is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How to Erase Marker from Paper

how to erase marker from paper

Markers are very good tools – not just for office use, but also for making artworks. But the thing is, a lot of markers are very hard to erase from paper. Whether the marker is water-based or alcohol-based, there’s a high chance that you damage the paper trying to erase marker stains. So, I’m sharing with you the techniques on how to erase marker from paper as effectively as possible without damaging the paper.

There are many methods on how to erase marker from paper. And the amazing thing is that most, if not all, of these methods don’t require expensive materials. They only require ingredients that are present in most households or you can easily acquire from a store.

The Type of Paper Matters

Before we begin discussing the techniques on how to erase marker stains from paper, we must touch on the types of paper you are using. There are two types of paper we generally use. The types of paper are matte and glossy paper.

How Matte Paper Absorbs Marker Ink

Matte paper is covered by a very thin layer of inkjet receiving coating. This layer of coating makes the paper very absorbent. The ink that falls on matte paper usually dries fast. Matte paper is the more common type of paper for daily use. Regular school notebooks, pad papers, or the pages of a book are usually made of matte paper.

How Glossy Paper Absorbs Marker Ink

the type of paper matters

Glossy paper, on the other hand, is covered with a thick layer of shiny coating that makes it glossy. The thick layer also makes it hard to write on or use a marker on because the ink does not easily stick. Magazines are the most common items made of glossy paper.

So in terms of erasing marker stains from paper, it is easier to do it on glossy paper than on matte paper.

Erase Marker from Paper

Of the many methods on how to erase marker from paper, my favorite has to be using nail polish with acetone. Using nail polish with acetone is the cleanest and most risk-free method of removing marker stains from paper. It is the method least likely to damage, tear, and stain the paper.

Here’s how to do it.

  • Nail polish remover with acetone
  • Cotton swab
  • Clean, absorbent paper towel or cloth

Step 1: Test the Solvent on a Small Area or Unnecessary Piece of Similar Paper

To make sure that you will not damage the paper, test the solvent on another piece of paper. The other piece of paper should be made from the same type as the one you are erasing. You can also try the solvent on the same piece of paper you are erasing but on an invisible area.

The goal is to prevent damaging the important piece of paper on which you want to erase marker stains. So if you damage the piece of paper you are practicing on, there are a couple of things you can do.

The first one is lessening the amount of substance you are putting on the paper. If this does not work, you may have to switch to another solvent that can dissolve the ink pigments of the marker.

Liquids with alcohol content are the most effective substances that can dissolve pigments. The liquid should not be too strong or abrasive because those can damage the paper. I suggest nail polish remover with acetone because it is the safest option. But if this does not pan out for you, other options include hair spray, hand sanitizer, or white distilled vinegar.

Step 2: Moisten the Cotton Swab

Very lightly moisten the cotton swab with the nail polish remover. The cotton swab does not need to be soaked in the substance. Soaking the cotton swab with the nail polish remover with acetone will likely lead to saturating the paper with the substance. You don’t want to saturate the paper because that will lead to damage.

Step 3: Dab the Solvent on the Paper

Dab a little amount of the nail polish remover on the marker stain on the paper. Be careful not to saturate the paper, that increases the risk of damage.

Step 4: Wait for the Solvent to Do Its Magic

The next step is waiting for the nail polish remover to dissipate the ink. There’s no exact telling how long you should wait because the efficacy of the solvent depends on many factors. Two factors are the strength of the solvent and the type of paper you’re using.

But I say not to wait as long as a minute or the paper absorbs the nail polish remover. Don’t worry that the ink does not completely come right off.

Step 5: Pick Up the Nail Polish Remover

Use a clean and absorbent paper towel or cloth to soak up the nail polish remover from the paper. Just dab the paper towel or cloth on the paper; don’t rub it. You don’t want to damage the paper.

Step 6: Repeat Steps 2-6 Until Marker Ink is Completely Erased

If the ink does not get erased completely after the first try, repeat the process again and again until the marker ink is completely removed.


How to erase marker from paper effectively? It is hard because you might damage the paper, but it is very doable with the right techniques. By understanding the type of paper you are using and the type of ink a marker has, you can remove stubborn marker stains or other types of inks from paper. My suggested method is using nail polish remover because it is the safest method.

Leave a Comment