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Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing with Isopropyl Alcohol

Permanent marker covered by isopropyl alcohol to remove stains.
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.


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My son came home from school the other day and asked me if I could get pen off his favorite hoodie. Another student had taken a few colored Sharpies and drew lines down his back. I told him I would see what I could do.

I poured isopropyl alcohol directly on the spots and used Q-tips to scrub across the pen marks, rinsing it out and reapplying a few times. After a few minutes, the marks were lightened to barely visible. You can see where the alcohol and scrubbing lightened the green sweatshirt color a bit. I didn't want to damage the material any more so I stopped.

This was just a cotton sweatshirt. I would use caution on any delicate fabrics and test a small area first.

A green sweatshirt with permanent marker pen drawn on the back.
Permanent marker covered by isopropyl alcohol to remove stains.
A green sweatshirt with very faded pen markings.
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May 14, 20171 found this helpful
Top Comment

I'm thinking maybe the slight lightning effect was due to the scrubbing and not the alcohol. You may have gotten pretty good results by placing a paper towel under the stain and blotting with another paper towel from the top.


Both towels may need changing a few times, especially if the stain was heavy.

I started wearing an apron while gardening. I was scrubbing my jeans front with a scrub brush. Not only did it make the scrubbed area lighter (which I didn't mind), it was wearing away the material in short order.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
May 18, 20170 found this helpful

Yes, you could be right. The Q-tips were green stained, but that could have been from the marker color itself.

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