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How Remove Permanent Marker Stains From Carpet

As the name suggests, permanent marker is no easy stain to remove since its designed to be...permanent.

Unlike pen stains, permanent markers have dyes and pigments in them to increase it's potency.

Does that mean that your carpets and upholstery are doomed always to have this nasty mark on it for the rest of its life?

Thankfully not. The 'permanent' marker isn't really an eternal stain, it's just a real pain to remove.

In this blog post, we will discuss the various different methods of how to get permanent marker out of your carpets.

Fastest Way to remove those nasty sharpie stains out of your carpets

permanent marker sharpie on carpet

The fastest and easiest way of removing permanent marker stains is to grab some rubbing alcohol and a magic eraser. Pour some of the alcohol onto the eraser and then gently scrub the stain away.

If you don't have a magic eraser, carry on reading for some more methods of removal.

Method 2: oil free hairspray

I bet you didn't think hairspray could be so useful until now. For this method, you will need oil free hairspray, a clean white cloth, cold water.

  • Pour a generous amount of the hairspray onto a clean white cloth

  • Dab gently at the permanent marker stain

  • Switch to a clean part of the cloth each time you repeat the process so as not to smudge the marker back into the carpets and upholstery

  • Finally use a bit of cold water once the stain has gone to drown out any of the potential remaining stain

Method 3: nail polish remover

100% acetone has the exact same desired effect as rubbing alcohol because the compounds are very similar.

Practice the exact same method as with the rubbing alcohol using a few cotton buds if you don't have a magic eraser.

Cotton buds are better for dabbing the acetone in as you won't want to saturate the carpet with this potent product. You will also probably need at least 4 cotton buds to fully get rid of the permanent marker.

After a few passes the marker should have been fully removed. If not, skip to method 5, the stain is probably an older one and needs a more abrasive approach.

Method 4: Hand Sanitizer

Using hand sanitizer is a surprisingly decent way of getting the bulk of permanent marker stains out of carpet if you Don't have any alternative.

It's not quite as effective, but using it with a white cloth will remove the marker stains fairly well.

This method is only really if you don't have anything else to hand for getting rid of the marker stain, if you have any of the other solutions to hand, they will be much more effective and faster too.

Method 5: Specialist Product

If you tried all of the above methods and the stain didn't budge, it's time to purchase a product designed specifically for stains like permanent markers.

Our go to solution in situations like this is inksolv by prochem. It makes short work of even the oldest permanent marker stain.

The only problem with using this method in removing permanent marker from carpet or upholstery if that it is quite expensive.

You probably don't want to be spending £20 on something when you only need a small amount to remove one little stain.

Can You Remove Permanent Marker Out Of Your Couch?

Yes, you can use the exact same methods mentioned to remove permanent marker from your couch too. However, don't use a magic eraser on a leather sofa because it can easily remove the colouring of the leather from the couch itself.

To remove permanent marker from your fabric couch:

  1. Grab your rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover hand sanitizer

  2. apply the solution to a white cloth and dab the permanent marker stain

  3. Repeat the process until the stain has been lifted

  4. Apply cold water to the stained area to break down the cleaning solution which will help the drying process

How to remove permanent marker from a suede or leather couch

The process here is slightly different due to the delicacy of suede and leather. You won't be able to soak the stain in the same way because it could damage or discolour your couch.

Method For Suede & Leather Couches:

  1. Use a small amount of rubbing alcohol in a cotton bud

  2. You need to use a cotton bud because it's more absorbent and won't soak the couch

  3. Gently dab the solution on the stain. Immediately get a dry paper towel and dry the area

  4. Repeat this slow process until the stain has gone

  5. If you are cleaning leather, always apply a restoration balm afterwards as you will have removed the natural oils inside the leather


These products are safe on all carpet types so Don't worry about damaging your fabric.

A professional is always happy to help you with this process if you're unsure about anything or don't have time to do it yourself.

Remember some of the products listed can be harmful to pets of they decide to lick the stained area so make sure you air dry it as quickly as possible.

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