How To Remove Permanent Marker from a Painted Wall

Will my wall ever be the same? Yes! Here's how.

Our two-year-old daughter decided to express her artistic side by drawing on our living room wall with a red Sharpie permanent marker pen. I originally thought that we were going to have to repaint the area, but we were able to get the stain out due to the quick thinking and expertise of my father-in-law, George. Here's how we did it and what you'll need.


  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Washcloth
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Sponge with an abrasive side

Step-by-Step Guide

Act quickly! Stains tend to set, so removing them as quickly as possible increases your chances of removing them.

Red sharpie that was used to write on our white walls
Red sharpie that was used to write on our white walls

When cleaning a new surface, try a rubbing small amount of the rubbing alcohol in an inconspicuous spot to ensure it will not damage the surface. Some paint will probably come off with the ink, so scrub with care.

The rubbing alcohol we used to remove the red marker on our white wall.
The rubbing alcohol we used to remove the red marker on our white wall.

Pour a good amount of rubbing alcohol on a washcloth and scrub the area. Our daughter used red ink, so the wall was pink after our first pass using the rubbing alcohol.

Cleaning!  Here we go.
Cleaning! Here we go.

Fill a bowl with water and use the abrasive side of a sponge to scrub the remaining color off. You can pour rubbing alcohol on the sponge to remove the final color.

Sponge and rubbing alcohol in a pyrex dish
Sponge and rubbing alcohol in a pyrex dish

This was a first pass. The color actually stands out more in the photo, but we did do a few more applications. By the end, there was no evidence of any red Sharpie!

After our first application.
After our first application.

Comet and OxiClean are also good stain removers, but neither worked well on removing Sharpie.

These are great cleaners, but they're not great for removing marker.
These are great cleaners, but they're not great for removing marker.

Note on How to Remove Stains from Clothing

We tried Comet and OxiClean on the wall, but neither product did much good.

But if you have a stain on clothing, OxiClean for Babies is a miracle worker. I have been able to get out almost anything with it.

I wet the stain and generously pour on the BabyOxi and let it sit for a few hours. For particularly difficult stains, I may need to wash off the powdered Oxy and keep reapplying. It works even when the clothes have been washed and dried with the stain.

More by this Author

Do you have any cleaning tricks up your sleeve? 116 comments

Donna Benoit 6 weeks ago

Just used the alcohol and a green scrubby on a new piece of equipment that we labeled for ID, here at work, then he decided he wants to return it. All clean and without a hint of marks or surface marring. Thanks to you all.

Pam 2 months ago

Toothpaste-just work it in with a toothbrush-wipe with w wet cloth to remove residue until all clear. Works brilliantly

Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 2 years ago from Japan

Excellent guide there, a must for family with children. We bought a newly built house so are sensitive to marks etc.

Elmira 2 years ago

Thank you for the article! I just removed one month old paintings with 91% alcohol.

Christine 2 years ago

Toothpaste was my saviour when my kids decided they would draw with pens n markers on their nan's walls, for an especially difficult mark leave the toothpaste on for a few minutes, give it a quick scrub n it's all gone.

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parrster 2 years ago from Oz

Great stuff, always useful to know when budding artist three year old gets her hands on the Sharpie.

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Sam Hawkins 2 years ago from Georgia

Thanks for this useful tip. My spouse and I have had to repaint our apartment because of our son's artistic display on the walls.

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Mickji 2 years ago from between Italy and Switzerland, travelling around the world thanks to a little special object

I really needed this ! My house is all painted with something weird, I must find a way to delete it before trying to paint it else the walls can become mushy because of it and humidity. I really thank you, I think that this can be applied to it too !

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nathalia27 2 years ago

I usually remove that by acetone.

cass 2 years ago

Ive tried every cleaner and alcohol etc.....marker is still there a bit faded but that's it :(

Totally disappointed not my house or walls.

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FullOfLoveSites 2 years ago from United States

Thanks for this information from you and from other commenters... I learned a lot from you. My niece used crayons to draw on my dining room wall. I will apply every possible solutions you offer. :)

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WriterJanis 2 years ago from California

This is good to know about the OxyClean. Thanks for the suggestion.

