How to Remove Paint Marker? – 11 Effective Methods to Try

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how to remove paint marker

Doing works of art is fun, but dealing with the mess afterward is another story. Likewise, a permanent paint marker is a convenient alternative to paintbrush painting. However, it’s unavoidable that we sometimes get unwanted stains everywhere, our skin, clothes, and even furniture.

If you are dealing with stubborn acrylic paint marker stains, worry not! We are here to help you discover how to remove paint marker. Not just that, we’ll also answer common questions about paint markers!

What to Prepare

  • Some pieces of cleaning cloth
  • Water
  • Mild detergent
  • A cleaning agent of your choice (check the recommendations below)

Ways to Get Paint Marker Off

1. Alcohol Wet Wipes or Alcohol – For Skin


To get the marker off skin after creating artwork, the most appropriate solvent is alcohol or wet wipes. They are mild on the skin, so they are safe to use.

You can just use the cloth to dab alcohol onto your skin to remove paint pen immediately. If there are some residues, wash again with some soap.

2. Nail Polish Remover/ Acetone – For Nails


If you accidentally paint your nails with paint markers, simply washing your nails with water will not suffice if the ink dries off.

Likewise, nail polish removers are acetone-based, which aids in breaking down pigments and resins. Hence, removing paint marker stains on your nails.

3. Hairspray with Alcohol – Clothes/ Fabric

You wouldn’t want to throw away your favorite shoes or sweatshirt just because it was stained with paint marker ink. Well, hairsprays come to the rescue.

They contain alcohol, so you can also use them to get paint out of clothes. Since hairsprays are cosmetics products, they contain fewer toxic chemicals, which is why they are safe to apply on fabrics like your carpet, pants, or jeans.

Read more:

4. Distilled Vinegar – Leather

Suppose you are holding your phone with its leather case to search for art inspirations when you unintentionally draw over it with your paint marker. Did you know that it is possible to restore your phone case? You just have to secure a bottle of distilled vinegar and follow the general steps in this post.

Distilled vinegar is a milder version of vinegar, which is perfect for cleaning delicate leathers. Vinegar has acetic acid, which is a known ingredient in all-purpose cleaners.

5. Denatured Alcohol – Persistent Cloth Stains

Given that you tried using hair sprays with alcohol to get paint out of shirt and still failed to do so, you can try using a more potent chemical called denatured alcohol.

However, what is denatured alcohol? It is ethanol with toxic additives like methanol. Therefore, wear protective gloves when using this substance to protect when you clean Sharpie paint pen on clothing.

6. Baking Soda – Sofa Fabric


Do you have adorable but naughty children who rummage through your art materials when they get a chance?

If they found your paint markers and scribbled them on your precious sofas, then the solution is in your kitchen.

Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the paint marker stains. And, let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour, then continually scrub the stain with an old toothbrush until it is all gone.

7. Hand Sanitizer – Plastics

Plastic surfaces are smooth and shiny. Therefore, scrubbing them with sharp objects to remove Uni paint marker stains is not an option.

Moreover, applying hand sanitizer on these surfaces will help the ink to disintegrate. It is also wise to use this solvent to avoid a cloudy ink residue.

8. Lemon with Essential Oils – Walls/ Wood


Walls also become the drawing boards of curious and artistic children. You’ll need lemon with essential oils to clean the ink stains from wall without removing paint.

Lemon juice and essential oils are organic cleaning agents that work together perfectly to eliminate stubborn stains. Also, they are less harsh than other cleaning agents, which is why they are safe to use on surfaces coated with paints like wood, chalkboard, and walls.

9. Dry Erase Markers – Whiteboards

Paint markers have permanent and more viscous ink that is hard to remove, especially if not removed for a long time. However, the trick is drawing over the stain with dry erase markers. The ink of the dry erase pen will mix with the paint marker ink, which causes corrosion of the ink.

10. Multi-purpose Stain Remover – Glass

Glass is the most famous example of a non-porous surface. They don’t have pores that solvents can seep into, so removing stains on this kind of surface is more manageable. Therefore, to clean the auction paint or other types of marker paint on glass, a potent multi-purpose cleaner is the right choice.

Spray a multi-purpose stain remover on a glass surface, such as a car window. Then, let it sit for about 5 minutes. After that, dab a paper towel on the markings until the glass is clean.

Multi-purpose stain removers contain chemicals that can dissolve, emulsify, or digest stains. Customers patronize these products since they offer a quick fix to stain problems.

Related article: 6 methods to remove permanent marker from glass.

11. Magic Eraser – Metals/Car

Vehicles are expensive investments, so owners handle them with utmost care. However, unfortunate incidents happen that make you wonder how to get paint marker off car.

Do not worry because a magic eraser can make paint marker stains vanish from metal surfaces. Just soak the tool in water, then rub it into the stain.

Also read: 8 simple ways to remove permanent markers from metal.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

How do you remove dry paint marker?

Soak the blotch of paint with a multi-purpose stain remover. Wait for about 5 minutes, then blot the markings with a paper towel until the ink is gone. It works for different surfaces, including your canvas.

Is paint marker removable?

Yes, you can use appropriate solutions based on the type of stained surfaces like alcohol, distilled vinegar, and tools like magic erasers.

Nothing is permanent, even if it is Paint Markers Hobby Lobby or Rock River Paint Markers.

Is paint marker permanent?

It is a permanent marker. However, it may be hard to remove the stains, but it is attainable with the proper tools.

How do you remove paint marker from plastic?

The most effective solution is soaking it with hand sanitizer, then dab it with a paper towel until the stain is all gone.


Those are recommended home remedies to wash the unwanted stains during and after you create artwork or do a DIY project. Make sure you use the suitable methods on the right surface to ensure damage. Feel free to ask how to remove paint marker to restore the beauty of various surfaces.

5/5 - (4 votes)

a few words from the author


Hi, I am Eveline Kessler, a content creator. My love for colors and arts draws me here to join the Intermediarts team with Leilani. I am responsible for testing new products and techniques with her and providing honest reviews and tips based on our experience.

Laura Walker


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