If a stray Sharpie has left its mark on your clothes, remember that while a permanent marker is designed to be—well, permanent—a few handy tips can help tackle those stubborn spots. Sharpies contain a mix of solvents and pigments, which allow the ink to resist water, fend off fading, and dodge smudging, all while nestling deep into fabric fibers and presenting a challenge to remove.
Keep reading this guide to learn effective methods to get rid of those unwelcome ink marks and keep your favorite garments in the rotation. Your next laundry day might just become a little bit brighter!
How to Get Sharpie Out of Clothes
Let’s unveil some everyday household items that transform into our allies, easily addressing those staunch Sharpie spots on fabrics. Select a method below, and let’s reclaim the purity of your cherished clothes.
1: Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol, a common household item, can help dissolve the persistent Sharpie marks effectively.
- Place a paper towel beneath the stained area.
- Gently blot with a clean cloth to absorb as much ink as possible.
- Apply rubbing alcohol to a sponge and blot the stain.
- Continue until the stain fades.
- Wash the clothing as usual.
2: Nail Polish Remover
An acetone-based nail polish remover can be a handy alternative to combat Sharpie stains, breaking down the ink systematically.
- Set a paper towel under the stain.
- Blot up as much Sharpie ink as possible.
- Apply a small amount of nail polish remover to a sponge.
- Blot until the stain disappears.
- Proceed with a regular wash.
Hairspray isn’t just for hair—its high alcohol content can assist in breaking down Sharpie ink, especially on synthetic fabrics.
- Position a paper towel underneath the stain.
- Blot up excess ink using a clean cloth.
- Spray hairspray onto the stain and wait a few minutes.
- Blot the stain with a sponge until it’s gone.
- Wash as per your normal routine.
4: Vinegar/Lemon Juice
Using the natural acidity of white vinegar or lemon juice can be a gentle, yet effective method to lighten stubborn Sharpie stains.
- Mix vinegar or lemon juice and water equally, then spray liberally on the stain.
- Allow it to work its magic for about 20 minutes.
- Wash the garment in the usual manner.
5: Baking Soda
Turning baking soda into a mild abrasive paste can help scrub away the persistent Sharpie stains, particularly on natural fibers.
- Mix baking soda and water to create a paste.
- Apply directly onto the stain.
- Use a toothbrush to scrub gently at the stain.
- Rinse with water.
- Repeat if necessary and follow with a regular wash.
6: Using Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer, a common item in our bags and homes, reveals itself to be a potent ally against permanent marker stains! Follow the steps to remove permanent marker from clothes with hand sanitizer.
- Generously squirt hand sanitizer to amply cover the stain, spreading gently but refrain from scrubbing.
- Permit the sanitizer to work on dissolving the permanent marker for approximately 15 minutes.
- With a clean cloth, dab away both the sanitizer and the now-loosened ink.
- Follow with a rinse of cold water and proceed to wash the garment as you usually would.
7: Commercial Stain Removers
While home methods are wonderfully effective, commercial products often bring a potent, specialized formula to erase those adamant Sharpie strokes from our beloved garments.
Here are some renowned commercial products known for their efficacy against permanent marker stains:
- Zout: Recognized for its power in confronting even the most steadfast permanent marker stains.
- OxiClean: A versatile stain remover, commended for its safe application on a variety of fabrics and colors.
- Tide Stain Remover: A dedicated stain-removing formulation, devised especially to eliminate challenging stains, including those from permanent markers.
- Woolite Stain Remover: A gentle, yet effective stain remover, safe for use on delicate fabrics like silk and wool.
All these products have demonstrated their effectiveness on a wide spectrum of fabrics, including but not limited to cotton, polyester, and denim, and are suitable for most colors and whites.
Steps to Employ Commercial Stain Removers:
- Firstly, ensure to follow the instructions detailed on the product label meticulously.
- Before full application, conduct a patch test in a discreet area of the garment to affirm it doesn’t inflict any damage to the fabric.
- Implement the product as directed, always keeping safety and fabric care in forefront.
Do’s and Don’ts of Stain Removal
Act fast on fresh stains and avoid rubbing them to prevent spreading. Steer clear of using bleach and don’t dry the item until the mark is gone. Always test cleaning methods on a hidden spot first, and if the stain stays put, consider reaching out to a professional cleaner.
Things to Steer Clear of in the Stain Removal Process
- Time is of the Essence: Do not procrastinate in treating the stain. Addressing a permanent marker stain posthaste enhances the chances of successful removal.
- Gentle Treatment is Key: Resist the urge to rub the stain. This can diffuse the ink further into the fabric, intensifying the stain.
- Avoiding Bleach: Steer clear of utilizing bleach. Not only can it potentially damage the fabric, but it may also exacerbate the stain removal process.
- Hold Off the Heat: Don’t introduce the garment to the dryer until you’re certain the stain has vanished. Heat has the potential to further entrench the stain, making it a permanent fixture on your clothing.
Additional Tips to Enhance Your Stain Removal Success
- Conduct a Patch Test: Before fully diving into a cleaning method, always apply the solution to a discreet segment of the garment to affirm that it doesn’t inflict damage or discoloration.
- Tackling Old or Set-in Stains: If confronted with a stain that has had time to set into the fabric, consider soaking the garment in a warm water and oxygen bleach solution for several hours before proceeding with stain removal tactics.
- Seeking Professional Assistance: When all at-home methods have been exhausted without success, it might be prudent to employ the expertise of a professional cleaner to rejuvenate your garment.