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neilcook 2 years ago from United States

Incredible! I think you just saved a lot of people time and money on re-painting!

Shirley 2 years ago

Hairspray gets it all off

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epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

These are good tips to follow. I've tried Windex too and that has helped get some stains off of the wall. Thanks for posting! Voted up!

JerryP7 3 years ago

From time to time I have to remove graffiti in a commercial building. Alcohol removed Sharpie marks. Once most of it's gone with that I use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (following directions - damp) to clean up what is left.

ATWITSEND 3 years ago

what do you do when child is excellent at hiding permanent marker and crayon drawings? My 8 year old hid a rather large drawing on bedroom wall NOTHING works!! Not even paint it bleeds threw even when heavy primer used.

kristina shoultz 3 years ago

thanks for the tips and i used alcohol and it took the pen and pant off the walls so make sure you have white walls for the alcohol tip lol

Michelle 4 years ago

crazy but the sunscreen really worked! I couldn't believe it.

Chessna 4 years ago

Thanks for the tip with alcohol. I will have to try that out.

For anyone trying to get permanent marker off of electronics here is a great darling 2 yr old daughter drew all over our dvd/stereo system with black permanent marker, I was out of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, and the majority of my go-to cleaning products. I had a bottle of Goo Be Gone in my cabinet and thought "Heck, I'll give it a try". It worked amazingly! I didn't have to scrub, just simply wiped it over the marks a couple times. To top it off, the marker had already been on there for 5 hrs because I hadn't been able to find what she had drawn on besides herself.

Short fused mother 4 years ago

We used magic erasers and it did just that, just like magic the black sharpie was gone.

Namie Williams 4 years ago

The same story.......

My 3yr old brther scribled all sorts of markers highlighters permanent markers, board markers etc but i tried all things but nothing worked....

Any other remedies?......

Martin 4 years ago


Just had my 3 yr old son do the same thing.

I found using a cloth & PVCu Solvent Cleaner normally used to clean your PVC around your windows took off the marker in less then 10 seconds with no trace of the art work.

DO NOT scrub hard or it will take off the paint but just wipe softly and its all gone. :)

Bonnie 4 years ago

To get permanent marker off finished woodwork, which alcohol & nail polish remover will ruin, use *toothpaste* - it really works.

Amazing 4 years ago

Those kendall webcol alcohol prep swipes works wonders for marks on the wall! I had permanent marker on my wall just got an alcohol swipe and it came off like nothing!

its simple 4 years ago

all you need to remove permanent marker from any hard surface is AXE OR TAG BODY SPRAY and a wet rag

Melissa 4 years ago

Sharpie off a wall and saw someone had a problem with a TV, fyi, ANY type of screen can be rid of these little pieces of art with a simple trick (computers too) paint over Sharpie with DRY ERASE MARKERS and wipe away with dry cloth, no more sharpir

Mukesh 4 years ago

It was on the writing board that my wife welcomed new year with permanent marker. After trying a range of removers on the board I decided to check on the net and came across this article. I somewhat used a hybrid method... alcohol with ariel washing powder. That is, I wetted a piece of cloth in alcohol and then dipped it in dry washing powder, and with that rubbed clean the surface of the white board. The letterings went away like magic. Thank you all...

Ticked off 4 years ago

But no more after reading this. Alcohol worked great. Thanks so much!

Carla :P 4 years ago

Ok soo my 2 yr old did this this morning. I used hair spray and an sos pad. Spray the hair spray on the marker let it set for about 30 seconds, scrub gently with sos pad and use a wet towel to finish wiping the wall, no damage and black permanent marker is gone!

Anu 4 years ago

Alcohol can also be used to remove permanent marker stains?? That is awesome! I used toothpaste instead and it worked! Anyway thanks for that tip.

