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How to Remove Permanent Marker From Porcelain? – 6 Ways

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

how to remove permanent marker from porcelain

Pieces made with porcelain are some of my favorite classics. They are naturally elegant and sophisticated. It could come in different forms like vases, ornaments, plates, cups, teapots, kitchen or bathroom sinks, floor tiles, and many others.

There are multiple chances that a porcelain piece could get permanent marker stains. The lucky thing is, we can bring back their pristine look with the right cleaning agent.

In this article, we will learn how to remove permanent marker from porcelain in 6 easy ways using familiar items readily available at home.

Ways to Remove Permanent Marker From Porcelain


Permanent marker stains on porcelain are definitely an eyesore. Thankfully, permanent markers are not as permanent as it is.

Here are some of the ways you can try to keep your porcelain free from permanent marker stains.

Here’re Some Tips to Remember Before You Proceed With Cleaning:

  • Once you’ve decided which method to use, practice testing it first in a small area before cleaning the whole thing. This is to avoid potential damage to your porcelain pieces.
  • Do not use abrasive on porcelain with a smooth surface.
  • When cleaning ink stains, do not put too much cleaning agent on it as it may readily lift ink and run over other areas without stains. Use a moderate amount when doing spot cleaning.

1. Rubbing Alcohol Method


Hygiene kits have been part of our daily essentials lately and it would not be complete without rubbing alcohol around. It can disinfect almost any surface without needing water.

Other than that, rubbing alcohol is also good at removing ink stains on hard surfaces like porcelain and ceramics including permanent marker plates stain.

What to prepare

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Dish soap and water
  1. Pour some dish soap into warm water in your sink and make soapy water to wash the plate first.
  2. Then, pour a generous amount of alcohol on the cotton balls. Dab it on the porcelain plate with marker stains.
  3. Once the ink is starting to lift, wipe it with a clean cotton ball.
  4. Add more alcohol and dab again if needed.
  5. Then, wash the plate with soapy water again and rinse it.

2. Acetone Method


This method is best for permanent markers on textured surfaces or markings at the bottom of a ceramic mug or china dishes that do not have designs.

Acetone is a strong solvent, it could remove sharpie from porcelain. However, it could also potentially damage or remove designs or prints from glazed ceramic.

What to prepare

  • Acetone or nail polish remover
  • Cotton buds
  • Dish soap and water
  1. Wet one end of the cotton buds with acetone.
  2. Rub the markings off swiftly. Acetone is highly volatile, you might have to reapply acetone if the markings are heavy.
  3. Wash with regular dish soap and water, and rinse the plate before it’s ready to use again.

3. Hairspray Method


Hairspray contains a high amount of alcohol-based solvents that are perfect to get permanent marker ink from ceramic and other non porous surface.

What to prepare

  • Hairspray
  • Clean rag
  • Melamine foam
  • Water
  1. If you have a small hairspray then you can spray it directly on the affected surface. For a large hairspray bottle, you may choose to spray it on a clean rag before applying.
  2. Use gentle pressure and rub the affected area.
  3. Reapply hairspray and rub again until all ink stains are removed.
  4. If the ink stain remains even after several hairspray applications, use melamine foam. Wet the foam with water, just enough to moisten it.
  5. Scrub the ink off with the foam to completely remove the permanent marker stain. Then, rinse and dry the porcelain piece.

4. Toothpaste Method


Use white toothpaste, not the gel type for cleaning markers off textured porcelain. White toothpaste contains silica that makes it slightly abrasive in nature, this characteristic can aid in ink removal on different types of tiles and porcelain pieces.

What to prepare

  • Toothpaste
  • Small brush or used toothbrush
  • Paper towel or sponge
  • Mild dish soap
  1. Apply a small amount of white toothpaste on a small brush.
  2. Brush lightly on the porcelain piece with marker stains. Leave the toothpaste there for 2 – 5 minutes, depending on the stubbornness of the marker stains.
  3. Wipe excess toothpaste with a paper towel or sponge.
  4. Wash the porcelain piece with soapy water from the mild dish soap and dry it naturally.

5. Non-acidic Tile and Grout Cleaner


This method is the best way to safely remove ink from porcelain tiles and bathroom sink. It can also easily remove Sharpie from tile and tile grout.

What to prepare

  • Non-acidic tile and grout cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Mild dish soap and water
  1. Choose a good non-acidic tile and grout cleaner fot this task.
  2. Spray cleaner on the affected spot and scrub using a sponge.
  3. Then, you should wipe with a clean sponge. Feel free to reapply if the stains are still not completely gone.
  4. Rinse the porcelain piece with mild dish soap and water.

6. Tracing Method

Permanent markers are alcohol based and as dry erase markers. Just trace it, add a little friction and watch it work like a charm. This method can get Sharpie off tile and is best for small marker stains on any glossy and non porous porcelain surfaces.

What to prepare

  • Dry erase marker
  • Paper towel
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  1. Trace the permanent marker stain using a dry erase marker. Make sure to move back and forth several times for the stains to be completely covered.
  2.  Wipe it off with a paper towel.
  3. Trace and wipe again as needed then, clean the area with soap and water.


There are a handful of ways on how to remove permanent marker from porcelain with simple household items that are pretty easy to find.

For textured porcelain surfaces, use toothpaste, hairspray, acetone, or alcohol and dry erase marker or tile cleaner on glossy or glazed porcelain surfaces.

Whatever options you choose, spot cleaning is the best technique you can apply for removing ink stains.

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