Markers are perfect tools for drawing and coloring, but they also leave stains very easily. Especially when children handle them, the markers can become a hazard for any decor. There is nothing worse than getting a stain from a permanent marker on a wall. However, even if it seems impossible to clean, today we will show you how to get permanent marker off walls.
The first thing to know is that the permanent marker adheres very easily to walls with rustic finishes or matte paint, so it will be much more difficult to remove it from these surfaces. The problem is that the stains do not decide where they will appear, so you probably have to clean some on this type of wall.
You can rest easy knowing that it is possible to clean the marker from them, but the process will be more delicate. Due to the marker’s composition, you may have to resort to using solvents, although these could damage the integrity of your wall paint.
In case you don’t have any solvents, you shouldn’t worry either, as there are several inexpensive options you can use for this cleaning task. Some of these agents are even of natural origin, so they will not be harmful to your family’s health.
Let’s see then how to remove permanent marker from the wall without damaging your economy or walls.
How to get permanent marker off walls – Methods for any situation
Like paint, it takes time for the marker to completely dry and become difficult to remove. As soon as you see the stain, proceed to clean it for a better chance of success.
This will not prevent the marker from quickly getting on the wall, but it will not dry out immediately. However, before proceeding to apply any of the solutions listed, clean the area with a dry cloth to remove dust.
Another recommendation is to test the following methods on a not visible wall’s section to verify that it will not damage it. Remember to clean the area where you performed the test with water.
Alcohol – Universal solvent
The chemical properties of alcohol mean that this substance can dilute practically any stain, including those of the permanent marker. Lightly moisten a cloth and rub the stain. Apply only enough force to remove the marker, being careful with the paint on the wall.
If you previously performed a test, and in this test the alcohol removed some of the paint from the wall, then use extreme caution. It is common for paint to be diluted with alcohol, but depending on the amount you removed, you can consider whether to use this method.
In this example, after several strokes, the red marker stain turned pink. If the cloth can’t remove any more pigments, you can try applying the alcohol with a sponge. Hardly anyone will think that there was ever a marker stain there.
Hand sanitizer – Portable option
Not everyone has alcohol in their jacket pocket to clean the walls, and you may need this disinfectant for other things. You can replace it with a little hand sanitizer.
Since this gel has alcohol as its fundamental ingredient, you can remove permanent marker from walls with a technique similar to the previous one. Best of all, the gel is easy to remove once you’re done using it.
Dry Erase Marker – The ideal product
As with all ink, there is a product specially designed to remove marker ink. A dry erase marker has the appearance of a marker, but this one has solvent and other compounds inside that allow to erase the stains.
Get a dry erase marker of the same color as the line you want to remove, apply a layer of the substance on it and proceed to remove both with a dry cloth. If the stain did not come out completely, you can repeat the process until there is no residue on the wall.
Lemon – Acid cleaning
One of the most natural alternatives that you can get is inside the lemon. This fruit contains an acidic liquid that works very well as a solvent.
The lemon essential oil can remove paint from the permanent marker. The advantage is that it should not damage the wall while leaving a pleasant smell.
Toothpaste – It not only cleans teeth
Another alternative for cleaning stains is toothpaste. Cleaning the resin from the teeth is not an easy task, but this compound is capable of leaving it shiny. You can also do this with the walls, but you should be careful not to use the gel toothpaste.
Using a cloth, spread a small layer of toothpaste over the permanent marker stripe. You can combine the toothpaste with water to spread the mixture over a larger surface.
Let the layer sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and then wipe it off using a damp cloth.
If you want to use toothpaste to clean delicate objects, such as those made of wood, you must ensure that it does not include abrasives or it could damage the material.
Hair Spray – Scalp care
You don’t need to look for complex guides to know how to get permanent marker off walls, especially since most of the substances you can use are in your kit of everyday beauty products. The best example is hair spray.
Although it may not seem like it, the hair spray has components that help reactivate the marker ink, making it turn liquid again.
The only downside to using hair spray is that the amount you will need to spray will be plentiful for it to work. As soon as you see the marker stain turn liquid, proceed to wipe it clean.
If hair spray residue remains on the wall later, you can remove it using elbow grease.
Toothpaste + baking soda – Abrasive combination
If you combine a little bit of baking soda with the toothpaste technique, you will get a mixture with amazing abrasive power.
You should only mix equal parts of both compounds, using the amount you deem necessary to remove the marker stain.
In the same way, you will have to apply a layer of the mixture on the stain you want to clean, and then you have to wait approximately 10 minutes for it to take effect. The marker ink should start to come off. Try to apply the mixture exclusively to the stain or you could remove the wall paint.
Using a damp cloth with water, clean the area. Repeat the process until there are no traces of marker, toothpaste, or baking soda.
Finish the process with a dry cloth to avoid leaving wet stains on the wall.
Windex – Cleaning supplement
If the above options were not enough, you can use Windex to supplement the cleaning job. Windex alone is not very useful as a permanent ink cleaning agent, but other compounds may help in the task. The recommendation is to combine it with elbow grease for the best results.
Simply spray a little bit of Windex on the marker stain and wipe clean. You should keep removing the sharpie from walls until there are no residues, so you may need multiple Windex applications.
Nail Polish Remover – Compact solvent
As with alcohol, you need to know how to get permanent marker off walls with an everyday product like nail polish remover. With a very small amount, you will be able to dissolve large permanent ink stains attached to the wall.
In this case, the stain must be dry before you can apply the nail polish remover. As this liquid can be harmful to your wall, we recommend that you test it in a not visible area beforehand.
Apply a small amount using a cloth, and rub until the stain disappears. Then use another damp cloth to clean the area.
How to get permanent marker off walls – When nothing works
There are a couple of alternatives that you can apply if none of the above options managed to remove the stain, although it may not be what you were looking for. Anyway, sometimes they are better than leaving the marker stain standing out in your living room.
Hide the stain temporarily
You can temporarily hide the permanent marker stain by simply hiding it with some object. The high spots can be hidden with pictures and hanging photographs, while the low spots can be behind decorative plants or armchairs.
This alternative is perfect if you still don’t know what to do with the marker stain, or if you are looking for the tools to clean it up and you don’t want someone to see it.
Re-paint the wall
The best solution may be to simply repaint the wall. This can be with the same color that it has or with a totally different one.
As it is a marker ink, when painting on it there will be no residual stains that reveal its position.
If you decide to paint using the same color, you do not need to buy a container to paint the entire wall, it will be enough to cover the stain to hide it.
Install a new wallpaper
Finally, if you know that no matter how many times you clean the stains, they will reappear, your best bet is to wallpaper the room with white paper to use the walls as a canvas. Simply remove it when there is no more space to scratch.
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