Nikki Phillips 4 years ago

The rubbing alcohol technique

works great for permanent marker it does remove the paint though.

mel 4 years ago

thank you the nail polish remover worked great on green permanent marker

Lily 4 years ago

Ever wondered how rubbing alcohol removes sharpie stains?

Pat 4 years ago

Believe it or not sunscreen works. I tried it on my deck for Sharpie marks this past summer and on Sharpie on my wall worked again. I used Neutrogena Sun Block Body Mist that I had from Costco.

MommyandAri 4 years ago

My two-year-old just did this today, except it was a brown permanent marker. I've tried the Magic Erasers when my cousin did the same thing about a year ago; they don't work for permanent markers. I had to combine rubbing alcohol and 100% acetone to get the marker off, at least the gist of it, because it was so concentrated in one area (about half a marker's worth). It was also on the fridge and the floors, but the tile cleaner got those right off. I've just got the stain from the marker smudging on the wall now. Going to try the vinegar idea with a sponge to get it off, alongside the water. Thanks for the tips! I've been wondering how to get permanent marker off the walls since when my cousin did it a year ago, and no one I know seems to know. Thanks so much! :)

daddy house work 4 years ago

Alcohol?? next time i will try this..but now i used hair works!

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Robin 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

That's great news, Ruth! I'm glad the alcohol worked! It must be incredible gratifying to write on the walls with marker as all kids seem to go through the stage!

ruth 4 years ago

My terrific 2 year old scribbled on the wall numerous times with a green marker (a lot) . i was in tears, goggled & found this site, "Alcohol" would never have guessed' run upstairs & grabbed the alcohol & i was able to clean all the writings' the green is all gone' the wall faded alittle' but i'm greatful' thanks.

Mary 5 years ago

Thank you for the information on the alcohol my son had marked all the way down the hall wall and that took it off....thanks a lot..

Denise Wilkins 5 years ago

magic eraser doesn't work on permanent marker drawn onto walls, believe me...I know.

Shauna 5 years ago

Believe it or not my one year old drew everywhere in his bedroom in a trailer I was renting. I just grabbed the three cleaners I had on hand windex, dawn, and pine-sol none of which worked. I dug under the sink and came across a bottle of brasso and figured it never hurts to try. It took it off the door, walls, dresser and his plastic toddler bed with no problem and no damage to the walls either

Robin profile image

Robin 5 years ago from San Francisco Author

Those sharpies are the worst! We have had many sharpie "accidents"! I'm glad the tips worked!

Victoria 5 years ago

My kids colored one room with sharpie and one with crayola crayons the magic erasers work for crayons but not sharpie thank you for the tip

Toni 5 years ago

My 2 1/2 year old decorated her desk, gave her doll a mustache, wrote in her language on the wall and window. The alcohol and hand sanitizer removed it all except the plastic on the desk. I'm impressed. It worked on the crayon scribble in our foyer and even took the marker out of the cream color rug. It can still be seen faintly on the rug, but I'm a whole lot happier.

robin hines 5 years ago

Thank you so very much ,you saved the wall

Tonia 5 years ago

My two year old just colored my whole bathroom with a perm black sharpie. I justed 91% ALCOHOL AND IT IS GONE. IT IS THE BEST!!!! :)

Kari 5 years ago

Hi I found your page while googling for this very topic.

The best thing I found is baking soda and water. Make a past and scrub the area. I tried several other methods and baking soda and water paste is the only thing that left the walls and doors looking like new again.

Erin 5 years ago

Nail polish remover works wonders.

S.v.L.  5 years ago

I was told by my brother vinegar is as good as rubbing alcohol.

An hour later, the sharpie words are still there.

Robin profile image

Robin 5 years ago from San Francisco Author

Hi April,

I'm so sorry, our three year old writes on the walls too. The picture is of our now 5 year old when she was three. Her little sister has taken over her job as wall artist. ;) Sharpie is a tough one. Have you tried a Magic Eraser by Mr. Clean? It doesn't always work with permanent marker but it's worth a try. It's important to get it as soon as it happens so it doesn't set in. Sorry! I know it's frustrating!

