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How to Get Washable Marker Out of Carpet?

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

how to get washable marker out of carpet

Have you tried cleaning your child’s writings on the carpet? As a mom, I also feel the struggle of removing those stubborn stains, and the quest to maintain home tidiness seems to come with a constant wave of ups and downs.

You might have resorted to all available options on how to get washable marker out of carpet. But did you know that you don’t have to spend a fortune just to remove those stains?

Simply apply these three different methods that use many things you can find at home, from traditional cleaning paste to hairsprays.

To Start Off, You Will Need


The traditional rub and rinse method of marker stain removal applies here. The only thing that varies in this process is the ingredients used on the surface.

The stock list is surprisingly short, and the process that you must follow is guaranteed to be convenient and foolproof. So, collect your materials from the options below, then start reading the detailed steps to get rid of stubborn marker stains on your carpet.

The Real Deal

For this method, you will only need three things:

  • Cleaner paste
  • Cloth or Towel
  • Water

If you have difficulty choosing an effective cleaner paste, I came across a miracle cleaning agent called the Quick N Brite All Purpose Cleaning Paste that works wonders on your couch, showers, carpets, and other surfaces. This one is worth a try.

However, if you prefer a cheaper alternative using easy-to-find ingredients on your shelves, you can check out the list of incredible options below.

For Home Alternatives


  • Rubbing Alcohol

It may come as no surprise that rubbing alcohol is used to remove germs and dirt from our hands. But are you also aware that you can use this to rub off marker stains?

Rubbing alcohol is the most convenient alternative for me because I always carry one around, and I’m sure you do too.

  • Oil-Free Hairspray

Among the three products, I know that hairspray as a marker stain remover is the least expected for you. Check out the process below.

Here’s How To Do It

The first process includes the Quick N Brite All Purpose Cleaning Paste. This stuff works so well that the outcomes actually speak for themselves.

Grab it to have swift work of marker stains on your carpet. Afterward, it’s best to keep it stored because of its great versatility that covers other surfaces. In that way, you can save time, expenses, and effort when you clean other stuff.

Step 1. Dampen the Cloth with Water

Take your cloth and soak it down using hot or warm water. You can also make use of room-temperature water if hot or warm water is not available. Ring the towel out to remove excess water. The towel will serve as your applicator.

Step 2. Scoop up some of the Cleaning Paste

Scoop up a generous amount of the cleaning paste and spread it onto the stain. Carefully work the application with an upward or downward movement.

It would be best to ensure that the paste thoroughly penetrates the carpet’s fibers just as much as the stain did. You do not also have to scrub the carpet; just work the cleaner in. For more effectiveness, you should confirm that all areas are covered pretty well.

Step 3. Let the Cleaner Sit for 5 Minutes

The cleaner works its way to release bonds between the carpet and the marker stain. As an effect, the stain’s color kind of loosens and tries to spread around. This process causes the stain to float up onto the surface.

So, you have to be careful of further color stains, and you should not scrub it too hard.

Let the cleaning paste sit on the carpet for about five minutes as it continues to break down the marker stain and free it from fibers. This step makes your work easier, so never skip this one.

Step 4. Buff the Stain Out

After the ingredient sits on the fabric, you can now take a new cloth and buff the stain out. The first towel acts as an applicator, and the second one will be the removal tool, and it is best to keep this towel dry at all times.

Never choose your favorite towel when you intend to use it as a remover because the stain may remain permanent in this piece of clothing.

When the area has been rubbed off to remove most marker stains, you will notice how the stains, along with grimes, are transferred to the towel.

This faint discoloration will usually show a hint of grayish-blue or grayish-black color on the cloth, depending on the marker’s color.

To avoid transferring it back to the carpet, ensure that you switch to clean areas of the towel while rubbing. Go to the next step if you notice that no color lifts out anymore.

Step 5. Go For a Second Application

I know there are stubborn stains that you cannot remove in one go. If this happens, go grab your damp cloth again and reapply more cleaning paste.

Step 6. Buff with a Damp Cloth

After the second application completely loosens all signs of marker stains on your carpet, it is time to buff it up (again).

Take your damp cloth and buff the clean surface. This process lifts off all excess residues, including some paste and soap that seeped into the fabric.

After doing this, I can assure you that nothing will be left on the carpet, except for the surprisingly clean surface that’s extremely soft and odor-free.


Now we move on to the two other alternatives that you can use to remove marker stains.

Rubbing Alcohol

We will start off with the basic steps of using rubbing alcohol as a stain remover.

Step 1. Dampen the Cloth with Rubbing Alcohol

Dampen a soft clean cloth with the right amount of rubbing alcohol. Ensure that the cloth perfectly absorbs the alcohol for it to serve as an effective remover.

Step 2. Rub off on the Stained Area

Rub the damp cloth to the spot stain of the carpet. If you notice that the carpet is not reacting to the alcohol very well, you can douse the area with some rubbing alcohol to the carpet’s surface and rub it off again.

Step 3. Observe and Repeat

With constant rub, carefully observe if the marker stain reacted to the application. If some spots stay even after you’ve applied the alcohol, do a second application to the stained area until it all comes off.

Oil-Free Hairspray

For the oil-free hairspray alternative, you can follow these simple steps.

Step 1. Pour Hairspray onto a White Cloth

The first thing to do is pretty much the same as other methods. You get a container of oil-free hairspray and put it onto a piece of white cloth or towel. It would be best if you applied just the right amount.

Step 2. Dab the marker spot firmly.

After you get the hairspray out into the cloth, carefully dab the cloth to the marker stain. If it has a weak effect, you can directly spray the ingredient on the affected area and repeat the steps if necessary.

You can also view this video for a more demonstrative way of removing a marker stain from your carpets using alcohol and hairspray.

Pro Tips:

The steps may be simple to follow, as they only involve a dab and rub process of applying a certain ingredient onto the affected area of the carpet.

However, to make your cleaning session worthwhile, it would not hurt to know a few tips for removing stains.

  • When you try new cleaning products, I highly recommend doing a surface test on the carpet first. This is done by applying a certain product to a discreet part of the carpet.
  • Do know that specific and competitive brands offer the same amount of quality in removing your carpet stain. It’s all up to you which brand to choose and which one works for you.
  • Even though these procedures seem easy to do, there may be restrictions depending on the product you use. You can check each ingredient, use recommendations and caution for safer cleaning.


One of my go-to products when cleaning marker stains is the Quick N Brite All Purpose Cleaning Paste. It’s definitely a worthy product to try. However, I also laid out cheap alternatives that you can work with.

This list will help you clean carpets in a jiffy, so you can spend more time with your kids and other family members.

And that’s it! Did you find the tutorial helpful? Which method suits you the best? We’d love to hear your experience in the comments. And don’t forget to check the list of the most favorite wet erase markers if you like. Furthermore, there are the top-rated non-bleed markers for your reference.

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