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How to Remove Permanent Marker from Glass: 2 Easiest Ways

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

how to remove permanent marker from glass

A genuine permanent marker is something that adheres to an object permanently or semi-permanently. This is true for surfaces like paper, cloth, wood, and most plastics. It also adheres well to metals and glass. Without using chemicals or solvents, permanent markers will stay very long on both metal and glass surfaces.

However, if you need to correct some writing, design, or even a stain from a glass surface, you are probably wondering how to remove permanent marker from glass. This may be your computer monitor, eyeglasses, camera lens, or your glass window.

Here, we are going to briefly discuss two (2) easy and effective methods to make sure you completely remove permanent marker stains or writings from any glass surfaces.

2 Easiest Ways to Remove Permanent Markers from Glass

Things You Will Need


  • WD-40 multi-purpose spray, or rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towels or clean rags
  • Some cotton balls or cotton swabs
  • Damp cloths
  • A regular glass cleaner or dishwashing liquid

First Method: Use WD-40 Multi-purpose Spray

Step 1: Spray directly on the stained area just enough to soak it fully. If the glass surface is placed horizontally, spraying WD-40 is easy.

Vertically positioned glass is quite challenging since the lubricant may drip downwards continually. That is why I recommend soaking a cotton ball with WD-40 and gently wipe the stained glass with ample lubricant and let it soak for at least one (1) minute. For older ink stains, you may need a longer time.

Step 2: Dampen a clean cloth or rag and wipe off the soaked stain from the glass. You may use cotton balls or cotton swabs for hard-to-reach areas or small items like eyeglasses and camera lenses. Take extra care for glass surfaces of gadgets or smaller items so as not to overly soak them with WD-40.

Step 3: WD-40 is so effective that it will surely remove the permanent marker at this point. Oily residue may however remain.

Final Step: To remove the oily residue, use some dishwashing liquid or glass cleaner gently soaked in a piece of cloth or cotton ball and wipe it on the glass. Follow it up with a damp cloth and paper towel to finally clean the glass surface.

Second Method: Use Rubbing Alcohol of at least 70% Concentration

Step 1: If you have sensitive & dry skin, please wear plastic or rubber gloves to protect your skin from the alcohol especially if it is of 91% concentration. Use a clean cloth or cotton ball and mildly soak it with alcohol just enough to keep it from dripping.

Step 2: Wipe directly onto the permanent marker stain with the cloth or cotton soaked in alcohol. The wiping must be slow to gently soak the stain for two (2) seconds before wiping it off gradually.

Since alcohol evaporates more quickly than WD-40, it is best to wipe the stain gradually while soaking it a bit before wiping, especially if the marker stain is big or long.

Step 3: At this point, the stain is almost gone but there is still some light smeared ink on the glass. This will be resolved by wiping it again with a cloth or cotton dipped on alcohol. Do not soak it in too much alcohol to keep it from dripping on other delicate surfaces.

Final Step: The permanent ink is gone by now but your glass window or any glass surface might have some haze on it. Using a glass cleaner or a dishwashing liquid with some clean water will complete the job.

Safety Precautions

  • You should consider wearing plastic or rubber gloves to avoid skin contact or allergic reactions from acetone-based products and chemical lubricants.
  • Always allow a good ventilation workplace when using aerosol products and acetone-based nail polish remover.
  • Avoid inhaling the mists from a WD-40 lubricant spray. Wear a facemask if necessary.
  • Make sure to avoid open flames or sparks when using aerosol products & acetone because these are flammable. WD-40 is also flammable since it is made of petroleum distillates.
  • For tinted windows or film-coated glass surfaces, it is best to test the cleaning solutions in an inconspicuous part of the glass for possible chemical reactions.


We discussed only two (2) very effective methods so far. Several methods are still feasible and the steps are identical. For example, you may replace the rubbing alcohol with a hand sanitizer or an acetone-based nail polish remover. The steps are almost the same.

However, there are permanent marker stains or writings on glass surfaces that are not completely permanent probably because of its poor quality or the glass stain is just new. On this type of glass stain, a regular glass cleaner or liquid dishwashing soap may complete the job.

It is therefore recommended to try the simpler method first. Sometimes, even plain damp cloth will do the trick. The use of alcohol may also be diluted in some cases. But as a rule of thumb and precaution, always use protective gloves and safety equipment especially if you clean vertical glass windows.

You are also can refer to ways to remove permanent marker stains on other surfaces such as metal or rubber if you care.

So did you like this guide on how to remove permanent marker from glass, please let me know in the comment section below.

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