April 5 years ago

My kids used a black permanent sharpie and I tried everything including the alcohol and nothing will work, looks like I'm goin' to have to repaint, I have five kids and the two little ones decorated the older kids room, the bathroom includin' the toilet seat, and the livin' room....of course this was not all done in one day, but markers are not allowed in the house anymore....

linny 5 years ago

i just used this method and it worked 99.9%

thank you so much i was about to faint when i saw the living room wall painted with red permanent marker.

Sean 5 years ago

Magic Eraser worked great. Just keep a paper towel underneath. The drip down the wall leaves a mark...

Lisa 5 years ago

OMG!!! My 2 yr old just colored her bedroom wall in a permanent marker....GREEN to be exact. Sadly i was out of everything the day it was done so it has sat in. I am definitely going to try the alcohol and baking soda. Thank u all so much for the advisory tips. My husband and I thought we were going to have to pay for painters.

jess 5 years ago

I have also found that if you use baking soda on a clorox wipe it will remove it without any remnants.

Carrie 5 years ago

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! Just used this tip to remove blue ink from my kitchen wall! works great!!

steve 5 years ago

Thank you Internet

Shygirl 5 years ago

Yahoo.... But sadly I can not blame it on the kids. LOL The Nate show did some coloring on the wall and it looked cool so I decided to and guess what haha?? It looked horrible and I couldn't get it off. My 2 year old walked in and said Mamia you are in trouble your supposed to color paper. LOL Mr clean bleaches it nail polish remover removes the paint and makes it sticky.. Alcohol works wonders, and my Daughter said yay mamia wont be in trouble n e more.

Bradford 5 years ago

Hey guys! Dont know if you figured this problem out already, but I thought I'd let you in on this awesome stuff my friend told me about.. She has 2 ADHD boys and is constantly cleaning up after them.... marker on walls, paint on the floor, ink on the carpet, etc. Anyway, she said her husband worked for a company called "Joe Janitor Supply" and that I had to try out the graffiti remover. It is awesome!! It would be perfect for this problem. I found it online.... go here to see it: Click one of the buttons on the bottom of the page and there is a video of them using it I think..

Hope this helps!

Jonathan 5 years ago

Surface: Smooth painted closet door (veneer).

Just used nail polish remover and a toothbrush. No remnants at all and no apparent damage to door.

jaetee 5 years ago

The rubbing alcohol and abrasive sponge(kitchen dish sponge) worked great except it either removed a bit of the paint or changed it's color to a lighter color. So just beware. Mine was on a dark red (book binder red) wall to be exact. Test in an inconspicuous area first. But hey the marker is gone. :D

young_dazza 6 years ago

Thanks for all the tips!

We found that Acetone (nail polish remover) was pretty good on the wall but it slightly removed some of the paint. However acetone didn't work on the door which is painted with an oil-based glossy paint.

Vinegar didn't work at all, neither did WD-40.

Baby wipes helped on the walls and helped a bit on the door.

Erasers also helped.

Its not perfect but I have run out of energy for now. I might try some more suggestions again later.

April 6 years ago

They now have dry-erase paint and chalkboard paint for your walls for budding artists :)

Linz 6 years ago

Ok, my daughter decided to draw on the carpet, wall cabnet, subwoofer, tv plasma stand, tv unit and lounge door with black permanent marker. I got the marker off the cabnet using acetone. It wiped it straight off the glass and the timber no problem. did not damage the timber. The carpet and the tv and sub was a different story. I used hand sanitizer (the alcohol one) with a toothbrush on the carpet and with a soft cloth on the tv stand and sub and came off a treat without damaging the two-pac finish. The lounge door was not varnished so i think i'm gonna have to sand that out. Anyway try acetone (somewhere discreet first) and hand sanatizer... they work wonders.

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Tom T 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

HA! One of those things you'd only need to know if you had kids! I remember when I was a kid, my mom let my brothers and I go hog wild marking up a wall in our bathroom with markers because she was going to wallpaper anyway. Well long story short, after a few hot steamy showers the maker bleed through the wallpaper. OOPS! Thanks for the hub.

