If you are like me and needed to know how to get permanent marker out of carpet, you’re in luck! I did some experimenting to figure out the best way for getting permanent marker out of carpet. If you’re looking for the best results, you’re in luck! Those stubborn ink stains will be out of those carpet fibers in no time at all!
We have a solid family rule that all kids need to ask permission before using permanent markers for anything. We keep the sharpies away from their regular kids art supplies by storing them in my office
But, like all kids, they really want to use the pretty colored permanent markers we have for various craft and art projects. Or cause they’re bored.
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While we can mostly trust our 9-year-old daughters with them, they, unfortunately, have a problem with not putting them away after they are done using them, or are careless and let some fall and getaway, etc.
This means my younger children, specifically my 4-year-old and my 1-year-old find them and draw with them because they love to color and draw with markers.
One day they got a blue sharpie permanent marker and were stabbing it through some sort of cardboard box or poster board or something that was lying on our carpet. Of course, they didn’t realize they were making marker stains on our beige carpet as they stabbed hole through the paper.
As renters, about to move, it was far from ideal to have blue permanent marker dots all over our carpet.
So, I did what everyone does (and what you likely did) and googled “how to get permanent marker out of carpet.”
There were loads of ideas on different products to try, and, because I had several of these permanent marker carpet stain removal products on hand already, I figured I would do some real live tests to see which marker stain removal method was the best.
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I have numerous carpet stain removing tips on my site already:
- How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Carpet
- How to Get Blu Tack Out of Carpets
- How to Get Slime Out of Carpet
- How to Remove Poop Stains from Carpets (and the Smell)
- How to Remove Rust from Carpets
- How to Remove Carpet Stains with Only Water!
How to Get Permanent Marker Off Carpet
I tried out the following methods for getting permanent marker out of carpets:
- Nail Polish Remover (100% Acetone)
- Isopropyl Alcohol (91% rubbing alcohol)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
You can watch my video showing all of these products in action and me ranking the products in ease and effectiveness below:
I am going to share how to use each product and rank them from worst/hardest/most time-consuming to easiest/fastest/best method.
The good news is that every method DID work, but there was a clear winner, in my opinion.
#5 Acetone (Nail Polish Remover)
To remove permanent marker stains from carpets with acetone you’ll need:
- Acetone (nail polish remover)
- Cotton balls or cotton rounds
How to get permanent marker off carpets with acetone:
- Soak a cotton ball or cotton round in acetone.
- Blot at the marker carpet stain repeatedly.
- Press firm and hard to soak up the stain.
- Reapply acetone to the cotton as needed and blot again.
- Switch to a new cotton ball or cotton round once it stops absorbing.
- Continue this process until stain is completely removed from carpet.
This is my least favorite method because acetone has a super strong odor (and chances are you can’t exactly take your carpet outside for better ventilation) and it takes FOREVER.
#4 Rubbing Alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol)
For this method of permanent marker stain removal, you will need:
- Rubbing Alcohol (I used a 91% isopropyl alcohol)
- Cotton balls or Cotton rounds
How to remove permanent marker stains on carpet with rubbing alcohol:
- Soak the stain with rubbing alcohol
- Blot up the stain with cotton balls
- Resoak area and/or cotton balls as you blot and dab and gently scrub as needed.
- Keep blotting until the permanent marker stain is removed.
This one is also not my favorite because alcohol also reeks and it took a long time for the permanent marker stain on the carpet to get off.
#3 Hand Sanitizer
You will need the following to get permanent marker from carpet:
- Hand sanitizer (I used a generic brand)
- Cotton balls or cotton rounds
How to remove permanent marker stains from carpets with hand sanitizer
- Squirt hand sanitizer directly onto the marker stain on the carpet
- Gently dab and lightly rub your cotton round into the stain.
- Add more hand sanitizer as needed, and use new cotton rounds as needed.
- Keep blotting until the Sharpie stain is removed.
This method worked well enough. It wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t bad either.
I mostly tried out hand sanitizer after my friend Susie from Busy Toddler shared how she uses it to remove permanent marker from cookies sheets she writes alphabet letters on (and other preschool learning things). I was curious if it would work as well on carpet/fabric.
It didn’t work as well, but it’s a doable method for sure.
You’ll need the following to get permanent marker out of carpet with hairspray:
- Non-Oil-based Hairspray – I used Garnier Fructis
- Cotton balls or cotton rounds
How to get permanent marker out of carpet with hairspray:
- Spray the permanent marker stain heavily with your non-oil hairspray.
- Dab cotton balls or cotton rounds to the market stain on the carpet
- Add more hairspray as needed.
- Keep blotting until the stain is removed.
This method really surprised me at how well it worked!! A lot of blue Sharpie immediately lifted off onto my cotton round!
The other advantage is that hairspray typically smells better than all the previous alcohol-based methods.
The disadvantage, and why it wasn’t ranked first, was that the cotton stuck to my fingers! Hairspray is sticky hence why it works so well.
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#1 Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Materials needed to get rid of permanent marker stains on carpet with a Magic Eraser:
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (knock-off brands would likely work too)
The method for getting permanent markers off carpets with a Magic Eraser:
- Soak your Magic Eraser in water. Wring out excess water so it is damp, not soaked.
- Gently scrub the Magic Eraser against the permanent marker stain on the carpet.
- Keep scrubbing until the stain is gone!
I was so skeptical that this method would even work at all, as I had never used a Magic Eraser on carpet before, but low and behold!
It worked super well and is so easy! No cotton balls needed! No smells! No residue left behind!
If you find your little dear children or grandchildren (or yourself) accidentally (or not so accidentally) took a Sharpie to your carpet, have no fear! It can come out!! It’s not so permanent after all!
Tips for getting rid of permanent marker ink
You don’t need to call in professional carpet cleaners to tackle that once beautiful carpet. You can take care of permanent marker mishaps by using my simple cleaning method above.
Make sure that you do a test on an inconspicuous area first if you’re worried about how it’s going to react to the affected area. This is the easiest way to be sure that you’re not going to damage the carpet. A small area to test is fine. A simple spot removal test works great.
I’ve had great success using these methods for removing stubborn stains. Permanent markers stains don’t have to stay forever in your house. You can remove the permanent ink and make that stained area nice and clean! When you can take matters into your own hands, that’s a good thing! Say goodbye to those sharpie stains and put in a little elbow grease to get rid of the stain!
Again, you can use any of the method above, but the best was the Magic Eraser, so be sure you stock up on them!
Noah Enholm says
Rubbing alcohol and hairspray have been widely used against fabric stains. When used together, these products make strong cleaning agents to get Sharpie out of carpet or any fresh permanent marker stains.