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

How to Get Marker Off Of Wood

how to get marker off of wood

A Quick Overview

You suddenly notice that your indelible marker is bleeding through your paper and all over your workstation. Perhaps, the children in your household have turned the wooden flooring into their canvas. These are quite upsetting, right? The next thing you do is research how to get marker out of wood.

A permanent marker could be irreversibly unpleasant on a wooden surface. Thankfully, a few simple cleaning techniques can successfully eradicate it from wooden surfaces. You might even find some of these suggested cleaning products in your very own home.

But before you proceed on any recommended procedure, make sure to try it first in an inconspicuous spot. In this way, you can check whether it can dissolve marker stains on your wooden surfaces without leaving any damages. If it works, then you are good to go.

Without further ado, here are the different methods on how you can remove markers off of wood.

1st Technique: Applying Rubbing Alcohol

This technique is one of the most common yet effective solutions. Rubbing alcohol is an inexpensive way to get rid of permanent marker stains on wood. With just a drop of isopropyl or ethyl alcohol on a soft cloth, you can simply soften and remove marker stains.

To achieve great results, follow the instructions below.

Things You Will Need:

  • Soft cloth/ Microfiber cloth
  • Isopropyl or ethyl alcohol


  1. Pour some isopropyl or ethyl alcohol onto a clean and dry cloth.
  2. Gently wipe the area with the cloth until the marker stain starts to disappear. Do not rub it vigorously.
  3. Wipe the remains off with a dampened towel and pat it dry using a dry cloth.
  4. This might take several rounds of cleaning to thoroughly eliminate the stain. If you see a sign of discoloration on your cloth, discontinue using the alcohol.

2nd Technique: Loosening and Lifting Marker Stains with Nail Polish Remover

An acetone-based nail polish remover can get rid of tough manicures. Thus, it is a considerable option to use when removing permanent marker stains as well. Many users have found this technique effective in loosening and lifting indelible ink stains.

Here are some of the things you will need as well as the step-by-step instructions:

Things You Will Need:

  • Cotton cloth
  • Acetone-based nail polish remover


  1. Using your clean and dry cloth, dab the stained area lightly with an acetone-based nail polish remover.
  2. Do not rub the stain too aggressively. The nail polish remover, which is acetone-based, can badly affect wood treatments.
  3. Dab the area with a dry cloth to clear any residue.

how do you get marker stains out of lumber

3rd Technique: Erase Stubborn Stains with Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda is a key component in various DIY household remedies, which is why it is another alternative option for a reliable stain remover. This beneficial ingredient serves as a mild agitator, assisting in the removal of the stain without ruining the quality of the wood.

Nonetheless, how can you use baking soda as a stain remover? Follow the instructions below:

Things You Will Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Microfiber/cotton cloth


  1. Prepare a mixture of baking soda and water (less water, more baking soda)
  2. Circularly distribute the baking soda and water paste mixture to your marker stain and gently rub it with a clean microfiber cloth

4th Technique: Have the Stains Disappear with Hairspray

Unbeknownst to many, hairspray is another option to try for stain removal. Although it is a common cosmetic hairstyling product, it contains alcohol that can help eliminate a wide range of stains.

This includes indelible marker stains on wood and pen ink blotches on fabrics.

Simply follow these few easy steps and you can have those stubborn marker stains with hairspray in no time:

Things You Will Need:

  • Hairspray
  • Clean cloth


  1. Spritz a little amount of hairspray on the stained area.
  2. Wipe off the residue with a dry and clean cloth. The marker stain must start to remove shortly
  3. When the stain begins to lift, wipe it with a damp towel once again

5th Technique: Eradicating Tough Marker Stains with Vodka

Who would have thought that vodka is more than just a sweet alcoholic drink? Since it contains alcohol, it can also work as among the alternative solutions to remove indelible marker blotches.

Just make sure to use pure vodka and avoid flavored varieties. The sweeteners in flavored vodkas might aggravate the stain.

This is how you will use vodka as your stain remover:

Things You Will Need:

  • Plain vodka (make sure it does not contain sugar)
  • Cotton/microfiber cloth


  1. Immerse clean and dry cotton or microfiber cloth in plain vodka
  2. Wipe the permanent marker stain gently with the vodka-soaked cloth
  3. The stain should begin to loosen from the wood and get lifted onto your cloth

Things and Activities You Have to Avoid When Getting Rid of Marker Off of Wood

  • Use a soft and absorbent cloth or sponge rather than an abrasive one.
  • Do not use a huge amount of cleaner. Clean only the affected area, not the entire wooden surface.
  • Do not use sandpaper when erasing indelible marker stains. You can only use it on unfinished wood.

How Do You Get Marker Stains Out of Lumber or Other Unfinished Wood?

Indelible markers and inks are ubiquitous on timber. Hence, the best technique is to smooth the surface with fine-grade sandpaper. You should do this before sealing the wood surface with a clear staining solution.

The pigment may have penetrated the wood’s grains and will slowly brighten when it gets sanded. Apply wider strokes to sand a bigger scope until the marker stain starts to disappear.
For bigger indelible marker stains, a palm sander is a better and more effective option. It can quickly eradicate stains from a broad wooden surface.


Getting your wooden floors and furniture stained with marker or pen ink can be quite stressful. However, there is no need to fret anymore. There are solutions to try to get those annoying stains removed.

With all the techniques mentioned above, you can restore and preserve the pristine quality of your wood surfaces.

Leave a Comment