Narelle 6 years ago

My toddler coloured our wall in black nikko pen. I tried everything and couldn't get it off. I just tried the rubbing alcohol tip and it came right off. I don't have to repaint yeah.

Hannah 6 years ago

Tried baking soda and warm improvement,

tried improvement,

finally tried nail varnish remover and...all of the black permanent marker pen that my 2 year old had used to "decorate" our lounge walls has now been removed! Hooray!

mindy 6 years ago

first i tried magic eraser. didn't work. then i tried alcohol and the paint started coming off the wall. tried comet and didn't work. guess i will try to find what color i used and repaint. UGH!!!

newman 6 years ago

use Mr. Clean magic eraser with alcohol!! works great!!

Paint Removal Oxfordshire 6 years ago

Thanks for this information, recently had a phone call about this and wasn't really sure what to do.

linda a 6 years ago

This is a good tip, but if you want to remove permanent marker of any type or color from your wall, there is actually an even more efficent and effective way! Baking soda and warm water are my miracle worker!!! Make a paste and apply it with a will find you have much less rubbing to do this way, only a few circular motions and the marks vanish. After the marks have gone and you are left with a tinted residue, just take a wet sponge and swipe over it to remove the rest of the paste. This will remove ALL of the marking and color, so even white walls will look as white as before your little artist came along!! (This also works amazingly well with crayon marks too)

momof5monsters 6 years ago

My teenagers took sharpie and wrote messages and poems all over their walls what is best to paint over that with now that they are tired of looking at the mess

Vizey profile image

Vizey 7 years ago

Nice advice for removing stains from walls. I would certainly follow your advice.

temp 7 years ago

If you have some Jif, it works wonders! I had a black Sharpie mark on a wall, and within seconds of light scrubbing with the Jif it is all gone and I can't even see where it once was.

We have Jif in Australia, but if you don't have it, it is simply a mild abrasive cream cleaner.

Joanna & Patience 7 years ago

Hey our 3 and 1/2 year old Autistic son woke up this morning thinking ok .. mommy's i made you a little something in the kitchen... OMG i about died our new wood cabnets and the draws and the newly laid linoleum and our newly installed stove......omg if i haddnt caught my Breath i'd have Fainted... i mean he didn't just draw -draw he scribbled made circles and dot,dot,dot made lines up and down and then drew lines back to the circles ... i took was very upset, but sense we tried the alcohol it fadded ,but jus a little ...but the cabnets are great .. and the stove and linoleum is still back... i HATE SHARPIES there going in the so with a time -out and no Morning Sponge bob cartoons he learned that house painting is a Huge NO-NO i think he got this idea cause Patience one day put up a white paper and let him draw on it while on the wall... so maybe he thinks its ok...Thanks guys ..

ThePartyAnimal profile image

ThePartyAnimal 7 years ago

Great Tip - I use the magic erasers - I really swear they are magic - I use them for so many things.

Amitty 7 years ago

My daughter colored on the wall with a BIC Mark IT this morning. I tried your idea of the rubbing alcohol idea and it worked. It took of some of the paint and made it a little sticky for a few minutes but it took the marker right off. Thank you for your help.

Mrs. Harridan 7 years ago

I saw the comment about the Melaleuca stain remover and how it contains tea tree oil. My kid just Sharpied our newly-laid linoleum floor, and tea tree oil did the trick (rubbing alcohol faded it a little, but not much).

LucRy 7 years ago

Thanks for the tips. It may come in handy one day. I have two young boys!

aaron 7 years ago

my 3 yr old colored on her bedroom walls with a purple marker that was not washable and im renting my house... had no clue what to do. googled and got this page i used the alcohol method and some paint came off but not enough to notice. thank you so much i just saved a fortune!

