How to Get Black Permanent Marker Off Skin


Children just can't resist the urge to draw on themselves whenever a marker is handy. Adults can get permanent marker on themselves as well. Absentmindedly putting the wrong end of a marker in your mouth or running your hand across wet writing will leave a telltale mark on your skin. Thankfully, permanent marker is not so permanent on skin. With the proper tools, that marker comes right off.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand soap
  • Towel
  • Baby oil
  • Cotton balls
  • Wet the marked area with water.

  • Apply a small amount of hand soap to your fingers.

  • Rub the marked area with the hand soap in circular motions until you see the soap start to turn black.

  • Wash off the area with water.

  • Pat the skin dry with a clean towel.

  • Soak a cotton ball with the baby oil.

  • Press the cotton ball onto the marked skin.

  • Gently blot at the area with the cotton ball until the marker comes off the skin and shows on the cotton ball.

  • Discard the cotton ball once it is mostly black in color.

  • Repeat with a new cotton ball until there is no marker left on the skin.

  • Wet the skin with warm water.

  • Gentle cleanse the area with the hand soap to remove any baby oil residue.

  • Pat the skin dry with a clean towel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use both sides of the cotton ball to reduce waste.
  • Use a dark colored towel to dry the area. The marker can stain a white towel.
  • Do not rub or pick at the skin. This can cause cuts or irritation.
  • Always blot gently with the cotton ball or towel, grinding the tools into the skin will only worsen the stain.

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  • Photo Credit marker image by Rich Johnson from
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