How To Remove Permanent Marker From Wood

| Last modified on January 27th, 2022

Many people have complained of a difficult time trying to remove a permanent marker from wood. Some methods that work well are rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, hand sanitizer gel, or toothpaste smeared on using a rag.

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Wood

If you are trying to remove the marker from painted wood, there are a few ways to go about doing so. One common method is soaking the area in soap and water and then scrubbing, followed by drying. Another way would be to use paint thinner, but this should only be done on light-colored painted wood as paint thinner can cause damage to dark-colored woods. Below you can find proven methods on how to remove a permanent marker from wood.

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Wood: Methods That Work

There’re many things at home that may help you remove a permanent marker from wooden surfaces. Check them all and choose the best one that is OK for you.

Rubbing Alcohol

This is one of the easiest ways to remove a permanent marker from wood and will not damage the wood or the finish. All you need is some rubbing alcohol and a rag. First, make sure that you are in a well-ventilated area as the fumes given off can be pretty strong. 

Apply the rubbing alcohol to the marker using a rag or paper towel, and then let it sit for around two minutes before scrubbing it off with a rag using some pressure but not too much, or you risk damaging your wood surface.

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Wood: Rubbing Alcohol

Once it has been scrubbed off, wipe clean with paper towels and then clean with soap and water to get rid of any oily residue that may be left behind. This method is especially effective on hardwoods like oak, maple, etc., and will not damage them.

Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover by itself can be used to remove a permanent marker from wood. You will need the nail polish remover and a clean rag or paper towel. The best way to do this is to start by applying the remover and rubbing it with a little pressure as you scrub off the marker.

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Wood: Nail Polish

 Use a dry rag if needed, just like you would with any other type of wood flooring for best results. If the marker has already dried on the surface, then all you need to do is wipe off using a wet rag or paper towel and then clean up with soap and water.

Hand Sanitizer Gel

Hand sanitizer gel will remove a permanent marker from wood without harming the wood surface. The best thing about this method is that hand sanitizer gel is available at almost any drug store or grocery store in the household section, and you can buy one bottle for less than $2.00.

This method usually works quickly on light-colored painted wood but may not work as well with dark-colored wood. If so, be sure to test before using it on anything important.

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Wood: Hand Sanitizer Gel


Toothpaste is also a suitable method for removing a permanent marker from wood that can be effective and quick. Just make sure you don’t put too much toothpaste on the area. 

How To Remove Permanent Marker From Wood: Toothpaste

If you have a few stained items with a permanent marker, the best thing to do is rub some toothpaste on them and let them sit for about an hour. After that time, go back and see if you can rub the oil residue off of the wood. If not, then let it sit another hour or so and do it again until it comes off easily.

How To Remove A Permanent Marker From Wood Floor

A permanent marker can also be removed from wood floors, so you need not worry about ruining your hardwood flooring when using permanent markers around the home. The easiest and most effective way is to use paint thinner that is specific for floors. 

How To Remove A Permanent Marker From Wood Floor

This method will not harm the floor if you do it correctly. Follow all of the safety precautions when using any type of paint thinner and make sure that the area around the floor is well ventilated properly as it can be dangerous to inhale fumes from the paint thinner.

The procedure for removing permanent marker from wood flooring with paint thinner:

  1. Use a rag and rub some paint thinner on the permanent marker-stained area of your wood flooring.
  2. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe clean with a clean rag.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until all of the marker stains have been removed.
  4. If any oily residue is still present, wipe away with a clean rag and some soap and water.


How Do You Remove A Permanent Marker From Plywood?

First, I’m going to try rubbing alcohol. If that doesn’t work, I’ll use a wet cloth and dab it on the stain. If neither of those works, then I’ll have to try something else.
I’m going to try rubbing alcohol first because it is an excellent solvent and is often used in the arts and crafts world as a paint stripper or cleaner for paintbrushes. Using the alcohol will have one other benefit: you can quickly scrub away a permanent marker from hard surfaces like woodwork pieces of plywood.

How Do You Remove A Permanent Marker From Laminate?

You’ll need to use a mixture of either alcohol or acetone (nail polish remover). Apply in liberal doses, wipe the marker, and then clean the surface again with water. There you have it!

Does Vinegar Remove A Permanent Marker?

The answer to this question is yes. Vinegar can remove a permanent marker. It has strong enough chemical properties to cause a reaction with the ink in the marker. 

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