Permanent Marker Removal

We use markers every day, at every age, for a variety of things. From making sports signs to cheer on our favorite team, to coloring books and refrigerator artwork, markers leave a visible imprint that can brighten up our surroundings.

And sometimes that visible imprint turns out to be a tough-to-handle permanent marker stain – yikes! No worries – if you need a hand dealing with pesky permanent marker removal, you’ve come to the right place.
Check out COIT’s do-it-yourself guide and discover a few ways to tackle these colorful stains.

Toddler holding marker sitting on wooden floor, pink marker scribbles on floor

History of Markers

Before we dive into specific marker stain removal tips, let’s take a closer look at the history of markers, which date back to 1953. It was during this year that Sidney Rosenthal invented the felt tip pen and changed the world of written communication for years to come.

Rosenthal, an inventor from New York, realized that when you place a felt tip on the end of a bottle of permanent ink, it can leave a mark that’s not only rich in color, but lasts long on the surface.
If you dig even deeper into the history of the marker, you’ll see that markers’ ancestors actually date back to the Egyptian times. Around 3200 B.C., the Egyptians needed a way to write and paint. They began mixing vegetable gum and fine soot to create a form of ink that allowed them to deliver messages and tell stories that still exist today.

Ingredients in Felt Tip Markers

Within the body of the marker, you’ll find these ingredients:

• Marker, body and cap are made of plastic resin.
• The reservoir (the part that holds the ink) is made of polyester.
• The felt writing tip is formed using water and powder.
• Ink dye contains cyclic alkylene carbonates.
• Additives within the ink that act as wetting agents.

Types of Markers

There are a wide variety of markers that are designed for specific uses.

• Permanent markers – can write on wood, glass, metal, stone and plastic and resists rubbing and water (the ink lasts several years)

• Highlighters – used to make other writing more visible when applied over existing ink

• Security markers – contain fluorescent (but invisible) ink – these are used for marking valuables in case they’re stolen (can view the owner’s name using ultraviolet light)

• Non-permanent markers – uses erasable ink and contains less toxic materials than some permanent ink

• Porous point pens – contain tips made of felt or ceramic

Now that you know a bit more about the history and types of markers you may come across with marker stains, let’s take a closer look at some helpful permanent marker remover tips.


If you’re trying to remove marker from carpet, take a bit of rubbing alcohol and rub it onto the marker stain using a cloth. Let the stain sit for 30 minutes to an hour and blot the affected area with a clean sponge. Continue blotting the stain until marker is no longer visible.

How to Remove Permanent Marker from Carpet

COIT’s Guide to Getting Marker Out of Carpet

On the quest to keep our home’s carpeting clean, it’s nearly impossible to avoid some kind of dirt build-up. When we’re on the go, we track dirt and dust from the outside into our carpet that can be removed with regular vacuuming.

But what about tougher stains, like markers? How should you handle those types of stains?

If you come across a marker stain and are wondering how to remove marker from carpet, let COIT’s simple guide help you out. By following the steps outlined below, you’ll be able to execute a few do-it-yourself solutions that will keep your carpet looking its best.

 How to get Marker out of Carpet

Remove Permanent Marker from Carpet – Method # 1

  1. Take a can of oil-free hairspray and pour a generous amount of it onto a white cloth.
  2. Firmly dab the marker stain.
  3. Repeat as necessary until the marker stain is no longer visible.

How to Get Marker Out of Carpet – Method # 2

  1. As soon as you discover the marker stain, use a clean cloth to blot up any marker off the surface. If the marker stain is wet and you act fast, you may be able to blot up some of the coloring before it sets into the carpet fibers.
  2. Apply a generous amount of dish soap to a wet, clean cloth and blot the stain.
  3. The marker stain should start to gradually fade as you apply pressure to the affected area.

Getting Rid of Marker Stains on Carpet – Method # 3

This following solution involves using a carpet cleaner you can buy online or at places like Wal-Mart.

  1. Upon finding the marker stain, purchase Oops Stain Remover. This is a powerful citrus-based cleaner.
  2. Shake the product well before opening.
  3. Apply some Oops Stain Remover to the stained area of the carpet.
  4. Let the solution soak into the carpet for approximately 60 seconds.
  5. Blot the area with a clean cloth. The marker stain should begin to transfer from the carpet to the cloth, leaving a clean carpet behind. Purchasing this easy-to-use product will help you tackle the question of how to get marker out of carpet.

Marker Stain Removal – Method # 4

This is another way to utilize store-bought products to remove marker stains.

  1. Purchase Motsenbocker Lift Off # 3 Stain Remover. This product is specifically designed to treat pen, ink and marker stains.
  2. Spray the affected are with the stain remover.
  3. Using a clean cloth, blot the marker stain until it starts to gradually fade.

And there you have it – a few simple ways to eliminate marker stains. If the marker stain is too heavy or too large to remove yourself, consider COIT’s professional carpet cleaning services and don't forget to checkout our coupons! Using commercial grade equipment, our team of technicians can target high traffic areas and remove tough-to-handle carpet stains.

Remember to always do a spot removal test on a portion of carpet or upholstery that is normally not visible. These are suggested treatments only and COIT can't be held accountable for any damage sustained by use of the treatments in this spot removal guide.


How to Remove Permanent Marker from Wood

COIT's Guide on How to Remove Marker from Wood

Trying hard to keep your wood floors in good condition? With the daily coming and going, your wood floors most likely experience quite a bit of wear and tear.

If this wear and tear includes marker stains, you’re probably looking for a few handy tips to answer the question of how to remove marker from wood.

 How to get Marker out of Carpet

Removing Permanent Marker from Wood - Method # 1

When you’re getting ready to remove permanent marker from wood, follow these quick and easy steps. It’s important to try these methods on a part of the wood floor that’s not centrally visible first, as you’ll want to make sure it responds well before trying it in a high traffic area. You can also try the underside of your wooden table to see how it reacts.

  1. Take some isopropyl alcohol and pour a fair amount onto a clean cloth.
  2. Apply the cloth directly to the stain and rub until the marker stain begins to transfer.
  3. Rinse the affected area with water and pat dry.

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Remove Permanent Marker from Wood – Method # 2

This particular method for approaching how to remove permanent marker from wood involves using handy-dandy toothpaste. That’s right – the same product you use to keep your pearly whites clean and sparkling can also help keep your wood clean and marker-free!

  1. Take a bit of regular toothpaste (avoid the gel kind).
  2. Apply the toothpaste directly onto the marker stain.
  3. Rub the toothpaste using a damp rag. You’ll want to rub the affected area for a few minutes until the cloth can easily slide across the wood surface.
  4. Rinse the rag you used with water and rub the wood surface until the toothpaste is no longer visible.
  5. The marker stain should no longer be there. If any marker residue remains, repeat steps 1 through 4 until the stain has disappeared completely.

Getting Rid of Permanent Marker on Wood – Method # 3

  1. Using nail polish remover, pour a bit of it onto the marker stain.
  2. Scrub the permanent marker stain using a paper towel. It should gradually begin to lift off of the wood.

Use these three at-home methods to tackle the issue of how to remove permanent marker from wood. For more advanced wood floor cleaning services, speak to a COIT representative and learn more about our hands-on, 5-step cleaning process. Also don't forget to checkout our coupons!


These are suggested treatments only and COIT can't be held accountable for any damage sustained by use of the treatments in this spot removal guide.


Ricardo Cleaning Carpet

Home remedies not working?

If you’re still battling stubborn stains after trying these home remedies, professional cleaning may be a good option to explore. Check out COIT’s Cleaning Services to learn more about the help we can offer.

Contact COIT for stain removal help