How to Remove Dry Erase Marker from Clothes?

Children or maybe adults tend to get marker stains all over themselves, especially their clothes. Washing usual wet markers from the garments are a piece of cake, but when it comes to removing dry erase marker stains from clothes, it gets pretty hard to do so. So without further ado, here are some easy and quick steps you can carry out to remove dry erase marker stains.

We have learned how to remove permanent markers from any surfaceOpens in a new tab..

In this article, we will analyze how to remove stains from clothes.

dry erase marker on clothes

How to Remove Dry Erase Marker from Clothes?

The best way to remove dry erase markers from clothes is to use either rubbing alcohol on the stain or just treat it with a common stain remover.

  •  Firstly, take some paper towels, place them face down on a table, and make sure there are no creases.
  • Gently place the stained garment on the spread-out paper towels. The stained side should be placed right on the paper towels, with its unstained back facing you.
  • Carefully rub alcohol near the stained area and not on the area itself. You would see the marked spot from the back, so gently apply alcohol there. You can do so with a sponge.
  • Spread alcohol on the marker smeared spot, carefully and slowly. Make sure you’re applying the liquid from the back of the garment whilst using a sponge.
  • Carry on dabbing the spot. If the paper towels get too wet, keep changing them. Sometime later, you’ll see the stain disappearing.
  • After the cloth is stained free, rinse it nicely with clean water and treat the garment as usual.

By following these steps, your stained and smeared problem would go away. Suppose these steps seem tiresome or time-consuming to you. In that case, you can also get rid of dry erase marker stains by simply treating the cloth with a stain remover, afterwards washing the cloth as usual.


Are Dry Erase Markers Washable on Clothes?

Dry erase markers are not water washable on your clothes or any type of furniture. They are permanent markers and their ink is nonwashable from any sort of garment. However, you can remove dry erase markers on clothes using stain removers or rubbing alcohol or vinegar.

Dry erase markers or their stains on our clothes, unlike wet markers, are non-washable and can get smeared all over your garments very easily. These marker stains are inclined to be more troublesome, as they do not wash off. Still, you can remove the stain if you are miserable to get one by the steps mentioned above. The thing is, dry erase markers’ production is very different from that of wet ones. First and foremost, dry erase markers are not water-soluble, which means that the marker stain underwater cannot be dissolved, hence not getting removed or cleaned either. These dry erase markers are meant to be used anywhere but clothes. They’re pretty handy on non-porous surfaces or materials, such as glass, plastic, coated or non-coated metals or even polished or varnished wood. Because these dry erase markers are used on the discussed materials, they’re meant to be made, not washable. Their inks have release agents, or mould release agents, which tends to prevent them from bonding to other materials, or their inks might contain, and they indeed do, these water-insoluble pigments. When these mould release agents and pigments come together on a cloth, their particles get fixed together, and they get trapped on the fibre, resulting in a water-insoluble, unpleasant looking, smeared stain on your garment. Even if these stains are not washable, they can be removed by the steps discussed above.

What Dissolves Dry Erase Marker?

There are various liquids that dissolve dry erase marker ink. This includes household products like hairsprays, nail polish removers, alcohol, vinegars and much more.

Although dry erase markers are insoluble in water, meaning thereby they do not dissolve in water, these markers and their stains can be dissolved by other naturally found or man-made liquids. Dry erase markers, such as permanent markers or liquid chalk markers, are known for staying “permanently” on where you apply them. This is partially true, as they cannot be removed by water, which you’ve seen or probably tried out by now. But these markers and their splotches can be detached from your surfaces, furniture, skin, clothes or materials by some selective liquids, including some everyday household products you can get your hands quickly on. These removers include the following:

  • Hand sanitisers contain faint amounts of alcohol that will help you swipe the stains out quickly from your affected material or object.
  • Nail polish removers. They are known as non-acetone liquids by nature and can easily prevent and clean out the dry erase marker stains from your desired stained surface.
  • Even if you simply rub alcohol on the splotched surface, it would effortlessly remove the dry erase marker stain from your garment or any other object you’re trying to wipe clean.
  •  Peroxides tend to be helpful, too, as they naturally contain and are usually used for stain removal. Products like bleaching liquid or powder, hair dyes, mouthwash, or toothpaste can help your way out.
  •  Vinegar, which is typically found sitting in your kitchen, can be used to remove stains and cook. Vinegar has proven quite challenging regarding marker stain removal, especially dry erase ones.
  • Hair sprays can also remove dry erase stains more quickly than expected.

The dry erase marker blemish cleaners above are mostly household products you can find lying around in your house. If somehow you’re short of them, most of the mentioned products come in very cheap. Nonetheless, you would be capable of cleaning off dry erase marker imperfections even if they are water repellent.

How Do You Get Dry Erase Marker Out of Clothes without Rubbing Alcohol?

If you do not want to use alcohol on your clothes to remove the dry erase marker blotch, then you can make use of your oil soaps, vinegars, or milk to remove the dry marker stain.

As mentioned under the headline above, there are many ways you can clean your dry erase marker stained garment without the need of rubbing alcohol on it. You can do so by applying oil soaps to your clothes. Oil soaps contain unsaturated fatty acids, which removes permanent marker stains, whether they are present on your shirts, jackets, socks or even pants. If oil soap does not help, then try using milk. It may sound humorous, but using milk can make the unpleasant stain from your clothes disappear. Other usual family or household products like hairsprays, nail polish remover, vinegar, non-acetone liquids or powders and even hand sanitisers can lead to an unstained, pretty looking garment that you had before getting it dry erase marker stained. Gently applying any of the mentioned products would quickly solve your everyday problem.
To conclude, dry erase markers are tough and impossible to remove with water, as they are not soluble in them by nature. By taking note of this fact, you can remove dry erase markers from your clothes in many other ways without the use of water, such as applying alcohol, using hand sanitisers, or vinegar, whichever you may prefer. Dry erase markers, like permanent markers, can come in handy but can cause a mess if not handled with care.

Mark Brown

Mark Brown

Mark Brown is a construction engineer from California who has been working as an independent contractor and writer for the past 15 years. From 2022 onwards, Mark has also been contributing author of home repair articles at Read more on Mark Brown's biography page. Contact Mark:

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