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Cleaning Permanent Marker Stains: A 5-Step Guide

permanent marker stains

Dealing with permanent marker stains can be a real challenge.

If you accidentally get a permanent marker stain on your favorite shirt or prized tablecloth, there’s no need to panic. You can get them off with no problem with these five easy steps:

Act Swiftly

The longer you wait to take care of permanent marker stains, the tougher it becomes to get rid of them.

Act promptly while the stain is fresh to maximize your chances of complete removal.

Gather Materials

You’ll need a few common household items to tackle a permanent marker stain:

  • Rubbing alcohol (90% or higher isopropyl alcohol is ideal)
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • A clean, white cloth or paper towel
  • Mild liquid detergent
  • Warm water
  • An old toothbrush
  • Hydrogen peroxide (for white fabrics only)

With your supplies ready, you’re all set to move on to the actual cleaning process.

Test a Small Area

Before you dive into the cleaning process, it’s crucial to test a small, inconspicuous area of the stained item to ensure your chosen method won’t cause any harm. 

This step is especially important for delicate fabrics and materials. If the test area doesn’t show any adverse effects, you’re good to proceed.

Treat the Stain

Soak a cotton ball or swab with rubbing alcohol, then gently blot the marker stain. Avoid excessive rubbing, as it can spread the ink. 

If the stain persists on white fabrics, you can attempt using hydrogen peroxide. Apply a small amount then gently blot with a clean cloth or paper towel. 

On non-fabric surfaces like glass, plastic, or wood, rubbing alcohol is usually effective. Simply apply rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth and gently rub the stained area until the marker comes off. 

For wood surfaces, be sure to reseal the area with wax or polish.

Launder or Wipe Down

After successfully removing the permanent marker stain, your final step is either to launder the stained fabric or wipe down the cleaned surface.

If the stained item is mach/ine-washable, follow the care label’s instructions and wash it in cold water with your regular detergent. 

Avoid using bleach, as it can react with any remaining marker residue and set the stain. Check the item after washing to ensure the stain is completely gone before drying it.

After cleaning, use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface and remove any lingering alcohol or residue. For glass surfaces, you can also use glass cleaner to make it shine.

For everything else that needs cleaning around your home, trust only an experienced professional to deal with the mess. Book a cleaning with us at Clean House Services today!

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