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How to Remove Permanent Marker

Did the kiddos get a little “creative” with their coloring? Cleaning things up isn’t so hard with this tip:

ExampleWorks like a charm for me, but didn’t work out so well for you? No worries, there’s a list of more ideas below.

First, this is an experiment I tried on a wood table [1] which had old permanent marker stains. Another several years old abuse. I decided to try toothpaste and they lifted quite nicely.

What I Did: I simply rubbed some in, left it for a minute or two and then took a soapy, wet dishcloth (excess water squeezed out) and rubbed out the stains going with the direction of the grain of the wood. I had to apply some pressure, but it worked!

Caution: Be careful about using toothpaste, make sure to choose a regular kind that doesn’t contain any abrasives. Especially when working on items with a fine finish (such as wood furniture) since you don’t want to scratch the surface.


Here are more helpful tips I’ve organized from readers in the comment area below (for use on wood, walls, floors, clothing–all kinds of things):

Have I missed your tried & true remedy? Please share it in the comments section below!