how to get permanent marker off wood

How to Get Permanent Marker Off Wood

A permanent marker is a disaster waiting to happen, especially when you have kids at home. Or even when you left it somewhere and the ink starts dripping off. Whatever the reason may be, getting your permanent marker on any surface is a problem you must know how to solve. 

Ink spilled on the sofa is the worst. However, if it gets spilled on the wooden surface, there are solutions you can do. It is why it’s crucial to know how to get permanent markers off the wood. Fortunately, there are a lot of home remedies to use when such damages happen. Removing the permanent marker may be easy to do after all. 

What do you need? 

Yet, before you start rummaging for the items you need, it is essential to check the type of wood you have. Cleaning the permanent marker stain with harsh solutions may not be a good idea. However, try these safe and tested tools you have at home. 

You can use any of the following: 

  • Alcohol

Alcohol doesn’t only work in keeping the germs off. It works best as a cleaning tool as well. Stains aren’t an issue when you have the alcohol to wipe them off quickly. 

  • Hand Sanitizer Gel 

Another powerful item to help you is the hand sanitizer gel. Just like alcohol, it has powerful ingredients that make it effortless to remove any probable stains. If you have this at home, you can try to use it as an alternative. 

  • Toothpaste 

Toothpaste is a known item to get rid of stubborn stains. It may help you remove the permanent marker off your wood as well. You always have toothpaste at home, so this solution can be one of the first you want to try. 

Other solutions include the use of the following items: 

  • Nail Polish Remover 
  • Aerosol Hair Spray 
  • Magic Eraser 
  • Baking Soda 
  • Board Cleaner 

These different options allow you several choices to use to get rid of your permanent marker stains. 

How to Get Permanent Marker off Wood? 

Learn how to get a permanent marker off the wood with these remedies. Wipe these unwanted stains easily. Here’s how to effectively use them. 


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Using several drops of alcohol, get a piece of cotton ball or pad. Put a little – just enough to dampen the cotton, not dripping wet. Then, lightly dab the permanent marker stains on the wood. Then, take a separate clean cloth and moisten it with water. Use this to wipe the permanent marker stain off. 

Continue dabbing the cotton into the stain, then wiping with a damp cloth until you remove the stains. Avoid rubbing the alcohol on the wood surface as it may cause damages to the finish. 

Hand Sanitizer Gel 

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When using your hand sanitizer gel, take a little product and drip directly into the permanent marker stains. Avoid using too much, just enough to dampen the marker stains with the sanitizer gel. You can leave it for a few seconds before using a clean cloth to wipe it off. 


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You know how effective toothpaste can be when it comes to stains. It will help you solve your maker stain problem quickly. However, as you may now know, gel toothpaste isn’t as effective the white ones. So, if you only have gel toothpaste, sprinkle a bit of baking soda to make it more effective. 

Nail Polish Remover 

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The nail polish remover is an effective alternative as well and works like alcohol. You can use another cotton ball. Take a slight amount of nail polish remover. Then, lightly and gently rub the permanent marker stain. You can dab it as well. 

The crucial step is not to rub it too aggressively, or you will damage the wood finish. Instead, observe first how the wood reacts to the nail polish remover. Then, you can adjust the motion, whether you want to dab or rub the stain off. 

Aerosol Hair Spray 

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If you have tried using hair spray to take stains off your clothes, you won’t get surprised if it does the same with permanent marker stains. You spray the area with hairspray and wait a few seconds before you wipe it away with a clean cloth. It will surprise you how effective hairsprays can be. 

Magic Eraser 

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A magic eraser is an ideal solution if you want to get an effective result without worrying about the probable effects. After all, the magic eraser has a specialized formulation to remove stains quickly. 

However, always remember not to scrub the wood harshly, or you may damage the wood rather than getting the permanent market stain off.  

Baking Soda 

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Of course, baking soda is a master of all stain removers. Nothing gets past baking soda, so it is worth a try to use this in removing your permanent marker stains. Use a sufficient amount of baking soda. It depends on how big the marker stain is. Make a paste out of the water and some baking soda. 

Rub the paste into the stain using a clean cloth. Baking soda won’t hurt your wood, so this solution should be one of the first ones you need to try. Gently rub the baking soda until all marker stains disappeared. 

Board Cleaner 

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If you happen to have a permanent maker, chances are, you have some board cleaners as well. Yet, if the stain is on wood without the finish coating, then don’t use this. It will create more damage. The board cleaner works well when the wood has a nice coat of paint. 

Spray an adequate amount of wood. Then, with a clean cloth, gently wipe the wood. Repeat the process as needed.  


The key to easily remove the stain off your wood is noticing it early. Once you saw it late, the ink may have seeped in into the wood, making it harder to remove it. That is why learning how to get a permanent marker off wood is essential if you both have wood floors or furniture at home and constantly use a permanent marker. 

You can help save your wood to create any further damages. Thus, the next time a mishap may happen, make sure to work quickly to get the permanent marker stain off the wood.



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