Dry erase markers are not washable. You can use them only on non-porous surfaces like glass or porcelain. Now, if you or your kids accidentally got these ugly markings on your garments, don’t throw your clothes away.
Here are the top three methods to remove dry erase markers from clothes.
Method 1: Using Murphy’s Oil
If you’d ask professionals how to blot dry erase markers out of garments effectively, most, if not all, will recommend Murphy’s Oil. Yes, it works!
Murphy’s Oil Soap is available in liquid form. You can purchase it in the cleaning supplies department of most supermarkets.
Here’s how to remove stubborn stains like dry erase using this popular cleaning tool.
Step 1: Test run
Check to see if the chemical ingredient will damage the fabric. If you’ve got a scrap similar to the stained garment, use that for the test run.
If you don’t have any, use a small section of the cloth that isn’t visible, such as the armpit area or the underside. Apply a tiny amount of the chemical to the affected area.
Allow it to settle for a few minutes. If there aren’t any adverse effects, continue with the cleaning.
Step 2: Place an old, absorbent towel under the garment
The towel you’ll use will most likely get stained, so use an old one that is absorbent. The towel is bound to absorb the stains.
Place the towel on a leveled surface like a worktable or a kitchen counter. Ensure that the towel under the stained fabric can soak up and hold the extra moisture.
If you can’t find an old towel, you can consider paper towels as an alternative. Use them as you would use an old towel.
Step 3: Soak a toothbrush in fresh Murphy’s Oil
If you’ve got an extra toothbrush lying around, dip it in the oil until it’s saturated. This technique works perfectly when the toothbrush is very wet. So, make sure that the toothbrush is thoroughly soaked.
If you don’t have an extra toothbrush, you can buy a cheap one at a convenience store.
Step 4: Rub the stain gently with the toothbrush
Apply gentle brushing strokes into the marker stain until suds form. Keep dropping fresh Murphy’s Oil when necessary to keep the toothbrush wet.
Adjust the towel down as necessary, allowing it to absorb any extra liquid. Continue rubbing the marker stains with the toothbrush until it is mostly faded.
Step 5: Remove residual marks using dishwashing soap
Use clean water and dishwashing soap to wash off any remaining ugly stains. Soak a sponge or cloth in water with a few drops of non-harsh dishwashing soap.
Scrub the stain with the sponge or cloth until it disappears completely. Continue washing your clothing until the flowing water runs clear.
Step 6: Rinse the stained garment well
Clean your clothing by rinsing it thoroughly with clear water. You can soak it for a few minutes if you want to be extra thorough and remove the dish soap and Murphy’s Oil.
Step 7: Launder the garment in the washer
When the markings are already gone after the clothing is rinsed, you can launder it as usual. The markings should have vanished away when you pull the garment from the washer.
Before putting the clothing in the dryer, double-check that the blemish is no longer visible. Once the garment is dried, the stain may be permanent. It would be nearly impossible to remove it.
Method 2: Using Alcohol and White Vinegar
Most dry erase markers are alcohol-based, so using alcohol to blot out the stain can do the trick. Use isopropyl alcohol because it has higher alcohol content. You’ll be amazed at the better effects.
Below are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Check the garment’s care label
You can find cleaning instructions on the manufacturer’s label. If it’s still in place, read through all the directions before going to the washing area.
Before doing anything to the clothing, double-check for any specific instructions. You don’t want to aggravate the situation. For example, you can wash certain clothes in cold water only. Make sure you follow the procedures.
Step 2: Spot test
Before washing your fabric, it’s critical to conduct spot testing. Different fibers react to various chemicals in different ways.
Make sure that the method you choose, in this case, alcohol, is compatible with the fabric you intend to apply it on. Apply a small drop of the cleaning agent to a small piece of the material.
Leave it for about one hour so the alcohol can sit. If there are no signs of discoloration or other harm, you can proceed with the cleaning.
Step 3: Position the stained garment
To begin the cleaning process, first, take some clean paper towels. You can also use a highly absorbent towel or a rough cloth instead. Just make sure that whatever material you use, it’s thick enough to absorb any excess liquid.
Spread out the towels or rough cloth, placing them on top of a bench or a counter with an evenly flat surface. Then place the stained clothing on top.
Make sure the stained part is facing side down. This way, the stain can easily penetrate the towels or cloth.
Step 4: Apply rubbing alcohol
Using a sponge, a clean cloth, or cotton, dab rubbing alcohol gently around and on the marks. Because you’ll have to repeat this process until the stain disappears, gentleness and long patience are required.
If you wipe the affected area too forcefully, the stain will spread. Use soft blotting motions to get the best effects, since pressing the sponge or cloth too hard may cause the marks to spread even more.
Replace the paper towels or cloth as they become wet. This technique ensures that they will not soak up but absorb all the liquid.
As the paper towels or cloth become wet, replace them. The towels or cloth should absorb the stain.
Step 5: Soak the stained garment in a sink with water and vinegar.
Fill a clean sink with warm water. After that, pour in a cup of white vinegar. Using your hands or a spoon, stir it into the water until it’s well-mixed.
Place the clothing in the sink. Allow 15 minutes for the item to soak in the sink. The stain should no longer be visible at this point.
Step 6: Wash the garment
After the stain has disappeared, you can wash the clothing as usual. Doing this should eliminate the smell of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar.
When removing the garment from the sink, don’t forget to wring it out. Wringing will keep water from leaking all over your floor.
Rinse the clothing very well.
Method 3: Using Hand Sanitizers
Hand sanitizer is one of the most effective cleaning tools for dry erase stains on garments. Because hand sanitizers typically contain 60% alcohol, they quickly reactivate ink.
Hand sanitizers are milder than other alcohol-based solutions because they are primarily used to clean the hands. Thus, they’ll work great for more delicate clothing.
Here’s how to get rid of dry erase marker stains from clothes using hand sanitizers.
Step 1: Remove the ink as soon as possible
If you discover the stain while it’s still fresh, blot it with a paper towel or blotting paper. To prevent the stain from bleeding through, place a paper towel on the other side of the fabric.
This way, the paper towel can absorb as much ink as possible while reducing the chances of the ink sinking deeper into the fabric.
Step 2: Test out
So as not to damage the fabric further, test the cleaning agent on an innocuous part of the clothing first. Dab a tiny fraction of hand sanitizer. Let it sit for a few minutes. Check for any signs of fading or more stains.
Step 3: Remove any dust from the fabric
Dust can combine with hand sanitizer, making it appear dirtier. Be sure the fabric you’re washing is dust-free before applying the hand sanitizer and letting it sit for a few minutes.
Step 4: Apply hand sanitizer
Squeeze a dime-sized dot of hand sanitizer onto the marker stain, depending on the size of the erase markers. Don’t spread the sanitizer wide. You only need enough to cover the affected area.
Spread the cleaning product over the stain in a circular motion with the help of a cotton or sponge. Allow 15-20 minutes for the sanitizer to soak up into the stain.
Step 5: Launder as usual
When the stain is no longer visible, you can rinse the fabric with cold or cool water to remove the solvent. If you’re sure the markers are gone, you can wash the item as usual and air-dry it.
Removing dry-erase stains shouldn’t be difficult and frustrating. As long as you have the correct supplies, you will have the results you desire.
Apply any of the top three methods to remove dry erase markers from clothes. You will be surprised at how quickly these unpleasant erase markers disappear.
Jessica Oliver is a fashion enthusiast with more than ten years of experience in the industry. She previously managed her own clothing store in New York before becoming a mother of three. With a passion for sustainability and a desire to share clothing care and recycling tips.