How to Get Marker Out of Carpet

how to get marker out of carpet

If you have kids or a penchant for crafts, then you know that marker has a way of staining in places it shouldn’t, like carpets or rugs. Whether a little one went on a coloring adventure on your carpet or there’s just a little spot of Sharpie in the corner of a rug that’s been driving you nuts, here’s how to get marker out of the carpet. 

How to Get Permanent Marker Out of Carpet

You might think that permanent marker means just that: permanent. Luckily there are a few methods you can try to remove sharpie, dry-erase markers, craft markers, and other permanent marker stains from carpet. 

NOTE: It’s always important to spot-test any cleaning technique in a small inconspicuous location and wait to see how the material reacts before proceeding.  

Alcohol Method

For this method, you can use most alcohol-based household products to lift permanent marker stains from carpet. From rubbing alcohol, to acetone, to clear hand sanitizer, to oil-free hairspray, to household cleaners like Windex – with varying levels of elbow grease, they will all work.

Alcohol is a solvent, and it lifts stains by dissolving the ink or pigment molecules. A solvent is any substance that can dissolve other substances – a handy quality when it comes to stain removal. 

Step 1: Apply the Alcohol to a Clean Cloth

Apply the alcohol or other substance to a clean cloth or cotton ball, not directly to the carpet. If you apply the rubbing alcohol directly to the carpet, it could oversaturate the stain and cause damage to the carpet fibers. Since rubbing alcohol is a strong ingredient, it needs to be used sparingly. 

Step 2: Apply the Alcohol to the Stain

Place the cloth soaked in alcohol onto the stain and press or blot gently until the stain is fully saturated.

Step 3: Blot the Stain

Blot the stain carefully without rubbing to avoid further spreading the stain.

Step 4: Blot Area With Water

Blot the area where you applied the rubbing alcohol with water to remove any remaining traces of rubbing alcohol from your carpet. 

Step 5: Repeat as Needed

Repeat until the stain is gone.

Magic Eraser Method

Magic Erasers are made of a substance called melamine foam. It is a very fine abrasive and therefore effective at scrubbing away stains. 

Most of us turn to Magic Erasers when scrubbing scuffs off of walls or cabinets, but they are also shockingly effective at removing permanent ink stains from most carpet.

Step 1: Soak the Sponge 

Saturate your Magic Eraser with water, wringing out the excess so the sponge is just slightly damp and not sopping wet. 

Step 2: Scrub

Gently scrub the stained carpet back and forth with the damp sponge until the stain is gone. 

How to Get Washable Marker Out of Carpet

The main difference between permanent markers and their washable counterparts is that permanent markers are made with pigments suspended in non-water-based mediums. Because permanent marker pigments aren’t water-based, that means they are not water-soluble, and they need more work to dissolve. 

On the other hand, washable markers contain pigments suspended in a water-based medium, which means they are water-soluble. This makes stains made by washable markers much easier to clean out of the carpet and you can use gentler products to help remove those stains. 

Step 1: Use Hot Water

Most washable marker stains will come right up simply by dabbing them with a clean rag soaked in hot water. This would also be a great time to use an upholstery steam cleaner if you have one. 

Step 2: Mix Detergent and Water 

If hot water alone is not enough to get your stain out, mix a ¼ teaspoon (or less) of dish detergent with two cups of water. Dab the mixture on the stain until it lifts. Then follow up with a clean cloth and clean water. Dab at the stain again until the detergent is gone. 

If you’re still left with a stain, then you can move on to either of the above methods for removing permanent marker stains from carpet. It’s always a good idea to start with the gentlest stain-removal method first, and then work your way up if the stain is stubborn. 


Does vinegar remove the marker?

Vinegar will remove marker stains, but not as effectively as alcohol. You will likely have to use more product and more elbow grease when working with vinegar. To use vinegar, mix distilled white vinegar with water, apply the mixture to a clean cloth, and blot the stain until it lifts. 

Can you get ink out of the carpet?

For an ink stain on the carpet, use rubbing alcohol, acetone, or even oil-free hairspray to remove the stain. Saturate the stain with any of these alcohol-based products and blot until the stain lifts. Follow up by blotting with clean water to remove any residue.

Does hydrogen peroxide remove marker?

Yes, hydrogen peroxide can remove marker stains. It may not work as well as alcohol or an alcohol-based product, though. This might be a useful alternative if the smell of alcohol is too strong for you. To remove a marker stain using hydrogen peroxide, saturate the stain with the peroxide using a clean cloth and blot until the stain lifts. 

How to get marker out of carpet

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