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4 Easy Tips on How to Get Permanent Marker Off Walls and Doors?

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

how to get permanent marker off walls and doors

Do you have a toddler at home who is so fascinated with drawing and painting? If yes, I believe that they have at least once created an artwork on your walls and wood doors using any markers they could find, even a permanent marker.

The problem is you don’t know how to clean your kid’s masterpiece without making a bigger mess. Don’t worry because, in this article, you will find a method to remove permanent markers from painted walls and doors.

This article will introduce you to four methods on how to get permanent marker off walls and doors using only ordinary household products, as follows:

  • Using Rubbing Alcohol: Rub alcohol over the stain using a cotton pad until it fades away completely.
  • Using Toothpaste and Baking Soda: Apply this mixture to the marker stain and rub slightly to remove the stain.
  • Using WD-40: Spray this chemical onto the painted wall or door and scrub it to get rid of the marker stain.
  • Using Citrus Juice: Pour some lemon juice on a cotton pad and dab it onto the painted areas to remove the stain.

4 Easy Tips to Get Permanent Marker Off Walls and Doors


What You Will Need

All methods of removing permanent markers on walls and doors I’m going to mention requires some common materials: cotton pads, cotton balls, or a clean cloth to clean your walls.

This article will mention any additional tools needed for each method in their sections. Hence, read carefully to prepare the necessary tools in advance. Once you are ready, get started with the first tip!

1. Using Rubbing Alcohol


Removing Sharpie from walls and doors can be conducted with denatured or isopropyl alcohol. It is so powerful that, in many cases, it can remove stubborn stains hardly affected by other usual dish soap.

Hence, rubbing alcohol may do wonders for your house as it can easily remove marker stains. This method does not require any other materials as well.

Step 1: Pour some rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad or cloth. Don’t let it become too wet, as the excess liquid might drip down the wall along with the permanent marker ink.

Step 2: Dab the cotton pad on the painted wall or door gently. The ink should come off quickly.

Step 3: If the stain is too hard to wear out, apply a blotting motion. Gently press the cotton pad against the blemish. Then, move gradually from the outside to the inside of the painted area.

Don’t go in the opposite direction – from inside to outside – because you may create a bigger stain by pushing the pigments outward.

Step 4: Repeat the process with new cotton pads until the wall or door is clean.

Step 5: Wipe off any residue alcohol with a clean damp cloth.

If you do not have rubbing alcohol, replace it with nail polish remover, and it will work the same.

2. Using Toothpaste and Baking Soda


Mix equal parts of toothpaste and baking soda in a bowl. How much you will need depends on the stained area.

It is best if you have baking soda toothpaste so you can directly use it without having to make a mixture. But if that is not available, keep these pointers in mind while making your mixture: don’t use gel toothpaste because it won’t work; use regular white toothpaste instead.

Additionally, you can prepare an old toothbrush for easier operation.

Step 1: Apply a fair amount of the paste onto a cotton pad, or use the toothbrush to pick it up.

Step 2: Rub it on the permanent marker stain and let it sit for five to ten minutes.

Step 3: Scrub the stain in a circular motion to lift the marker off the wall or door. Make sure that you apply just enough pressure to go into each grain of your door.

Step 4: Wipe off the paste with a damp cloth or cotton pad.

Step 5: Repeat the process until the marker stain is all gone.

3. Using WD-40


WD-40 is a chemical multi-purpose product that helps remove dirt and grime. Therefore, it is important that you put on a pair of gloves and a mask while working with this product.

Make sure to have your window open if the painted area is large and you need a substantial amount of WD-40 to completely remove the marker stain. Also, pay close attention to any warnings written on the product’s package.

Yet, hairspray is not a bad alternative if you are hesitant about using this strong chemical.

Step 1: Spray a small amount of WD-40 on the permanent marker stain.

Step 2: Hold a cotton pad or cloth underneath while spraying to prevent any products from dripping and further staining your wall.

Step 3: Scrub the stain in a circular motion because it will ease the process of removing the marker from the wall or door. Make sure that you go into each grain of your door.

Step 4: Wipe off the excess product with a damp cloth or cotton pad.

Step 5: Repeat the process until the stain is gone.

4. Using Citrus Juice


If you don’t have readily available materials for the three methods above, this approach will instruct you on removing permanent markers from walls using a DIY citrus juice cleaner.

Citrus juice is a gentle cleanser that will remove the stain without causing any damage to the surface. By citrus, I mean lemon or lime juice. Alternatively, you can use white vinegar.

However, since this cleaner is less powerful, it might take more time and effort. Yet, it is a safer method to protect your walls and doors.

If the lemon juice is contained in a bowl, please refer to the instructions in the “Using rubbing alcohol” section and follow those steps to clean your walls.

If you pour the citrus juice into a spray bottle, refer to the previous method – “Using WD-40” to remove those permanent marker stains from your walls and doors.


So, above are four techniques on how to get permanent marker off walls and doors. The texture and materials of your walls and doors will decide which one works the best. Hence, feel free to try out different methods until you settle on the most effective way.

Regardless of the approach you take, removing permanent markers from walls and doors should no longer be a problem. Let me know your experience and outcome in the comment section. Please also share this with your friends and family so they can learn how to do it as well

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