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How to Remove Permanent Marker From Concrete? (8 Ways)
Written by Laura Walker
Fact checked by Leilani Carroll
For some reason, permanent marker ink always ends up where we do not want it to be. For example, concrete walls and floors. Luckily, there are ways around it. In this article, we will show you some effective permanent marker removal solutions.
So, keep reading to learn how to remove permanent marker from concrete completely.
Baking soda is excellent at cleaning permanent marker ink from fabric, plastic, and concrete, including painted concrete. You will need a bucket, soft-bristle brush, some water, and a cloth or paper towels.
Step 1: Create your baking soda and water mixture
In the bucket that you have prepared, combine baking soda and water in a 1:1 ratio. The specific amount depends on the size of the stain you are dealing with. Adjust accordingly.
Step 2: Apply the mixture to the permanent marker ink stain
Dip the soft-bristle brush that you have into the mixture. Make sure that it is well-loaded. Then, apply the mixture to the ink stain. Wait for about 5 – 7 minutes.
Step 3: Start scrubbing
Roll up your sleeves to get scrubbing. Use the same soft-bristle brush to work off the ink. Gentle force and circular motions will do the trick. You do not want to use too much force, especially if your concrete is painted, as it can cause discoloration.
The ink should slowly loosen and then fade away entirely. Once you notice that it is completely gone, you can stop scrubbing.
Step 4: Clean the treated area
Use clean, warm water to wash the area you have just scrubbed. If you are outside and there is a hose handy, feel free to use it. The key is to make sure that there are no residues left. If there are still some, wipe it down with a fresh cloth or some paper towels.
Step 5: Leave the now-cleaned surface to dry
Let the concrete surface air-dry.
Method 2: Using Hydrogen Peroxide + Bleach + Water
This is a slightly stronger solution than baking soda and water. Hence, you can use it to get rid of permanent marker ink stains that are more stubborn.
In addition to these three ingredients, prepare the following:
A bucket or similar container
A wire brush
Step 1: Make the hydrogen peroxide, bleach, and water solution and do a patch test
Blend hydrogen peroxide, bleach, and water in a bucket or similar container. Make just a small amount at first to do a patch test. You should pick an unnoticeable spot and apply the solution to see if there are negative reactions. If your concrete surface discolors or flakes, do not proceed. In this case, consider the other methods in this list.
Step 2: Apply your solution to the permanent marker ink stain
Apply your solution to the permanent marker ink stain. Allow 5 minutes for it to settle.
Next, scrub in back and forth or circular motions to erase the permanent marker ink. If the stain you are working on has dried, it will take more effort. But do not fret; just scrub diligently! The ink should loosen up gradually and disappear.
Step 3: Wipe the treated area and repeat the process if necessary
Once the stain is gone, wipe down the surface with some paper towels. If you notice that there is still a trace of residue, repeat the second step. Note that during the process, you can reapply the solution as many times as you need.
Step 4: Rinse the treated area and let it air-dry
Finally, rinse the treated area with water. You can simply hose it down. Then, leave it dry.
Method 3: Nail Polish Remover
Besides your nails, nail polish removers can effectively clean permanent markers from whiteboards, laminated floors, cement, and concrete.
However, since they can be more expensive than other cleaning solutions, you might want to use them only for small stains or when you have no other options.
Here are the materials you will need:
Nail polish remover
A wire brush
Some soapy water
Once you have the necessary items, proceed with these steps:
Pour some nail polish remover over your permanent marker stain.
Scrub the stain with a wire brush. Use back-and-forth or circular motions.
Rewet the stain with nail polish remover as you scrub. It is important that it is wet as you scrub.
Once the stain fades away, rinse the treated area with soapy water to ensure that there is no residue left.
Finally, hose the treated surface down with clean water and let it air dry.
Method 4: Turpentine
Turpentine is also recommended for Sharpie stains. You will just need about 1 to 2 cups, some water, and a stiff scrub brush. Here are the steps to get Sharpie off concrete:
Soak the Sharpie ink with Turpentine. You can use 1 to 2 cups, depending on the size of the stains.
Let the Turpentine sit for an hour, allowing it to work its magic and pull the ink from the porous surface.
Rinse the stained spot with water. You can pour over it with a bucket or similar container and observe that the Turpentine is cleared away.
If there are still visible traces on your concrete, clean it once more with soapy water. You can use the same bucket to mix water and soap. Use the stiff-bristle brush that you have prepared to scrub.
Wash the treated area with clean water after you have finished scrubbing. Finally, leave it to air dry.
Method 5: Commercial Grafitti Remover
For this approach, you will need a commerical graffiti remover, a wire brush, and some water. It is essential that you get a remover made for concrete. Consider Cleanfast, Goof Off, and Genuine Joe products.
First, strip off as much of the permanent marker ink as possible with a power washer, set at a maximum of 3,000 psi. This step will help you loosen the stain up for later steps too. Make sure you spray at the stain from an angle and not straight-on to avoid damaging it.
Next, apply your commercial graffiti remover to the marker ink stain. All products come with their own instructions, so be sure to read and follow the specific steps on yours.
Use your wire brush to work the remover into the concrete. Do this until your ink stain fades completely.
Rinse the area that you have just scrubbed with clean water to finish. Do not forget to let it air-dry, too.
Method 6: Oxygenated Cleaner
This next procedure is similar to the one above. You will have to use an oxygenated cleaner, a brush, and some water. Artltdmag.com recommends using a powdered oxygenated cleaner, but you can use a liquid one if it is readily available.
Hose down the stained surface. This will loosen up the marker ink and make it easier for the oxygenated cleaner to get the job done.
Apply the cleaner to the stain. Then, wait for about 1 hour.
After the 1-hour mark, wipe the cleaner off with a slightly-wet cloth. The ink should leave with the cleaner. If not, continue with steps 4 to 6.
Make some soapy water in a bucket or similar container and dip your brush in it, making sure it is soaked.
Use the brush to scrub and erase the permanent marker ink stain.
Hose down the treated surface once the stain is gone.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does WD-40 remove permanent markers?
WD-40 is a commerical product that gets permanent marker off many surfaces. So, it might be able to help you with permanently marked concrete too. If none of the methods we have listed above gets the job done, it is not a bad idea to give WD-40 a try.
What removes dried permanent markers from concrete?
Without rubbing alcohol in sight, you can use baking soda, bleach, or Hydrogen Peroxide for cleaning.
In fact, all the methods above can remove dried permanent marker ink from concrete. You can test one or all of them to find the best approach. We recommend starting with the ones you already have materials lying around.
By now, you might as well have a concrete cleaning certificate! With the 6 approaches we have, you no longer have to panic about how to remove permanent marker from concrete!
If you have any additional questions, reach out to us in the comments.
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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.
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