Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing

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


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June 22, 2008

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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By Nikki J. (Guest Post)
September 15, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

I've just tried it on my pricey raincoat made of 100% polyamide. It worked pretty good. I can barely see the stain now. Half way through, I started to spray on both sides of the fabric. The only drawback is that it had took me almost an hour to accomplish this.

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August 2, 20130 found this helpful
Top Comment

I tried hairspray on permanent market on my white linen trousers and nothing. Used stain devil and nothing or with acetone.


Tried bleach and it slowly faded away took about 10 minutes. Kept and eye on it as I didn't want it turning yellow on the off chance I forgot they were soaking.

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October 26, 20160 found this helpful
Top Comment

Try isopropyl alcohol, also called rubbing alcohol. The reason the hairspray or hand sanitizer sometimes works for removing ink is because of the alcohol content.

I was able to get a name written in black Sharpie off of a school backpack with rubbing alcohol. It took some time and the alcohol did take off some of the backpack's original color. Good luck!

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 25, 2011

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

By mjor adams


July 27, 20110 found this helpful

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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April 4, 20170 found this helpful

Actually, spraying bees or wasps doesn't kill them, it causes their legs and wings to stiffen (like hair does) and they die a slow death. Please don't do this to bees. Please!

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March 24, 20180 found this helpful

Bees and wasps are endangered. We need these pollinators!! Do not kill them with any thing, PLEASE. To eliminate them if they in fact have become a "pest", you can rid of them easily by spraying them with a garden hose.


They can not fly with wet wings. When they fly off or fall from the nest, knock the nest down with a long implement or stick. Da Daaa Problem solved and you just made the world a better place for all!!!! Thank you so much for caring:)

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August 4, 20180 found this helpful

I tried the rubbing alcohol it didn't work . The stain stil there in the white clothes.. it didn't work

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October 31, 2007

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



November 1, 20070 found this helpful

Try spraying some hair spray on it. Then rinse with cold water. If still there repeat process. Also, my favorite laundry spot remover is ZOUT. It is about $3.00 for a smallish bottle, so I save it for the worst stains, but with ink I still go with hairspray first.


If you are not worried about a tiny bit of fading, you can also try denatured alchohol, available at the pharmacy counter in most drug stores. Good luck! (Also, look on Sharpie's web-site. They may have tips as well.)

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November 2, 20070 found this helpful

Pour rubbing alcohol directly over the spot. Pour it over a bowl so you can reuse it if needed. Good Luck.

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By ChEeRbAbi101 (Guest Post)
February 22, 20080 found this helpful

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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January 2, 20160 found this helpful

Use soap and water I did and it came out

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October 19, 20160 found this helpful

So funny !!

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April 29, 2012

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


April 30, 20120 found this helpful

Rubbing alcohol. Place a washcloth under the fabric and saturate the stain with alcohol, using another washcloth to blot the stain. If the alcohol dries before the stain is gone, pour on more alcohol and blot again.

Keep doing this - it should remove the marker stain completely.I just did this with a skirt of my granddaughter's that was dried in the dryer with an ink pen.

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April 30, 20120 found this helpful

Oxyclean does wonders for me.

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March 12, 20170 found this helpful

Use cold water and Dawn dish detergent. Get that shirt or whatever off immediately get wet first Then put Dawn on it and scrub with the tips of your finger in the direction of the mark and then in a circular motion.


I just now did it and it came right out! My it-shirt was 60% Cotton and 40% polyester. Hope it works for you. I am quite amazed right now. Very cool. Good luck!!

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March 12, 20170 found this helpful

Shoot, if you already dried it in the dryer it is permanently sealed and may never come out. Good luck to you.

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February 2, 2017

My granddaughter has drawn black marker pen on her swimsuit. It is stretchy material. How can I get the marks off?
Thank you for your help.


February 2, 20170 found this helpful

Work a little alcohol-based hand sanitizer into the stain, then wash.

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March 8, 2015

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


December 8, 20170 found this helpful

Removing marker

Step 1
Put item face down on paper towel

Step 2
Dab rubbing alcohol on stain

Step 3
You should see the marker transferring to the towel

Step 4
Change paper towels as necessary

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February 10, 2015

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


December 9, 20170 found this helpful

You can try pure acetone

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March 16, 2014

How do you get markers off of clothes and shoes?

By Becky C.

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May 24, 2011

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

By Mary-Margaret


May 24, 20110 found this helpful

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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April 19, 2011

How do you remove permanent marker from clothing?

By Maché from South Africa


June 17, 20111 found this helpful

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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November 28, 2009

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


December 6, 20090 found this helpful

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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February 1, 2014

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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November 3, 2013

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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April 20, 2013

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

By Jo Ann

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October 13, 2012

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

By Jackie C.

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May 24, 2012

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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April 8, 2019

Most people have a bottle of rubbing alcohol in their medicine cabinet and it is one of the best stain removers for ink. This is a page about removing permanent marker from clothing with isopropyl alcohol.

Permanent marker covered by isopropyl alcohol to remove stains.

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February 5, 2019

Although Sharpie markers are intended to be permanent, if you need to remove an accidental or intentional mark on a piece of clothing this page contains several suggestions including alcohol, nail polish remover, or a Magic Eraser. This is a page about how to remove Sharpie from clothing.

multiple caps of different color Sharpie markers

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May 16, 2018

This is a page about how to remove permanent marker on polyurethane jacket. Permanent marker can be tough to remove, but here are a few options to try. Rubbing alcohol and hairspray are both a good option to start with.

Close up of a maroon red leather jacket.

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June 22, 2017

You may be able to remove permanent marker from your nylon jacket with the right products and process. This is a page about permanent marker stain on a nylon jacket.

Blue Nylon Jacket

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June 7, 2017

Permanent marker is called that because it is difficult to remove. Once it has gotten onto clothing which is subsequently dried the task of removing it becomes more difficult, but not always impossible. This is a page about removing permanent marker from dried clothing.

Black Permanent Marker

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 19, 2011

How can I remove black permanent maker from a cotton shirt?

By Ester from South Africa


Permanent Marker Stains on Clothing

Pour normal milk over it and rub; the ink will come out. Then rinse and wash. (03/29/2011)

By Tiekie

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