MD
I read a regular eraser sometimes works. Check out the archives below for lots of ideas. (12/26/2009)
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works every time. (01/10/2010)
How do I get permanent marker like Sharpie off wall surface?
By Kristi from Sarasota, FL
Magic Eraser by Mr. Clean (the origina)l works the best. I use them for all sorts of impossible tasks. They truly are magic! (03/24/2010)
Try using alcohol based hand sanitizer; I've found it removes a lot of things. Try rubbing alcohol if you don't have the sanitizer. Acetone may also work, if that doesn't. Good luck! (03/27/2010)
My son, who is autistic, decided on Sunday to decorate the walls with bright fuchsia sharpie.
Okay, after reading the whole darned archive, here's what's working for me. Toothpaste, let it set, then scrub with an old toothbrush. When that isn't working anymore, get out the comet and a damp sponge.
Hand sanitizer did NOTHING, and the fact that you can use it to take sharpie off a wall only convinces me more the stuff should not be used on people. The magic eraser didn't work any better than the acetone, although I must admit it did wonders for all the other child stains on my walls.
Thank you people for all the suggestions. (04/20/2010)
We manage an apartment complex and some children used permanent markers on the walls, doors and heat registers. Besides repainting with expensive silver paint, is there anything we can use to remove this?
Dawn from Wisconsin
II have always found that rubbing alcohol is a great way to remove permanent marker stains. I found this out when my daughter was 2 years old and marked all over our brand new furniture. I called "Sharpie" and they suggested using the alcohol. I recently had my now college aged daughter call me asking how her roommate could get out permanent marker from her $150 brand new jeans! The alcohol removed it and the roommate was ecstatic. (01/18/2005)
By Pam from Clovis
We have used WD-40 which is amazing at taking crayon and markers off the walls without damaging the paint. And also Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner works great. I usually spray on the Scrubbing Bubbles and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping down with a sponge. Occasionally we may have to repeat with the bathroom cleaner depending on what type and what color the marker is. But it has always taken it off. Hope this helps!
By Mom of 6 1/2
I saw the following hint just today in another "tip" newsletter:
Removing 'Permanent' Markers
If you take a can of Right Guard deodorant spray and spray it
on permanent marker, it will start to run right off. So when
my child got a hold of a permanent marker and wrote on
everything in the house, I had to buy a few cans of spray. I
promise you that it works. It will come right off, walls,
When my son used them in his room, I found this stuff by the same people who make goo-gone, called ink remover. it was fabulous! took the marks off(with some elbow grease) but it didn't take off the paint or varnish. (01/18/2005)
Acetone! The lab I used to work in bought this by the gallon specifically for erasing black permanent marker. You can find 100%-acetone at the large hardware store chains, or just use acetone-based fingernail polish remover. Isopropyl alcohol and hairspray also work really well. (01/18/2005)
Try antibacterial hand gel. Rub into stain and let sit for 10mins. or so then rub off with wet cloth. (01/18/2005)
Thank you so very much for all your suggestions and so very quickly. I'm going to attempt the clean up tomorrow..will let you know what worked the best!!! We are new managers and these hints will save us a lot of money and effort! (01/19/2005)
By Dawn from Wisconsin
The rubbing alcohol stripped the paint off of my walls, but it did the job. We have to repaint the walls and that is going to be one heck of an unwanted job in my book. (06/06/2005)
I accidentally wrote with permanent markers on the guest room in my basement. I used the hairspray idea and it worked great! Thanks! (08/23/2005)
By Sarah, CT
I just tried the hairspray to remove the pen my kids had put on the walls and it was great it removed the lot! THANKS
I tried everything when my 3 year old drew on the walls with black permanent marker. The blood pressure was sky high by this stage. But I rang my mum and she said to use anything with citrus oil in it so up to Coles I went and bought a bottle of citro-clean. And boy o boy did it work a bit too good, it made the colour run down the wall and everywhere but it got it all out with a tiny bit of elbow grease.
So give it a go it worked for me when all else failed.
My daughter, being a baby, marked with red permanent marker on the walls and we tried an S.O.S. pad and it worked for a minute and then started to take the paint off. (12/15/2005)
Hair spray will get it off skin also. my 2 year old writes on herself all the time and that works to get it off the best, just wash them well with soap then put hair spray and rub it. That should get it off! (01/14/2006)
My 2 year old daughter has successfully decorated our home twice now with a sharpie permanent marker. The second way more "decorative" than the first but, along with the complications of it running once a cleanser way applied I've found that my time scrubbing became WAY LESS with the accompanied use of the "Mr. Clean MAGIC Eraser". (01/17/2006)
My daughter decided to take a red permanent Sharpie marker and write on the walls, doors, and register. I took rubbing alcohol,and it removed it!! Wonderful and cheap! (01/19/2006)
Thanks, permanent marker moustaches come right off with soap, warm water and acetone.(03/10/2006)
My granddaughter decided to draw on herself, my tile floor and her sneaker. I tried the hairspray., It worked somewhat on the tile but it still has fade marks on it. I sprayed her sneaker, it didn't come off. Put her in the bath and used the hairspray on her. It worked, thank god! (05/03/2006)
Ajax and liquid dishsoap worked. Came right up with out having to wait. (05/26/2006)
My little brother drew with green permanent marker all over the walls and it was my job to clean it off! My mom gave me this solution called "De-Solv-It" and it worked wonders and didn't peel the paint off! It is also safe on skin and fabric surfaces. You can see the ink running off when you spray it. I recommend using a Mr.Clean Magic Eraser at the same time to rub it off. It works wonderfully. (07/08/2006)
Hairspray took permanent marker off my painted walls but it did also take off some of the paint finish (01/01/2007)
