If your toddler and a permanent ink marker happen to be in the same room, some redecorating is bound to happen. After all, every child is a scribble artist, and the walls around them are their favorite canvas!

What does such a scenario call for?

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Well, permanent ink is not quite as everlasting as the name suggests! It’s actually quite easy to remove the ink, especially when it is on walls, glass or plastic containers. With the right cleaning agent and just a little bit of scrubbing – voila, the stains are gone!

You don’t need costly cleaning products, many of which contain chemicals that are harmful to your family’s health. Simply look around the house and you’ll find plenty of natural cleaning agents to help with the task.

before and after cleaning ink stain on wall with hairspray

You may not be aware that certain items in your kitchen cabinets prove exceptionally good when it comes to cleaning stains off of walls.

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We grabbed five ingredients from around the house that had gained popularity over the web as effective cleaning agents and tried using them to remove permanent marker ink from a wall. Out of the five, we found that only four were as effective as people claimed in producing good results.

Toothpaste, hair spray and rubbing alcohol proved to be extremely helpful in getting rid of stains. Some elbow grease and hand sanitizer also produced satisfactory results. However, windex fell flat to the popular online claims.

Based on our test results, you’ll likely find that one or more of these five methods will take care of removing permanent marker from your wall.

Method 1: Use Toothpaste

before and afetr cleaning wall with toothpaste to remove ink stain

Generic white toothpaste has a mild rough texture that works as an abrasive to lift the ink stain off the wall. Colorful, gel toothpastes won’t work as well.

Things you’ll need:

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things need to remove permanent ink from wall

  • Generic white toothpaste (mild abrasive)
  • Toothbrush
  • Rag
  • Water

Step 1. Smear the toothpaste liberally over the ink mark

cover the stain with toothpaste to lift off permanent ink

  • Squirt some toothpaste onto an old toothbrush.
  • Use the toothbrush to apply the toothpaste liberally over the ink stain.

Step 2. Polish the area with a rag

polish the area with a rag to remove permanent ink

  • Dampen a rag with water.
  • Use the rag to wipe off the toothpaste.
  • Buff and polish the area to see the ink coming off.
  • Finish by wiping down the wall with a clean end of the rag.

The marker stain should now be gone. If any stain remains, repeat the process until there is no trace of ink on the wall.

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clean wall after using toothpaste on permanent ink stain

Method 2: Use Hair Spray

before and after cleaning ink stain on wall with hairspray

Hair spray from your dressing table is another item you can use to get permanent ink marks off your wall. It is primarily made up of solvents that will reactivate the ink, turning it into fluid that you can wipe off easily.

Things you’ll need:

things need to remove permanent ink from wall

  • Hair spray (acts as a solvent)
  • Rag

Step 1. Saturate the stain with hair spray

saturate the ink stain on wall with hair spray

  • Spritz a generous amount of hair spray directly onto the ink stain on the wall. The hair spray will quickly reactivate the ink, making it runny.

Step 2. Wipe off the reactivated ink with a rag

wipe off the reactivated ink with a rag to remove the stain

  • Grab an old rag and quickly wipe up the runny ink.
  • Use a little elbow grease to remove any remaining traces of ink.

clean wall after using hairspray to remove permanent ink

Method 3: Use Rubbing Alcohol

before and after cleaning permanent ink on wall with rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is yet another effective remedy to remove permanent marker ink from walls. Like hair spray, it acts as a solvent to reactivate the dry ink, making it easier to wipe it off.

While rubbing alcohol is readily available at any drugstore, if you don’t have it on hand, you can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (see Method 4).

Things you’ll need:

things need to remove permanent ink from wall

  • Rubbing alcohol (acts as a solvent)
  • Towel

Step 1. Wet a towel with rubbing alcohol

wet a towel with rubbing alcohol to remove permanent ink from wall

  • Pour some rubbing alcohol on a clean towel.

Step 2. Wipe the stained wall clean

wipe the stained wall with rubbing alcohol to remove stain

  • Use the damp towel to wipe at the permanent marker stain.
  • Use repeated gentle actions until the stain lifts off completely.

stain free wall after using rubbing alcohol on permanent ink

Method 4: Use Hand Sanitizer

before and after using hand sanitizer on permanent ink on wall

If you don’t have rubbing alcohol handy, a bottle of hand sanitizer from your handbag will work effectively to remove the permanent ink stain from the wall.

A key ingredient in most hand sanitizers is alcohol, a solvent that effectively reactivates the ink on the wall and helps to lift it off easily.

Things you’ll need:

things need to remove permanent marker from wall

  • Hand sanitizer (acts as a solvent)
  • Soft towel

Step 1. Wet the towel with hand sanitizer

wet a towel with hand sanitizer to lift off permanent ink from wall

  • Pour a little hand sanitizer on the towel.

Step 2. Wipe down the stain with the towel

wipe the wall with towel soaked in hand sanitizer to remove permanent ink

  • Rub the stained wall with the towel, so that the stain gets saturated with hand sanitizer.
  • Scrub lightly to remove the ink completely.

stain free wall after using hand sanitizer to remove permanent ink

Method 5: Use Windex

before and after using windex to remove permanent ink from wall

An effective spot-cleaning agent, Windex can help lift off ink stains from walls. It may not be very effective on permanent ink stains, so you’ll need to put in lot of elbow grease and time to remove the stain completely.

Things you’ll need:

things need to lift off permanent marker from the wall

  • Windex (spot cleaner)
  • Rag

Step 1. Spray Windex on the permanent ink stain

spray windex on the stained area of wall to lift the stain

  • Spray Windex directly over the ink marking. As you do this, some of the ink will dissolve and start flowing down along with the cleaner.

Step 2. Wipe the surface with a rag

wipe the stain with a rag to remove permanent ink

  • Give the wall a thorough wipe down with a rag.

wall after using windex to remove permanent ink stain

Tips

  • Keep solvents out of the reach of children.
  • Always begin with mild cleaners and work your way up to tough ones.
  • Never use plain water alone to clean ink stains on painted walls. Some paints tend to absorb water, sealing in the ink stain.

Summary of How to Remove Permanent Marker from Wall

how to remove permanent marker from wall summary

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