How to Get Permanent Marker Stains Out of Furniture

While some markers' ink will wash off, blemishes made by permanent markers can prove trickier to remove.
While some markers' ink will wash off, blemishes made by permanent markers can prove trickier to remove. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Not all markers are created equally. Some markers are washable and you can remove their marks by wiping them with a damp cloth. Other markers -- known as permanent markers -- feature ink designed to last and not wash off. When the ink comes in contact with surfaces such as upholstery and wood furniture, an unsightly stain will occur. Removing permanent marker stains on furniture can be quite difficult, but it's not impossible.

Things You'll Need

  • Small containers
  • White vinegar
  • White cloths
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Small bowl
  • Ammonia
  • Towels
  • Water-displacing spray
  • Cotton swab
  • Non-oily hairspray

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Upholstery

Fill a small container with 2 cups cold water. Add 1 tbsp. white vinegar and 1 tbsp. liquid dish soap. Mix the contents together with a spoon.

Dampen a white cloth in the mixture. Wring out excess liquid; the cloth must be damp, not dripping wet. Blot the marker stain with the saturated cloth.

Allow the mixture to soak into the stain for 30 minutes while blotting the stain every five minutes with the damp cloth.

Dampen a clean cloth with cool water. Rinse the area by blotting the upholstery with the damp cloth for several seconds.

Pour rubbing alcohol into a small bowl. Dip a clean white cloth in the rubbing alcohol and blot the permanent marker stain with the cloth. Begin blotting the outer edge of the stain and work inward. Continue blotting until the liquid is absorbed.

Dampen a clean cloth with cool water. Blot the area for several seconds to rinse the upholstery clean. Pat the area dry with a towel. Continue with the remaining steps if the stain persists.

Fill a clean container with 2 cups cold water. Add 1 tbsp. ammonia and 1 tsp. liquid dish soap and mix with a spoon. Saturate a clean, white cloth in the mixture.

Blot the stain with the cloth. Let the mixture soak into the stain for 30 minutes. Blot the stain with the damp cloth every five minutes.

Rinse the area by blotting with a clean cloth dampened with cool water. Pat the upholstery dry with a towel.

Wood

Apply water-displacing spray -- such as WD-40 -- to a cloth. Rub the stains gently in a circular motion. Continue rubbing the stain and applying the spray to the cloth until the marker is no longer visible. Wipe the wood with a clean cloth dampened with cool water.

Pour rubbing alcohol into a small bowl. Saturate a cotton swab with the rubbing alcohol. Rub the marker stain with the cotton swab in a circular motion until the stain is removed from the wood.

Spray the stain lightly with a non-oily hairspray. Allow the hairspray to sit on the stain for several minutes but do not let it dry. Rub the spot with a cloth dampened in cool water until the permanent marker stain is gone.

References

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