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How to Get Dry Erase Marker off Clothes

how to get dry erase marker off clothes

Just how bad is it to get pen marks on clothes? If that’s already bad enough, just how bad is getting dry erase marker stains on clothes? I hate it when I get seemingly irremovable stains on my favorite shirts. Thankfully, there are easy ways to remove dry erase marker stains on clothing.

I have discovered four easy methods on how to get dry erase marker off clothes. But first, let’s discuss what makes dry erase marker cloth stains hard to get remove

Why Water Can’t Remove Dry Erase Marker Stains?

Perhaps the most often thought solution to dry erase marker stains on clothing is dabbing it with a wet cloth. But this doesn’t work.

Dry erase markers are not water-soluble. That is its main difference from wet-erase markers. Wet erase markers are made with water-soluble dyes intended to be used on laminated or porous surfaces.

Dry erase markers, on the other hand, are not water-soluble. Its ink contains a solvent and pigments that release agents. When these tiny particles of color touch fabrics, they become entangled in the fabric. It’s hard to get them out.

How to Get Dry Erase Marker Off Fabric

Using Alcohol

This is perhaps the most efficient way to get dry erase marker stains off clothes. It only requires paper towels, a sponge, and alcohol – materials every household has.

Here’s how to do this method:

Step 1: Place paper towels on a flat surface.

Step 2: Place the fabric stain side down on the paper towels.

Step 3: Apply rubbing alcohol around and on the stain marks using a sponge. This step requires patience and gentleness. Rubbing the stained area too hard can spread the stain.

Step 4: Change the paper towels as they get wet. The paper towels should absorb the stain.

Step 5: Keep repeating the process until no more stain is visible on the cloth.

Step 6: Rinse the fabric thoroughly using clean water.

Step 7: Launder the fabric normally.

Why Does Alcohol work?

As I mentioned above, dry erase markers have solvents and pigments. The solvent that dissolves the color pigments is usually alcohol. The alcohol dissolves the color pigments stuck in the fibers of the fabric, effectively removing the stain on the cloth. The higher the concentration of the rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol), the better the results will be.

Murphy’s Oil

Everyone who takes cleaning their homes very seriously has heard of Murphy’s Oil. If I were to ask any self-respecting homeowner how they maintain the cleanliness of their home, Murphy’s Oil will be mentioned.

Here’s how to use this powerful cleaning tool to get dry erase markers off clothes.

Step 1: Place paper towels on a flat surface.

Step 2: Dip an old toothbrush or a toothbrush no one is using, in Murphy’s Oil. Make sure that the toothbrush is absolutely saturated in the oil. For better results, use a wet toothbrush.

Step 3: Gently rub the stain with the toothbrush until suds form.

Step 4: Keep adding Murphy’s Oil if necessary.

Step 5: Keep rubbing the cloth with the toothbrush until the stain is mostly faded.

Step 6: Use clean water and dishwashing liquid to get the rest of the stain off. Use a sponge, clean water, and mild dishwashing soap to rub the stain until it is completely off.

Step 7: Rinse the fabric thoroughly with clean water to get the dishwashing soap and Murphy’s Oil off.

Step 8: Launder the cloth.

Hand Sanitizers for More Delicate Clothes

how to get dry erase marker off fabric

There are a lot of alcohol-based cleaning agents and chemicals. One of the most effective against dry erase markers on clothing is hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers usually have 60% alcohol content. But because hand sanitizers are meant to be used for hands, it’s gentler than other alcohol-based products.

Here’s how to use it to remove dry erase marker stains on fabrics.

Step 1: Clean the fabric of dust. The dust can mix into the hand sanitizer and stick to the cloth, making it look dirty.

Step 2: Squeeze hand sanitizer over the stain. There should only be enough hand sanitizer to cover the stain mark if the sanitizer is spread.

Step 3: Use a clean sponge to smear the hand sanitizer. Make sure to spread it in gentle circular motion.

Step 4: Let the hand sanitizer settle on the stain for 15 minutes.

Step 5: Rinse the fabric with cold water.

Step 6: If the stain is not completely gone, repeat the process all over again.

Step 7: Launder the cloth normally.

Dry Cleaner Fluid

I discovered that I can use the same compounds I use to clean my carpets to remove dry erase marks on clothes.

Step 1: Apply some carpet stain remover or dry cleaning fluid on the surface of the stained fabric.

Step 2: Let it settle for a few minutes.

Step 3: Rinse with clean water and a sponge.

Step 4: Repeat if necessary.

Step 5: Launder the cloth normally.

Important to Remember!

Whatever method I choose to get dry erase marks off my clothes, I first do a test run. I make sure that the chemical compound I will use will not damage or discolor the fabric. How do I do this?
If I have a spare fabric the cloth is made of, that’s what I use for the test run. If I don’t have a spare fabric, I use a tiny portion of the cloth not easily visible. For shirts, this is usually around the armpits area. To be safer, I use the underside of the cloth. I just apply a very small amount of the chemical to the area. I let it settle to see if there will be adverse effects. If there are none, I proceed with the cleaning process.

Final Thoughts

I actually have a lot of effective methods on how to get dry erase marker off clothes. But they all have a similarity – they all use alcohol in some way. Each of my methods uses the dry erase ink’s chemical composition against it. Other options include acetone nail polish for sturdy fabrics or alcohol-based hairspray. As long as I’ve got alcohol, I don’t worry about how I’ll get dry erase markers off my favorite clothes.

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