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How to Remove Permanent Marker From Vinyl Floor? (3 Methods)

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

how to remove permanent marker from vinyl floor

Permanent markers come in handy when you need to write on vinyl labels and plastic containers. But what if you made a spelling error or accidentally applied it on an item?

Don’t worry, permanent markers are not that “permanent” as their inks fade over time. In any case, you can erase those stains as if nothing happened. Tag along as I guide you through three tutorials on how to remove permanent markers from vinyl floor using alcohol, hair spray, and nail polish remover.

Items You Can Use to Remove Permanent Marker Ink From Vinyl Items


There are several methods to diminish permanent marker ink. Here is a list of stain removers and cleaning supplies you can use.

1. Rubbing Alcohol

Alcohol does not only clean piercings and disinfects surfaces, but is also a powerful ink stain remover. Not only is it cheap, it does not require extra ingredients to be effective.

2. Hair Spray

If you don’t have a bottle of rubbing alcohol readily available at home, I recommend non-oily hairspray as an alternative. Hairsprays can also clean permanent marker stains from vinyl because of their alcohol content.

Based on my research, however, new formulas may not be as effective in removing ink stains as they no longer contain alcohol. Be sure to check the ingredients before applying.

3. Acetone or Non-acetone Nail Polish Remover

Many people have reported success in removing permanent markers from vinyl and other surfaces using nail polish remover. Let me warn you that acetone-based products tend to evaporate quickly so you may need more quantities to clean up bigger stains.

4. Other cleaning supplies

Regardless of the product you choose as an ink remover, make sure to have clean rags, towels, or paper towels ready. If you need to target thinner lines or smaller stains, you can opt for Q-tips or cotton balls.

Here Are the Different Methods of Cleaning Marker Stain From Vinyl


Method #1: Removing the stain using rubbing alcohol

Step 1: There are two ways to apply rubbing alcohol. One approach is to spray the alcohol directly onto the affected area just like what Youtuber Kellie Chasse did in this video. Then, use the cloth to work rub the alcohol. The other method is to soak the soft cloth in alcohol.

Step 2: Use the cloth to rub the ink stain gently in a circular motion until it fades. If you still see some ink left, you can add more alcohol and scrub more vigorously. Keep repeating this step until you get permanent marker off the vinyl floor. This also works on other vinyl items.

Step 3: Lastly, use cold water to dampen the cloth. Finish off by utilizing the wet cloth to clean any residue in the area. You should see some progress within a few minutes. However, keep in mind that you will need more time if you are cleaning a big stain.

Method #2: Cleaning the stain using hairspray

Step 1: Spray a liberal amount of hairspray directly onto the stain. You can check out this video by Queen of Clean. Although she sprayed the product on fabric, I am sharing it to give you an idea of how much is needed for a small stain. Make sure to cover the surrounding areas as well.

Step 2: Get a paper towel or any clean fabric towel to blot the affected area. Alternatively, you can apply the hairspray onto the paper towel or cloth then use it to blot out the stain. In any case, repeat this step until you remove permanent markers from vinyl flooring or other items.

Step 3: Hairsprays can leave residue on different surfaces so don’t forget to clean up after you are done with the task. To do this, get a clean cloth and wet it with cold water. Use it to wipe off the area. Once you’re done, pat it dry with a rag or paper towel.

Method #3: Eliminating the ink stain using nail polish remover

There are two ways to clean ink stains with a nail polish remover. Here’s how:

Strategy #1: Soak the stain with the nail polish remover and let it sit on the area for a couple of minutes. Then, wipe with a damp cloth gently until it completely diminishes.

If you are using an acetone-based nail polish remover, be sure to close the lid of the container as it evaporates fast.

Strategy #2: Pour the product directly into a rag. If you need to clean smaller stains, I suggest using cotton balls or Q-tips. Then, rub the stain on the vinyl until the marker ink is no longer visible.

Youtuber Alice Bonequeira demonstrates how she erases a vinyl doll’s face makeup with nail polish remover. Though the makeup is not drawn with marker ink, I assure you that this technique works just as well.


With so many housekeeping blogs out there, you will find many other strategies on how to remove permanent markers from vinyl floor. However, I find that the simplest and most effective solutions are with the use of rubbing alcohol, hairspray, and acetone. I’m sure that you already have them at home.

That said, I would like to know if you enjoyed this tutorial and managed to clean up that ink stain. Feel free to talk about your success story in the comments and share this article with your friends. Who knows, they might need help, too!

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