How to Remove Dry Erase Marker From Clothes Quickly and Easily in 5 Ways

<p>Law Ho Ming / Getty Images</p>

Law Ho Ming / Getty Images

Dry erase markers can be harder to remove than other types of markers, as they're alcohol-based, not water-based. While most water-based stains can be removed with some soap and water, alcohol-based stains require a bit more work.

While most dry erase markers are alcohol-based, some are paint-based, like chalk-pen-style markers. When removing clothing stains from these types of markers, make sure any excess 'surface-level' paint is removed before cleaning.

Here's how to remove dry erase markers from clothes.

<p>The Spruce / Ana Cadena</p>

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Rubbing Alcohol

If you have any rubbing alcohol in your medicine cabinet, try out this dry erase marker removal method—it's one of the most effective across all colors and types of fabric.

  • Rinse the stained part of your clothing under cold water until the water runs clear.

  • Place some paper towels or clean rags behind the stain to ensure it doesn't seep into the other side of your clothing.

  • Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol, and gently blot at the stain until it disappears.

  • Finish by washing and drying the item of clothing like normal.

<p>The Spruce / Letícia Almeida</p>

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida


While bleach can be used to remove dry erase markers from clothes, it should only be used on white-colored clothing. Using it on colored or patterned clothing can cause serious discoloration.

  • To begin, rinse the stained clothing under cool water.

  • Read the clothing's care tag to ensure bleach can be used on it. If not, try a different marker removal method.

  • If you have a bleach pen or bleach fabric spray, use it now according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  • If you're planning on using bottled bleach, place a small amount into a bowl and dip a cotton ball into the bleach.

  • Protect the rest of your clothing by putting a towel behind the stain.

  • Working from the outside of the dry erase stain in, gently blot at it until the stain disappears.

  • Rinse the bleached area off in cool water to ensure no bleach is left behind.

  • Launder the clothing like normal.

<p>The Spruce / Ana Cadena </p>

The Spruce / Ana Cadena


If you'd rather use a stain removal method that isn't as harsh as bleach or rubbing alcohol, try household-cleaning-superstar vinegar.

  • Rinse the stained item under cool water until the water passes through it clearly.

  • Combine two parts water with one part bleach in a small bowl, then dip a cotton ball into it.

  • Place some extra-absorbent paper towels or clean dishcloths behind the stain.

  • Dab at the stain with the cotton ball, starting at the outside of the stain and making your way in.

  • Let the vinegar-soaked marker stain sit for 10 minutes.

  • Rinse the stain underneath cold water, then follow it with a pass in the washing machine.

<p>The Spruce / Olivia Inman</p>

The Spruce / Olivia Inman

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is similarly acidic to vinegar and works much in the same way to remove dry erase marker stains. Here's how to use it.

  • Rinse your stained clothing under some cold water.

  • Combine two parts water with one part lemon juice. If you're juicing the lemons yourself (rather than using bottled juice), make sure the juice is pulp and seed-free.

  • Place a towel inside the clothing, then dip a cotton ball into the lemon juice solution.

  • Gently dab at the dry erase marker stain, starting on the edge of the stain and working inwards.

  • Rinse the lemon juice away once you've finished, then launder it like normal.

<p>The Spruce / Leticia Almeida</p>

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Stain Remover

If you haven't had any luck with one of these DIY methods, use a store-bought stain remover.

  • If you're using a laundry stain remover, use it according to the manufacturers' instructions.

  • You'll likely dampen the stain, spray it, scrub it, then rinse it out.

If you're using an all-purpose stain remover, you'll need to be a bit more careful.

  • Apply it to the dampened dry erase stain, then let it sit for 10 minutes.

  • Immediately rinse it away with hot water—you don't want to let it dry and further ruin your clothing!

Read Next: The Ultimate A-to-Z Stain Removal Guide for Clothes, Carpet, and More

Read the original article on The Spruce.