How to Get Sharpie Out of Clothes

What happens when you accidentally mark your favorite shirt or pair of pants with Sharpie? Well, you can’t just wash it out — that would be way too easy! You have to get creative to remove the Sharpie stain from your clothes. In this article, I’ll share some removal methods that will help you get that ink out and keep your clothes and other fabrics looking good as new!

An excellent first treatment for removing Sharpie stains on clothes is to apply rubbing alcohol onto them and then wash them in the washing machine. Rubbing alcohol breaks up the color-binding agent in most Sharpie markers, while a good spin cycle takes care of any leftover stains.

Other Sharpie stain removal methods involve using:

  • Hairspray
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Dish soap
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Bleach
  • WD-40
  • Nail polish remover

Read on to learn how to remove Sharpie stains from your clothes and other fabrics using different methods.

How to Get Sharpie Out of Jeans

how to get sharpie out of clothes

Sharpie markers are a great tool. You can use them to write on almost any surface; their ink doesn’t come off. But sometimes, you can use them in ways that aren’t so great, like when they accidentally end up on your favorite pair of pants or jeans.

If this has happened to you, don’t worry! I’ve got some tips on how to get Sharpie out of jeans:

1. Remove the Stain ASAP

First, you should know that the longer you wait to remove the stain, the more difficult it’ll be to remove. So if you notice a Sharpie stain on your jeans, take care of it immediately.

2. Use Rubbing Alcohol

Try rubbing alcohol or lemon juice on the stain. Rubbing alcohol may be more effective, so try it if you have it on hand.

Either dab some onto a cotton ball and apply to the stain or pour some onto the stain and rub until removed. Be careful not to use too much alcohol to prevent the stain from spreading.

3. Apply Dish Soap for Persistent Stains

If the stain persists, try using a little bit of dish soap on it. Work it in using your fingers, and then rinse it out thoroughly. Finish up by laundering your jeans as usual.

How to Get Sharpie Out of White Clothes

1. Use Rubbing Alcohol and Alcohol-based Stain Removers

You’ll want to start by trying to get as much of the stain as possible before trying other methods. If there’s a little bit on your shirt, try dabbing at it with an alcohol-based stain remover.

2. Use a Combination of Rubbing Alcohol and Vinegar

If the stain is more extensive, use rubbing alcohol or vinegar. The alcohol will help break down the ink, while the vinegar will help neutralize it and make it easier to wash.

3. Soak It in Cool Water

Next, soak your shirt in cool water for about 30 minutes. Put some baking soda into the water to help break down the ink faster. After soaking your shirt, wring out as much water as possible and then launder as usual. This should take care of any remaining ink!

4. Use a Commercial Stain Remover or Bleach

If these methods don’t work, try using a commercial stain remover or bleach. You can also try an oxygen-based bleach instead of chlorine bleach. If that doesn’t help, you may want to take your shirt to a professional dry cleaner.

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How to Get Sharpie Out of the Couch Fabric

Removing permanent marker stains from a couch fabric or other upholstery may seem complicated. Still, it’s possible to do so by following a multi-step technique that involves removing the stain and then cleaning the stained area well.

This procedure requires patience on your part, but it is well worth the effort if it will save something as pricey as a couch!


For this particular cleaning method, you will need several cleaning supplies:

  1. First, mix two cups of cold water, 1 tbsp of vinegar, and 1 tbsp of blue Dawn dish soap in a separate bowl. You can combine this mixture in a bowl to apply it with a rag or shake the ingredients up in a bottle and use it as a spray.
  2. Apply the solution to the stained couch fabric. Wet or dampen the stain, but don’t saturate it.
  3. Dab at the damp spot using a paper towel or a clean rag until the stain disappears.
  4. After allowing the solution to sit for half an hour, you should continue dabbing it with a clean cloth every few minutes to remove as much ink as possible.
  5. Rinse away the soap solution by repeatedly blotting the area with a rag dampened in water.
  6. Next, soak a second clean rag or piece of paper towel in rubbing alcohol. This time, be extra careful not to smear the rag all over the place. Apply a light dabbing motion directly onto the stain.
  7. Repeat the rinsing process with a fresh, clean rag in water.
  8. Check if any color is still present. If this is the case, one option for removing any traces of color from the couch fabric is to use a dampened magic eraser. This will get any hints of color off the couch.

How to Get Sharpie Out of Clothes Without Rubbing Alcohol

how to get sharpie out of clothes without rubbing alcohol

If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, you can try using hairspray, nail polish remover, or hand sanitizer. Here’s how:

  1. Spray the stain with one of these products and then scrub it with a toothbrush.
  2. Rinse the area with cold water and then wash the item as usual.

1. Use a Hairspray

Although it has lost some effectiveness over the years, hairspray is still a standard tool for removing ink from clothes and other fabrics. Because alcohol is what indeed removes the stain, the least expensive ones, which are rich in alcohol content, work best in this situation.

In recent years, many companies have modified the formulations of their products to contain less or no alcohol. Hairspray is typically the most effective product for removing polyester or poly-blend clothing stains.


