How to Remove a Permanent Marker Stain
by Brenda H. Murphy
Make sure you have a pad of paper towels underneath the area of material that you are trying to get the stain out of. Lay the item face down and work from the back of the stain, to avoid pushing the marker contents further into the fibers. Whatever stain removal method you choose, there are two basic rules: test it first on an area that will not show, to see if it stains or damages the fabric/color, and always air dry the garment after laundering, in the event the stain is not gone, and needs to be treated again. The heat from a dryer can set the stain so deeply that removal may not be possible.
Some treatments used for ballpoint ink may help, although the substance is entirely different. You can try sponging with rubbing alcohol and then laundering, or if the stain is in a viable location, soak the area (cuff, shirt sleeve, etc.) in a cup or dish of milk for several hours, then launder.
If the permanent marker is on your carpet, you may be able to remove most of it by using hairspray or rubbing alcohol. Put a small amount on a cloth and dab the spot. It may help to put a thin piece of cardboard such as the backing of a calendar, underneath, so you can dab with a bit of pressure and not spread the stain. The ink will come off on the wet cloth, at which time you should blot with a clean piece of dry cloth. Repeat this process of wet blot, dry blot, until you have gotten all the ink you can. Rinse the spot with clean water, or use a Shop Vac or other appliance to clean only that spot. Do not rub around marks, as you will only spread any ink that is left in the fibers.
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