How to Get Permanent Marker Out of Clothing

How to Get Permanent Marker Out of Clothing

Permanent markers have a knack for leaving their mark where they're least wanted, especially on our clothes. Whether it's an accidental swipe, an enthusiastic artistic endeavor gone awry, or your child's artistic ambitions, the result is the same: a stubborn stain that seems impossible to remove.

This thorough guide will unravel how to get permanent markers out of clothes and restore your garments to their former glory.

Permanent Marker Stains

Before we explore the cleaning process, we must understand what we're dealing with. As the name suggests, permanent markers contain ink designed to be permanent. They're made with pigments and dyes suspended in a liquid solvent, which makes them incredibly difficult to remove once they've set on fabric.

Types of Fabrics

The type of fabric your stained garment is made of plays a significant role in stain removal. Natural fabrics like cotton, silk, and wool tend to be more porous, allowing the ink to penetrate deeper. Synthetic fabrics like polyester are less absorbent but can still pose a challenge.

Spot Test First

Before attempting any stain removal method, it's crucial to spot-test an inconspicuous area of the garment. This helps ensure your cleaning solution doesn't cause further damage or discoloration.

Step 1: Blot the Stain

The first step in tackling a permanent marker stain is to blot it gently with a clean cloth or paper towel. Avoid rubbing, as this can push the ink deeper into the fabric.

Step 2: Apply Tru Earth's Multi-Surface Cleaner

Tru Earth's multi-surface cleaner is perfect for pre-treating permanent marker stains. Apply a small amount of the cleaner directly to the stained area.

Step 3: Gently Rub the Stain

Using a clean cloth or sponge, gently rub the stained area in a circular motion. Be patient; this process may take some time, especially if the stain is deep or large.

Step 4: Rinse and Check

Rinse the treated area under cold running water to remove residual cleaner and ink. Check the stain's progress. If it's still visible, repeat the process until the stain is no longer visible.

Step 5: Launder the Garment

Place the stained garment in the washing machine and follow the care label instructions. Use laundry detergent strips as directed. These strips are designed to dissolve quickly and thoroughly clean your clothes.

Step 6: Check for Stain Removal

After washing, check the stained area to see if the marker stain has been completely removed. If there's any lingering trace of the stain, avoid drying the garment and repeat the stain removal process.

Alternative Methods

While multi-surface cleaner and laundry detergent strips are effective solutions, you can also explore some alternative methods for removing permanent marker stains from clothes:

Alcohol-Based Products

Products like rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer can sometimes help dissolve permanent marker stains. Apply a small amount to the stain, blot, and rinse.


Believe it or not, hairspray can be effective at removing marker stains. Spray a small amount onto the stain, blot, and rinse.


Non-gel toothpaste can sometimes break down the ink when applied to the stain and gently rubbed. Rinse thoroughly after using.

Preventing Future Stains

Once you've successfully removed a permanent marker stain from your clothing, it's wise to take precautions to prevent future mishaps. Here are some tips to consider:

Keep Markers Out of Reach

If you have young children, store permanent markers out of their reach to prevent accidental markings on clothing.

Use Aprons or Old Clothes

Consider wearing aprons or old clothes you don't mind staining when engaging in creative activities involving markers.

Wash Garments Promptly

The sooner you address a permanent marker stain, the more likely you will remove it successfully. Don't delay in treating stained clothing.

The Final Word on Clothing Rescue

While permanent marker stains may seem daunting, with the right techniques and Tru Earth's cleaning products by your side, you can restore your clothing to its stain-free glory. Remember to act promptly, spot test before treating stains, and follow care label instructions for your garments.

And as you conquer those stubborn stains, take pride in knowing that your commitment to cleanliness also contributes to a cleaner and greener planet. Happy stain removal!

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