  • Choose a hairspray that comes with a pump rather than one that has an aerosol sprayer (if possible).
  • Place the stained clothing on a hard, flat surface, and then put a clean towel or cloth below the area of the stained garment. This will assist in absorbing any ink that comes out when the treatment is being applied.
  • Remove the stain by soaking a cotton ball in hairspray and then pressing it firmly on the stain. Repeatedly dab the discoloration with the cotton ball as needed. If this works, you should see the stain transferring from the clothing or other fabric to the cotton ball.
  • You may continue for as long as is required, exchanging the cotton ball for a new one if the used one becomes dirty.
  • Once the stain is removed, wash the clothing as suggested on the label.

Again, how to get Sharpie out of clothes? To get Sharpie out of clothes, bring paper towels and rubbing alcohol. Apply alcohol around the stain, then use the paper towel to transfer as much ink to the towel. Replace the towels if you need to. Repeat the process until most of the ink is gone.

2. Utilize Your Nail Polish Removers

Nail polish remover is an essential household item because it can remove different stains from clothing and fabrics.

Nail polish remover contains mostly acetone as an active ingredient. It’s a powerful solvent that can remove stubborn stains like those from Sharpie markers and regular paint.

However, it’s essential to test out your garment or fabric before using nail polish remover on other parts of the material, as acetone can cause damage to some fabrics.


Here’s how to use a nail polish remover on Sharpie-stained clothing:

  • Check if acetone will damage the fabric by testing a hidden area of your garment with a dab of nail polish remover on a clean white cloth.
  • If there is no discoloration or fading, apply the nail polish remover to the stained area using a cotton swab.
  • Next, dip the swab in acetone and rub it onto the stain until it disappears.
  • Rinse out any remaining residue by rubbing warm water into the fabric.
  • Repeat the process if necessary.

How to Get Sharpie Out of Clothes with Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer contains alcohol, which will help break down the ink in clothes so they can be removed or washed out. You can use this method on clothing that has light or dark-colored fabric. However, hand sanitizers may not work well on white fabrics because they tend to stain easily.

Always check the percentage of alcohol contained in hand sanitizer before buying one. If you want the sanitizer to work, go for one with a high alcohol percentage. This removes Sharpie stains from clothing in the same way as rubbing alcohol.

One advantage of hand sanitizer is that most people already have it available in their homes, vehicles, and even purses.


Here’s how to use hand sanitizer for Sharpie stain removal on clothing:

  1. Pour a lot of the hand sanitizer on a clean cloth.
  2. To prevent the Sharpie stain from spreading to other parts of your clothes, rub it gently into the center, working from the outside.
  3. If the stain is not too big, press a damp cloth firmly enough on top of the stain.
  4. After you have completed this step, wait approximately 10 minutes before continuing.
  5. Repeat this process, switching out the paper towel or cloth each time until completely removing the Sharpie stain.
  6. If you give the garment a quick rinse under running water, the stain and the sanitizer should both be removed at this point.
  7. Put the stained garment in the washing machine and select the cold water wash setting. Use regular detergent for the wash.

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Frequently Asked Questions – Removing Sharpie Marks on Clothes

how to get sharpie out of clothes after it's been washed

Does Sharpie Come Out of Clothes?

An alcohol solution is the most effective method for removing stains left by permanent markers on the fabric. You could use hairsprays and hand sanitizers with alcohol content or even rubbing alcohol.

Permanent marker stains can be removed using everyday household products like nail polish remover, WD-40, and certain types of toothpaste.

Does Sharpie Highlighter Come Off of Clothes?

Dish soap is the perfect solution for removing those annoying highlighters from your clothes. Add dish soap to a spray bottle of water, shake well, and apply the solution to the stain. After five seconds, start rubbing the stain with a gentle cloth.

Will Sharpie Stay on Fabric After Washing?

It is best to wash the clothes as soon as you discover the stain. While the ink is still wet, try to soak up as much of it as you can with paper towels. After that, treat the affected area with a laundry stain remover before washing the garment in cold water.

Does Vinegar Remove Sharpie?

Stains left by permanent markers can be removed with everyday home products like hairspray, toothpaste, and vinegar.

How Do You Get Sharpie Out of Clothes Without Rubbing Alcohol?

You can try using hairspray, nail polish remover, hand sanitizer in place of a melamine foam (magic eraser), or rubbing alcohol. However, regardless of the product, take care not to scrub too vigorously since this could cause the clothes’ color to fade.

Will Bleach Remove Sharpie from Clothes?

Bleach is the most effective method when removing permanent markers from plain white fabrics. It can lighten or even whiten dyes and other colors.

To remove stains from the fabric, dilute a minimal amount of bleach in water and soak the affected area of the garment in the solution.

Conclusion – How to Remove Sharpie Marks from Clothes

Unless you’re an artist or a kid, there’s a good chance that you don’t want your clothes covered with Sharpie marks.

But if you accidentally leave a Sharpie marker on the table and it rolls off, or if one of your kids decides to draw on their clothes before school, you now know how to get Sharpie out of clothing by following the removal methods I’ve provided above.

While none of these methods will work quickly or instantaneously, they will help you eliminate those pesky Sharpie stains in no time!

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