Removing Permanent Marker from Clothing with Isopropyl Alcohol

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
May 11, 2017

Permanent marker covered by isopropyl alcohol to remove stains.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.
A green sweatshirt with very faded pen markings.
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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
May 14, 20171 found this helpful
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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.

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