Did your kids write on the walls with a Sharpie? Did you accidentally smear ink on your favorite pants? Maybe someone left the lid off a magic marker and knocked it onto the carpet.
Where ever you might have ink that it doesn’t belong, it’s one of the most dreaded stains. You won’t remove ink with any laundry detergent, spray cleaner, stain remover or pre-treatment.
Fortunately, you probably already have one of the best ink removal substances already in your medicine cabinet or first aid kit.
Common isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol is the best way to remove permanent marker or any type of ink from most surfaces. I like to use alcohol wipes for convenience. You can also use bottled rubbing alcohol applied with a cotton swab or soft cloth.
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If you don’t have alcohol wipes or bottled isopropyl alcohol, you could substitute hand sanitizer. Hairspray might work in a pinch if has enough alcohol in it. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser also does the job on many hard surfaces. I haven’t had much luck removing ink with alternatives such as regular toothpaste (not gel), vinegar, and lemon juice.
Whatever you’re using to remove ink stains, test it on a small, inconspicuous space first to make sure it doesn’t cause any damage. I’ve never seen rubbing alcohol damage anything I’ve used it on, but you never know.
Use care when rubbing off stains on painted or finished surfaces; if you scrub too hard, you might strip the paint or finish off. Avoid using a Magic Eraser on something with a shiny finished surface. The instructions on the box will let you know if there are other surfaces where you should not use a Magic Eraser.
When removing ink from clothing, be sure to put an old towel or some paper towels underneath the part of the garment you’re working on. You don’t want ink to seep into other parts of the garment or onto the flat surface you’re using.
For soft surfaces such as carpets, you may need to dab on some alcohol, wait a few minutes, then come back to it to rub it out.
Please note that you’ll need to catch ink stains in garments before they’re washed. Otherwise, the stain will have set, and you’ll probably never get it out. Alcohol should remove permanent marker or other ink stains from the followings items and surfaces.
- Dry Erase Boards
For removing ink stains on a flat screen TV or computer monitor, first try a damp, lint-free cloth. Wipe gently to avoid damaging the screen. If that doesn’t work, switch to a baby wipe.
For removing writing or drawing in books, try a bit of nail polish remover on a clean cloth and dab it, without soaking the page.
How About You?
How do you remove permanent marker or ink from surfaces? What has and has not worked for you?