Tim and Sue 7 years ago

Our triplet girls, 5 years in May 2009, would sometimes write on inappropriate surfaces when 2 and 3 years old, and still occasionally on themselves. The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser worked well on the kitchen cabinets (white linoleum), and usually on the walls. I've found that baby wipes work well on skin and also on walls. Once they understood what we told them about how wall art would disappear, but art on paper wouldn't, with the 2 to 3 minute timeout chair now and then, they pretty much stopped the wall and cabinet art.

Marilyn Guy 7 years ago

I have to say that, I was desparate to remove black permanent magic marker from a wall in my hallway after my ex-husband visited with me and my new husband one night and decided to do his artwork on our walls.

I used the alcohol method and it was doing pretty well except I decided to apply it to self adhesive sanitary napkins since they absorb more and unlike the sponge method they do not allow you to lose the alcohol. I just removed the strip on the back of the napkin and folded it so that both adhesive parts touched. I then applied the alcohol and began to scrub till the stain was completely removed. Some of the paint came off but, not so much that you would really notice. If, it doesn't come off completely at first keep at it. I assure you it will come off with some work.

Susan 7 years ago

I feel so lucky to have found this! It worked great on my 4 year old's "artwork." Thank you!!!

Brandi 7 years ago

Alcohol cleans from skin just make sure there arent any owies that might come into will burn

Brandi 7 years ago

Latex paint cleans lots better than regular.

Ashly 7 years ago

OMG I thought I was going to have to live with bright red Sharpie on my walls forever!! Thanks so much!! I have so much ink on my walls I ran out of alcohol...thank goodness it's so cheap! I have a 4 and a 5 year old....I'm stocking up!! lol.

Peppermint Thrift profile image

Peppermint Thrift 7 years ago

Thank you for the tip! Does rubbing alcohol work if a child writes on themselves with permanent marker as well? I once had a student come up to me after class with marker all over his arms and asked, "What is a Sharpie?" I answered, "Well, a Sharpie is a permanent marker, my friend, and your mother is going to kill you." Hopefully, I can pass this info on if it works on skin as well, it might help my junior high kids stay out of getting grounded...

Dee 7 years ago

I tried your idea of the rubbing alcohol lo and behold it worked great!! No left over marks although this was a sharpie black permanent marker. Thanks for the help!!

Jamie 7 years ago

This worked great!

Perfect for 2 batchlors who get drunk and draw on the hallways of the appartment, and even probably saved us from being kicked out! whew!

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earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Thanks for the tips. My darling twin granddaughters have just finished "decorating" the couch with the able assistance of SuperSpiderMan who is four.

It looks like a good job. No less than 3 types of indelible ink pens were used.

I may have to try all the tips!

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Lgali 7 years ago

Nice hubs-Thanks for sharing this tip

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Clara Ghomes 7 years ago

Nice! Thanks for sharing this tip :-)

Brooklyn  7 years ago

Okay so the rubbing alcohol works on the painted walls..lil bit of paint came off couldn't get it off bookshelve or plastic..gosh i'm so angry about it period..but looks 90% better.

carla 7 years ago

hello there my nanny use to always give me home remidie ideas for things that my kids my try in life and this just so happens to be one of them lol... PEANUT BUTTER is how to get this off any kind of paint it takes alittle rubbing but it comes of no problem just a little dab on a cloth and rub the spot and wahla is gone.. hope this helps as it helped me a lot lol

Busysonbusymom 7 years ago

This tip worked great! My 4 year old decided to write the letter T on the wall and a rainbow using a Sharpie about 4 months ago. Nothing worked. He recently expanded on his artwork and I found this tip. This method removed the new and the OLD!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

melinda 7 years ago

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! it worked great my 2 year old had fun with a black perment maker on my walls and dresser,i tryed every thing and nothing worked till i tried this. i even tried peanut butter i was told about that just makes a mess LOL!!! thanks agin.

Katherine_Huether 7 years ago

I love the pictures - this was great! Do you by any chance know how to get hair dye out of bathroom grout? I just dyed my hair and got some in the grout and can't get it off. I'll try some of the techniques from this hub just in case they work on hair dye, too.

