The Best Products For Removing Permanent Marker Stains From Wood

Let's be honest, it's an easy mistake for a child to think a permanent marker is just like any other marker they've played with. which may lead to unfortunate accidents around the home. If you do happen to get a marker stain on your wood furniture it may initially seem irreparable, especially when rubbing it doesn't have any effect.

What makes a permanent market permanent? According to Sciencing, the pigment that's in these markers is non-polar, which means it doesn't dissolve in water. That is a good thing, especially when writing on surfaces outdoors or in a moisture-prone area. Permanent markers are different from traditional markers that have ink that easily dissolves in water, which is why you may be able to wipe those markers off with ease. Even though these markers are designed to be permanent, thankfully, there are a few tricks that may help get them off of your wooden items.

Consider the use of rubbing alcohol

One of the best ways to clean a permanent marker stain off your wood surfaces is with the use of rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is made up of isopropyl alcohol and water, with strengths ranging from 50% to as high as 90%. According to the Cleveland Clinic, higher concentrations of isopropyl alcohol mean the product is better at killing germs. You can also use this versatile cleaner to cleanse your face or even get the grime of the day off of your shoes.

Creek Line House states that applying a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a paper towel and then rubbing it over the marker will help it come right off. This is much more effective if the wood has a protective finish on it, as the marker will often saturate into an unfinished surface, which then makes it nearly impossible to remove.  

Consider the use of toothpaste

Toothpaste is another helpful way to get rid of marker stains on wood surfaces. All you need is white toothpaste (not gel), a toothbrush, and a sponge. Avoid any type of toothpaste with grit or abrasive component to it, recommends Start Woodworking Now. Apply the toothpaste over the area of wood with the marker stain and let it sit for about 15 minutes.

Then, rub it in with a toothbrush and, if you would like, add a small amount of dish detergent for more solvent-based cleaning. Keep it as dry as possible throughout this process and avoid rinsing it. Work the toothpaste into the stain by moving the brush in the same direction as the wood grain. Once you see the stain start to lift, wipe the area with a damp sponge. If some of the stain is still visible, you can repeat the method again.