How to Remove Permanent Marker Ink from Fabric

Jun 21

Don’t let the word “permanent” make you think all is lost when you accidentally dot or streak your clothes with permanent marker ink. While your favorite marker brands, such as Stabilo, are made to be as long-lasting and reliable as possible, there are some DIY tricks you can try to remove the stain and recover your favorite piece of clothing.


Stain Removal Agents and Tricks


Rubbing Alcohol or Antibacterial Hand Gel

  • Lay the fabric stain face down on top of a piece of paper towel.
  • Dip a cloth rag (something you can dispose of later) into rubbing alcohol.
  • Blot at the stain with the cloth.
  • You should start to see the marker ink transfer from the fabric to the power towel below.
  • Change the paper towel as frequently as necessary until the stain has lifted fully.


  • Put a small amount of water on the stain to moisten the fabric.
  • Spray a paper towel with a non-oil based hairspray.
  • Blot at the stain with the paper towel.
  • You should start to see the marker ink lift from the fabric to the paper towel.


  • Fill a bowel with milk.
  • Submerge the stained fabric in the milk.
  • You’ll start to see the milk tinge the color of the marker ink.
  • Discard the milk, refill the bowl, and submerge again until the stain has fully lifted.

    Stain Removal General Tips and Best Practices

  • For best results, attempt to lift the stain as quickly as possible, and before the marker ink has dried.
  • Before attempting any of the tricks above, if the ink is still wet, attempt to blot the excess ink off with a microfiber cloth as a first step.
  • Always blot stains—never scrub or smear them.
  • Before attempting any of solvents above, test a small area first to ensure it will not damage the fabric. Check the care label on the piece of clothing as well. Delicate fabrics like satin or silk may require special care.
  • When working with hairspray or alcohol, work in a well-ventilated area with open windows.
  • For all of the techniques listed above, after the stain is removed, wash the piece of clothing fully in the washing machine, or hand wash it, and then allow it to air dry.

    If you’ve tried the techniques listed above and the stain did not fully lift, take the garment to a professional dry cleaner.

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    • Posted by blog staff


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