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How to Remove Dry Erase Marker from Clothes: 3 Easy Methods!

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

how to remove dry erase marker from clothes

Dry erase marker is considered to be the most popular and widely used writing tool for whiteboards and glass writing surfaces. These dependable markers are also suitable for non-porous surfaces like overhead projector films and reusable signboards.

The ink from these markers is incredibly easy to remove and to wipe clean using a whiteboard eraser or just simply a dry cloth. And with its many uses and availability, you may inadvertently mark or draw on your clothes or any fabric not intended to be drawn upon. Will it be as easy as wiping it with another cloth? Can an easy wash with plain water do the trick?

Well, there are different methods we need to talk about because not all fabric or clothes are easy to wash and clean. There are delicate types of clothing and fabric where these markers must be carefully removed to preserve their color & vibrancy. So here are the methods on how to remove dry erase marker from clothes or fabric.

How to Remove Dry Erase Marker from Clothes: Identifying the Methods to Use


Wet erase markers are made of dyes and color pigments that are water-soluble. This type of ink can be easily wiped off with the use of a damp cloth.

On the other hand, dry erase markers have ink pigments with release agents that will be trapped in the cloth fibers whenever they come in contact with fabrics. Using water alone will not be effective since these are not water-soluble and tend to bind themselves effectively on clothing fibers.

There are three (3) effective methods that we are going to discuss that will surely relieve the worries in you. These are:

  • The Murphy’s Oil and Soap Method
  • Use White Vinegar with Rubbing Alcohol
  • Using The Manufacturer’s Washing Instruction on the Tag

Before using any of these methods, I suggest that you first try your cleaning materials and tools on a small part of the clothing to observe whether it will not stain the fabric or if your cleaning tools are clean as well.

The Murphy’s Oil and Soap Method


Things You Will Need

  • ½ Cup of Murphy’s Oil
  • Absorbent Towel
  • Old or Unused Toothbrush
  • Mild Dishwashing Soap
  • Clean Sponge or Rag


Step 1: Select a clean and absorbent towel and place it underneath the clothing to be cleaned. It is recommended to use a white towel to avoid color adherence issues. But if you are sure that the towel’s color is safe, then you may use it.

The stain will transfer to the towel so it is best to choose an old towel or an extra one. Choose a flat surface as your workspace. You may fold the towel so it is thick enough to absorb the liquid afterward.

Step 2: Choose a toothbrush that does not easily break and preferably white to make it easy for you to check on dirt or stains. Then dip it in a cup with Murphy’s oil soap. Make sure again that the toothbrush is clean and no stain. Completely submerge the toothbrush in Murphy’s oil.

Step 3: Carefully rub the toothbrush with oil onto the stained fabric or clothing in a circular motion while observing if the stain is being removed. You may add some more oil and rub it again to create some suds. At this point, the stain is already fading.

Step 4: The stain is now completely soaked and loose. Now, it’s time to use some dishwashing liquid. The dishwashing liquid component will in turn break down the oil so that the stain will be removed from the fabric.

Check the thickness of the towel and adjust if necessary to completely absorb any excess liquid. Gently rub the clean rag or sponge onto the stained part to completely remove the stain.

Step 5: Using the sponge again, dip it in clean water, and squeeze it to remove excess suds, and try to wet it again to absorb ample water. Gently rub the sponge again onto the clothing to completely remove the oil and dishwashing soap. At this point, the stain is gone.

Final step: Laundry wash your clothing as you normally do. Upon squeezing it dry or after the spin-dry, the stain, the oil, and the dishwashing soap are eliminated.

Using White Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol Method

Things You Will Need

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Absorbent Towel
  • Clean Sponge
  • 1 Cup of White Vinegar


Step 1: Place the stained clothing on top of the clean and absorbent towel. A flat surface is recommended. You may opt to fold the towel to make it thick enough to absorb the liquid.

Step 2: Using the clean sponge, put a small amount on it and gently swab or pat the stained area of the fabric. Do not rub the stained area to avoid smearing. Patting the area with the sponge will make the stain fade eventually.

STEP: Dissolve the vinegar in warm water in a sink or basin. Soak the stained clothing for 15 minutes. During this time the stain is completely gone.

Final step: Laundry wash your clothing as you normally do. This process will remove the vinegar and the rubbing alcohol.

Using The Manufacturer’s Washing Instruction on the Tag

Things You Will Need

  • Special Laundry Soap for Soaking
  • Standard Laundry Soap


Step 1: Check for instructions. Most clothing has washing or cleaning instructions sewn inside or beside the tags. These are specific instructions for the type of fabric on which the clothing was made. It could provide information if the fabric can be washed using warm or cold water. Machine wash or only hand washing is recommended.

Step 2: Soaking the stained clothing on a specially formulated laundry soap before regular washing will substantially dissolve or soften the stain. After this process, following the washing instructions repeatedly and carefully may eliminate the stain or at least remarkably decrease its appearance.

Final step & reminder: It is very important to initially perform a small test on a safe part of the clothing whenever you decide to use any of the methods. Sometimes, just following the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions will suffice. But if it is not enough, spot test cleaning should be administered.


Dry erase marker inks adhere quickly to fabrics. The longer the stain stays on the clothing, the harder it can be removed completely. Being able to identify or verify the washing instructions found in the clothing itself may provide enough or initial information on how to wash it based on its fabric type.

There are methods to choose from and it is vital to do a spot check or sample cleaning first on a discreet part of the clothes. This way, you can see if the substance you are going to use is safe on the fabric. Chemical reactions on the colors or fabric itself must be carefully watched for as well.

These methods are proven recommendations but still, there is a need for careful implementation of the steps on how to remove dry erase marker from clothess satisfactorily.

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