How to Get Rid of Washable Markers

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Despite their name, washable markers can create a stain. While the ink is designed to wash out, it may take a little more than water to get rid of it when the ink finds its way onto fabric and upholstery. Soap and water is usually sufficient if the marker ends up on skin. For other surfaces, the marker can often be removed with some products you already have on hand. Remember to spot test products on an inconspicuous area -- especially on delicate fabrics.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Color-safe bleach
  • Sponge
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Carpet shampoo
  • Carpet stain remover
  • Mild household cleanser
  • Cotton pads
  • Towel

Fabrics

  • Rinse the stained area with hot water as soon as you notice the marker stain.

  • Place the item in the wash, and use the heavy soil cycle -- set the water temperature to hot. Use your regular laundry detergent.

  • Stop the washer after approximately 12 minutes. Add color-safe bleach -- follow the product instructions to determine the correct amount.

  • Allow the stained item to soak for approximately one hour in the bleach solution, then start over the wash cycle.

  • Allow the item to dry according to its label instructions.

Carpeting

  • Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a clean, dry sponge. Squeeze out any excess -- it should be damp, not saturated.

  • Gently blot the stained area with the sponge. As the sponge absorbs the marker, turn it to avoid transferring any marker back onto the carpet. If the stain is large, you may need to use more than one sponge. Continue blotting until the sponge is no longer picking up the ink.

  • To finish removing the stain, apply a carpet shampoo according to the package directions. If there is still marker visible after the shampoo is used, use a stain remover designed for carpeting, and apply it directly to the stain.

Finished Wood, Painted Walls or Countertops

  • Dampen a sponge with water. Wipe the stained areas with the sponge.

  • If marker is still visible, apply a small amount of a mild abrasive cleanser with bleach to your damp sponge. Move the sponge over the stains, working in a circular motion. Using a sponge dampened with water, rinse the cleanser off completely. Dry the area with a soft cloth.

  • If the stain remains, soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol. Blot the cotton ball onto the stain until the ink disappears. With a damp cloth, wipe away any traces of rubbing alcohol.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always check fabric care labels before attempting stain removal procedures. Items labeled "dry-clean only" should be taken to a professional.

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References

  • Photo Credit marker image by AGphotographer from Fotolia.com
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