Artltdmag is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How to Remove China Marker? – 5 Easy Tricks

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

how to remove china marker

It’s always exciting to shop at the thrift store. However, later on, you realized that every single thing you bought had the price marked with a china marker. Fret not, did you know that china markers, also known as grease pencils, are actually erasable?

Through the years of being a thrift store fan, I have already mastered these 5 easy tricks on how to remove china marker.

These tricks are proven to remove china markers from glass, tiles, shoes, fabric, paper, and other surfaces.

Ways to Take Off China Marker


Trick No. 1: Erase It With Paper Towels

Yes, you don’t really need anything more than a paper towel to remove grease pencil for this one. This trick is especially applicable for china markers on glass.

For example, pan covers, wine glass, microwavable bowls, and other glassware.


Things you need:

  • Paper towel or tissue
  1. Prepare the glassware with china marker and a paper towel.
  2. Fold the paper towel to form a layer or make it thicker. Keep everything dry.
  3. Rub the paper towel right at the area where the grease pencil is until everything is rubbed off. And that’s it. Plain and simple!

Take note that you are working on glass and you don’t want to break them. Be sure not to put too much pressure when rubbing.

Trick No. 2: Erase It With WD-40


WD-40 is a household brand with lubricating and degreasing ability. This can also do the trick on grease pencil removal.

This trick is applicable to any hard surface such as wood, rubber shoes, and even on fabric, or on clothing.

Things you need:

  • WD-40
  • Waste cloth or rag
  • Dishwashing liquid
  1. Get the item with a grease marker.
  2. Wet the rag with WD-40.
  3. Rub it on the spot where the grease marker is until all markings are removed.
  4. If the markings are not totally removed, put more WD-40.

This method is best for hard surfaces such as tiles or rubber shoes. For fabric or clothing follow these instructions:

  1. Lay the piece of clothing with grease marker on a flat surface.
  2. Put a cloth underneath the area where the markings are located.
  3. Spray WD-40 covering the areas with markings.
  4. Leave it for a few minutes.
  5. If the markings did not come off, rub it with enough force and notice that the marking will come off shortly.
  6. The degreaser might leave a blot, you can quickly remove it using dishwashing liquid.

This method might not be applicable for all fabrics such as silk.

Trick No. 3: Erase It With Alcohol


Alcohol is a strong solvent that can dissolve ink, oil, and wax. This makes this material applicable to this trick. This trick can remove marker from paper, plastic, cardboard, or laminated paper.

Things you need:

  • Alcohol with 70% to 100% concentration
  • Small brush
  • Waste cloth or rag
  1. Position the paper with grease marker on an even surface.
  2. Put enough alcohol on a small brush.
  3. Slightly brush the area with markings.
  4. Dab the wetted area with the waste cloth to pick up the wax and excess alcohol.
  5. If it does not come completely, repeat the process or finish it off with WD-40 to completely get rid of marker on paper.

Do not use alcohol with low concentration. This may contain more water and you might end up getting the paper damaged or worse, get it torned.

Trick No. 4: Erase It With Acetone


Just like alcohol, acetone is a very strong solvent. This trick is good for surfaces that are less sensitive such as metal, stonewares, and ceramics.

Things you need:

  • Nail polish remover or pure acetone
  • Cotton balls or rag
  1. Choose a stoneware with grease marker writings.
  2. Wet the cotton balls or rag with acetone.
  3. Swab it on the writings.
  4. Watch the markings disappear.

Do not use nail polish remover with color, this might add to the trouble rather than solving the problem.

Trick No. 5: Erase It With Magic Eraser

Magic eraser rocks in removing anything from dirt or grime and that includes china marker. This trick can work to erase china marker on tiled floors, sinks, and walls.

Things you need:

  • Magic Eraser
  • Waste cloth or rag
  1. Make sure that the tile or the target area is dry.
  2. Concentrating on the marked area, scrub it with the magic eraser forcefully.
  3. Wipe the area with a rag.
  4. Repeat the process if necessary.

To save the magic eraser for later use, cut it into half or cut a small portion only according to your need.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is a china marker permanent?

China markers are designed to be erasable. Originally, it is made with solidified wax and coloring. These markers have been around since early 1916 and are used for marking maps.

Through time, china markers have evolved and are now famed for various applications and are widely used for identification and other labeling purposes.

It produces a waterproof and durable mark, enough to last long but it is also readily erasable. The color red grease pencils are commonly used as an identifier as they instantly make the text pop.

The black china marker is used for drawing and general use.

How long does it take to remove china marker stains?

This will depend on the surface where the stain is. By far, china marker stains on clothing and fabric could be the hardest to remove. Stain removal on fabric can take more than 10 minutes.

But if you happened to read this article from the start, I mentioned 5 tricks on how to remove china markers with the use of a few household items.

These tricks can remove china markers on any surface in just a few seconds.

Why won’t china markers rub off by finger?

China markers are erasable but won’t definitely wipe off with a simple finger rub. As mentioned, they are made of solidified wax which makes them more resistant.

Depending on the surface, one can easily rub the markings off with the help of a paper towel or a magic eraser but you need to exert a little extra effort to get this done.

But with the help of a degreaser like WD-40 or solvent like acetone and alcohol will incredibly make this task a lot more easier.

Related guides:


There’s really nothing to worry about thrift finds with grease pencil markings. With its flexibility, china markers or grease pencils are not only used to mark prices in thrift stores but are also utilized for industrial and commercial use.

Some even use it to personalize things at home and in the office. So, whether you like it or not, china markers are here to stay.

They can serve as a friend or an enemy, either way, this guide will help you get through anything!

5/5 - (2 votes)