Thuy 8 years ago

great tip!! my daughter used a black dry erase marker on our white walls. i tried regular house cleaner, and nothing worked. but the alcohol took it right off leaving no evidence at all!!! thank you!!

jazz 8 years ago

o no!! My little brother just scribbled on a total of 3 walls and 1 window. I couldn't think of anything but to hop on google. Thanks for the tips, I'm going to try them out now,

A grateful teen

GARCIA8287 8 years ago

Love it, wish I would have knew this when my son decided to draw on our hotel room wall. Good thing to note, mr. clean erasers work well.

Tabetha 8 years ago

Mr clean magic erase does not work

Karen N profile image

Karen N 8 years ago from United States

Great tips, this is something that everyone with kids should know.

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New Reflection 8 years ago from The Real World

Oh, permanent markers are the worst. So far, I have only had the pencil, crayons, and ball point pens to worry about.

Beautiful little girl, though. Isn't it hard to chastise them when they smile that way? Thanks for the info.

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amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

Robin, that photo is adoreable! She is smiling and proud of her creation! Thanks for the tips, I have dealt with this many times, with my girls, but never successfully. :)

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compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

When i was younger we used to have one wall which was allocated for us to draw on as it was soo much more fun than just drawing on paper and when we finished, we could clean it off with just water and cloth!! ...i don't know if it was the type of paint on the walls, or the type of crayons-feltips we used to use that made this possible!

ps..Jules (the budding artist) looks such a cutie:)

Robin profile image

Robin 8 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks for the advice belief713, where do you buy Sol-U-Mel? It sounds like a great product.

belief713 profile image

belief713 8 years ago from NJ

OK, who knows, maybe I have an artist in my house. It's funny (not literally) because my 3 year old did this a few days ago. He did it with both a Sharpie (permanent) and Crayola (water-soluble) marker. ALL OVER!

He also did color on his fire engine bed once before when he was 2 and what got that off was the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I usually use organic cleaners and those are very toxic, so I use gloves when using them, but it got crayon off the groves in the bed.

As far as permanent marker, there's a product called Sol-U-Mel and it's made by Melaleuca. Haven't tried it on the walls yet, but it definitely works like magic on Linoleum floors. My infamous 3 year old (then 2) colored on our kitchen floor with a big fat permanent marker. I put some straight Sol-U-Mel on it (undiluted) and it came right up (no scrubbing). It works great, has no bad smell, and it's pretty much harmless (unless you or family member is allergic to tea tree oil).

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Paul Edmondson 8 years ago from Burlingame, CA


W-D40. That reminds me of my grandmother. She swore it could fix anything.

Robin profile image

Robin 8 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks for all of your comments and tips! I love the Mr. Clean magic erasers, but I don't think they'd work with a Sharpie. Has anyone tried the erasers with indelible marker? The only big downside of the rubbing alcohol was the smell. We had to open all the windows and stay out of the room for awhile. ;)

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wannabwestern 8 years ago from The Land of Tractors

Another thing that works (but doesn't smell that good) is W-D40. I can't remember if we used it to remove crayon or marker, but it was surprising how well it worked. I've also read that you can use an abrasive toothpaste (not the gel kind, though.)

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ripplemaker 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Rubbing alcohol? I never knew that...hmmm...

C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 8 years ago from NW Indiana

Magic erasers by Mr. Clean I think they are called. These work great on painted surfaces. also 409 original variety is good for colored marker. The paint underneath is always the deciding factor. C.S.

Rookie Expert profile image

Rookie Expert 8 years ago from US

Ever tried nail polish remover or vinegar? Both should work.

I've never tried cleaning a marker scribbles, but Mr. Clean is great for any spots or marks on walls, tiles, appliances, etc.

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amulets 8 years ago from Singapore

Nice tip! Normally I will just re-paint the wall but ended up having two tone colors.

Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 8 years ago from Burlingame, CA

The final picture still shows a bit of pink on the wall, but it's almost impossible to tell that she drew on it now. I was pretty sure we would have to repaint, since it was done with an indelible marker, but the rubbing alcohol did the trick.

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