I got a call from my neighbor earlier to let me know that my 2 or my 3 year old drew all over her closet door with blue crayola marker while we were over there playing earlier. Since my kids made the mess, I offered to clean it up. (And at this time I was about to have a litter of kittens because I've never had to get marker off a wall.) i tried a citrus cleaner first, it got half of the marker off, but not all of it. So I came home to look online on how to get it off and found this page. I used the rubbing alcohol and the hairspray with a scrubby sponge. It took a little of the paint off, but it did the job. (03/09/2007)
My three year old coloured with permanent marker on the door and wall. Hairspray does indeed work and I had no stripping of the paint or finish on the door. I'm now a believer in what seemed like a not so believable truth about hairspray removing things! (04/21/2007)
My 3 year old brother drew on my moms new doors and her walls. we used rubbing alcohol but it just took the paint right off. Then we used Mr. Clean magic Eraser and you know what? IT WORKED LIKE MAGIC!(06/18/2007)
Hairspray didn't work! Goo gone didn't work! Toothpaste didn't work! Hand sanitizer . . . worked! But it also took the paint off so I'm still stuck repainting unless the magic eraser will work for the other 3 walls! Isn't it funny how a lot of stories have the same reason this happened. Dad was watching the kids!!Same here! Them darn dads! (06/19/2007)
WD-40 took the paint right off the wall. so did fingernail polish remover. rubbing alcohol took off some but spread it around a lot. The magic eraser did good on the door, but not the wall it started to take off the paint (06/29/2007)
Melaleuca solvent works on permanent marker. I think it is called Solumel. I had permanent marker on plastic baby bottles and sprayed some on, let it sit for a minute then then marker which had been there for years, wiped right off. It has tea tree oil which is so much nicer than gasoline or any other solvent.
By Sara from Saskatchewan
My little brother drew on the counter top with a black sharpie. I tried everything. Nobody wants to get yelled at by mom, or she would think I am irresponsible. Ajax, liquid soap, warm water, and nail polish remover was the best. (09/03/2007)
Just for fun, I tried Solarcaine on permanent ink! Came off. Don't we spray that on open wounds? (01/07/2008)
Hey, I'm a 17 year old guy who has extremely strict parents, and I accidentally got a small line of permanent marker on the wall next to my desk as I was doing homework. Knowing I'd get into deep trouble for it, I frantically sought out a solution to the problem. I tried using sugar soap (a household staple) and that didn't work. not knowing what to do, I searched on google for a solution and found this. I didn't have access to hairspray or alcohol, but I read someone's post on citrus cleaning products. I'd just like to say thank you so very much, you saved me a month of being grounded :) (02/02/2008)
If your walls are painted with latex, rubbing alcohol works well. Just don't rub too hard or use too much alcohol as the paint will rub off as well. This worked for permanent map pen. (05/04/2008)
I used some bicarb soda on a damp cloth, for me this is all that worked. the hairspray made it run but left run marks. This will also work on pots, benches, just about any surface that has marks. (05/17/2008)
I tried hairspray but it left run marks on the wall. What worked for me was some bicarb soda on a damp cloth. This works on cleaning pots, marks on the bench. (05/17/2008)
I accidentally splattered permanent marker on my wall working on a project and the marker was on the wall for about a week. I had tried everything from WD-40 to Epsom salt for some reason and I had very little faith in anything else that I hadn't tried but then i tried OFF!. I found that OFF! worked the best for me. However, it did take some of the varnish off of the white doors and white wooden trim. The color of my room was a very bright blue and some of it turned to kind of an egg-shell white color but it's barely noticeable from afar. (07/13/2008)
My little boy decided to become an artist with red permanent marker all over our walls! I looked on here and went with the ajax/dishsoap paste and it came off in a matter of minutes and all I used to wipe it off with was a sponge and some paper towels! THANKS for the tip - saved me lots of work. (07/25/2008)
Any aerosol deodorant will work. I used old spice and the marker came off after 2 applications. (08/14/2008)
My 3 year old put jiffy on my new LCD computer screen. Was nervous to use a lot of these remedies. When I went to grab nail polish - grabbed witch hazel to see if it would work ~ it did. (09/11/2008)
I have two kids that are artists, woke up this morning to every wall in my house having black industrial permanent marker on it! Still working on removing it however, just wanted to let you know of a remedy for removing it off the kids, DAILY CLARIFYING SHAMPOO! Works on ink, marker, temporary tattoos etc. It works wonders and is cheap! I always have a bottle in the house LOL! (10/19/2008)
By Tasha J
The best advice I found on here is the hand sanitizer the marker came right off no problem. I used it with a toothbrush so I could get in the texture of the walls. Thank you to the person who wrote that to begin with. (11/13/2008)
The Magic Eraser works great on trim, glass, ceramic, and plastic! The ink comes off with just one or two wipes!! However, it's not so great on walls. I scrubbed so hard trying to remove the ink, I started removing the paint from the walls. (01/22/2009)
My 2 year old son and niece scribbled all over my laminate flooring, wall and door with black permanent marker. The marker was on their hands and face also. Baby wipes took it right off their skin. On my floor I used Clorox Clean-Up w/Bleach and a baby wipe. Took it all off with hardly no effort. Still haven't got it off my wall though. :( (02/04/2009)
By Sonia M.
My 2 year old drew all over an entire room at someone else's house. The hairspray worked wonders for me! (01/01/2010)
To remove marker from a wall, use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. Don't rub too hard and it should come off.
By cailifouhnofthemist from Williams Lake, BC
I have gotten permanent marker off using hand sanitizer. There is also a product sold at Dollar General called "Totally Awesome" that will remove the marker. This product works like nothing I have ever tried. It cleans anything. Hope this helps. (05/01/2010)