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How to Remove Permanent Marker from Rubber? 2 Easy Methods

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

how to remove permanent marker from rubber

Have you ever tried cleaning permanent marker ink stains from rubber and realize it won’t come off? That’s because permanent markers have water-resistant inks. Even using soap and water won’t work.

If your children drew on their rubber toys with permanent markers, fortunately, there are other household items that you can rely on. The same methods can work on rubber soles and other objects that have marker stains on them.

With that, allow me to walk you through the different ways of how to remove permanent marker from rubber. I guarantee you that these methods are safe and effective.

2 Methods to Remove Permanent Marker from Rubber


What You Need

  • Rubbing alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol, commonly known as rubbing alcohol, is the most effective low-cost product for healthcare and household cleaning hacks. If you don’t have a bottle of rubbing alcohol in your house, I highly recommend that you buy one! It can remove annoying permanent marker stains on different types of surfaces, including rubber. Plus, it does not cause damage to the material or harm your skin.

  • Acetone or nail polish remover

Acetone can also remove permanent marker stains from different surfaces. I have seen many bloggers recommend using acetone and nail polish removers to get rid of the permanent marker ink from rubber toys, like a doll’s face. But, acetone can damage certain types of rubber, which breaks down the material.

When it comes to shoes, however, cleaning approaches are less widely agreed. Shoerazzi says that it is better to use rubbing alcohol instead of acetone while Youtuber McWilliams recommends Goo gone.

  • Other cleaning supplies

Typically, you can use a clean rag, microfiber cloth, or paper towel to wipe off the stain on a flat surface. However, rubber shoe soles are not always flat. So, it’s good to have some cotton swabs to help you get through all the little nooks and crannies.

Be sure to have an extra cloth or paper towel ready as you may need to repeat the application. Lastly, you will also need soapy water to clean off the remnants of the cleaning product.

Method 1: Using rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover

  1. Prepare your work area and gather all the supplies you need.
  2. Pour a generous amount of alcohol or nail polish remover on the cloth. Remember, avoid using acetone to clean the rubber on your shoes.
  3. Rub the cloth on the stain. Repeat this step until the color lightens. If you notice that the color of your rag or microfiber changes, suggests that you switch to using another cloth.
  4. Once the stain is gone, wash the cleaned area with soapy water, then allow the surface to dry.

Tip: If you are cleaning dolls with painted rubber faces, spot test the cleaning product on an inconspicuous area. Some manufacturers provide specific instructions and tips on how to properly clean the toys to avoid accidentally removing the paint along with the stain. Be sure to check them before you start cleaning.

Method 2: Using Goo Gone on rubber soles

  1. Before you grab your Goo Gone and paper towels, determine where the permanent marker ink is. Some shoe sellers tend to write on the flat side of the sole, while others write on the more textured areas. If there are marker stains on the small openings on the sole, you will also need a cotton swab.
  2. Fold the paper towel into a small square and spray some Goo Gone on it. You can check emceewilliams’s video for reference on how much Goo Gone to use.
  3. Scrub the ink off using a damp paper towel. Note that you may need more time to scrub depending on the texture and the color of the soles. Cleaning white soles tend to take longer.
  4. For textured soles, put some Goo Gone on the cotton swab and use it to rub out the ink.


So, do you find the tips I shared above helpful? Although we own a lot of things that are made out of rubber, we need to apply different strategies to remove permanent marker ink. This way, we don’t mess up with the designs of certain rubber items, like those on a doll’s face or run the risk of damaging the rubber itself. Besides, you are also can refer more ways to remove permanent marker from tile or remove permanent marker from metal.

If you have another method to share or simply want to talk about your experience on how to remove permanent marker from rubber, leave them in the comment section. As usual, feel free to share this article with anyone who may benefit from this tutorial.

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