How to Erase Marker From Paper? – 4 Easy Methods

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how to erase marker from paper

If you accidentally make a mistake while writing or drawing with a marker, do not panic! You can use several simple techniques to remove markers from a paper without damaging it.

We will show you four easy methods in this detailed guide. Read on to learn how to erase marker from paper!

Step-by-Step Guide to Erase Marker From Paper

Option #1 - With Nail Polish Remover Containing Acetone


One extremely effective way to remove marker from paper is using nail polish remover with acetone. It is mostly mess-free and risk-free. Additionally, you only need to use it alongside two common household items.

What To Prepare

  • Nail polish remover containing acetone
  • Some Q-tips or cotton swabs
  • Several paper towels

Detailed Steps

  1. To begin, spot-test the nail polish remover with acetone on a piece of paper that is similar to the one you are treating. If the solvent does not cause any damage, you can proceed to the next step to get rid of marker on paper.
  2. Next, pour a small amount of the nail polish remover with acetone onto a Q-tip or cotton swab. Do not over-saturate it – too much moisture can tear through your paper.
  3. Dab the marker stain lightly. Again, make sure that you are not dampening your page too much.
  4. Allow a few seconds for the solvent to work. The marker will dissolve gradually.
  5. Use a paper towel to blot up the loosened pigments. You just need to touch the tip for the absorption to occur. Do not press the towel down or rub it around, as it can cause smudging.
  6. Repeat the process until no ink is left on your paper.

This works to remove permanent marker from paper, as well as dry erase marker.

Option #2 - With Hair Spray Containing Alcohol


To get Sharpie off paper, you can also use hair spray. However, it has to contain alcohol, which will erase permanent marker from paper. As such, avoid getting costly new hair sprays, as they typically do not have alcohol to prevent drying out users’ hair.

What To Prepare

  • Hair spray containing alcohol
  • A soft rag

Detailed Steps

  1. Give your paper one or two spritzes without drenching it. You should place a paper towel underneath to catch any ink that bleeds through.
  2. Let the hair spray sit for a couple of seconds, then dab the marker stain with a soft rag to remove Sharpie from paper.
  3. Repeat the two steps until you are left with stain-free paper. You will probably have to do it more than once to ensure there are no persistent traces.

Option #3 - With Non-Gel, White Toothpaste


This third approach can help you erase Sharpie from paper that is thick. However, because of toothpaste’s abrasive nature, you must be extra careful in employing the steps.

What To Prepare

  • Non-gel, white toothpaste
  • Two clean rags

Detailed Steps

  1. Load a damp but clean rag with non-gel white toothpaste. Use just a small amount.
  2. Apply the toothpaste to the marker stain and rub gently. This should lift the colors.
  3. Wipe the treated spot with another rag to check if the stain has faded.
  4. Repeat the process as many times as needed to get rid of Sharpie on paper.
  5. To complete, give the paper time to dry.

Note: Instead of a rag, you can also use a soft-bristle toothbrush. However, ensure that it is clean and not too stiff to clean without damaging the paper.

Option #4 - With Hand Sanitizer


Another alcohol-based product you can avail of is hand-sanitizer. It is particularly effective for stains left by alcohol markers. You likely have it at home or at school already.

What To Prepare

  • Hand sanitizer containing alcohol
  • Some cotton balls or cotton pads

Detailed Steps

  1. Dispense a small amount of hand sanitizer onto a cotton ball or pad, but do not drench it.
  2. Press the cotton ball/pad lightly against the marker ink on your paper. Upon contact, the solvent will transfer and gradually dissolve the pigments.
  3. Remove the cotton ball/pad and grab a new one to absorb the loosened ink.
  4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 until the marker stain on your page is gone.

The Type of Paper Matters

Whether you can successfully erase markers from paper depends on the type of paper you have at hand. More specifically, the thickness of the paper. The thicker the paper, the more likely it will be able to combat stains and tears that can occur when cleaning methods are utilized.

Thus, construction paper, cardstock, cardboard, and poster boards will be less tricky to deal with. Thinner paper, like those used in the office, will require you to be more attentive and careful.

Helpful Tip to Keep in Mind

If removing the ink from a page is not possible, you can look for ways around it. The best is to conceal it. You can use corrective fluids, for instance. If you want to do this without whiteout, consider corrective tape.

Frequently Asked Questions


How to erase pen from paper?

The first method above works. You can use nail polish remover containing acetone to get the job done. You can also consider erasing pen from a paper by using:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Lemon juice
  • Brake fluid
  • Razor blade to scrape the ink off
  • Sandpaper with a fine grit to buff off the ink
  • White-out or ink-correction tape for concealing
  • Erasable pens (Pens made with ink that can be erased)

How to erase Crayola marker from paper?

You can erase Crayola ink from paper with the cleaning methods above. Even though we did not specify a brand other than Sharpie, all the items used can handle colored markers like Crayola. The good news is that since the brand’s markers do not use permanent ink, it might be a quicker and less exhaustive cleaning task!


Congratulations! You now know how to erase marker from paper. While this is not the simplest thing to do, it is doable. You can try all the methods above to find the one that works best. Just remember to always test your cleaning item first and not use too much force to avoid damaging your paper!

If you have any other tips and tricks on this topic, share them with us in the comments. Feel free to bookmark this for future reference as well. See you in our next blog post!

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