Does Sharpie Wash Out of Clothes – How to Remove It

So, you and your kid had a little slip-up with a sharpie marker and now there are ugly black marks all over your favorite piece of garment. Don’t panic! There’s no need to trash the item. With some time and a few common household products, you can get the marker out.

Getting a Sharpie stain out of clothing isn’t easy, but it can be done. The key is to work quickly before the ink has time to penetrate too far into the fabric.

Keep reading this article for tips and a step-by-step guide to getting sharpie out of clothes for good.

Is Sharpie Permanent on Clothes?

The Sharpie marker is indeed permanent on fabric even after being washed multiple times, a Sharpie mark remained intact on a garment. It will wash off clothes and other fabrics if you use the right steps.

It might be possible to wipe the ink off with a cloth dampened in rubbing alcohol. Test this first in an inconspicuous area before trying it on the whole garment. Do not rub too hard, you might end up removing part of the fabric’s dye.

Does Sharpie Wash Out of Clothes

Sharpie does not wash out of clothes easily unless you use a strong stain remover to the stain to break down the alcohol and oils in ink. 

Sharpies are permanent because they use alcohol as the solvent for their dye. Alcohol is insoluble in water, so it doesn’t dissolve when exposed to soap or water. The only way to get alcohol out of fabric is with a cleaning solvent such as vinegar or rubbing alcohol.

When you wash clothes with Sharpie on them, the ink will bleed into the fabric. This can create a permanent stain that you won’t be able to remove from your clothing.

The first step in removing Sharpie ink from clothing is pretreating the area with an acidic compound.

Will Sharpie Bleed in Wash?

Washing the item may cause a color bleed. Sharpie permanent markers are made from a type of ink that contains dyes and pigments which can react with the fabric in certain fabrics. The amount of bleeding can vary depending on the type of fabric.

What Removes Sharpie Easily?

The ink is permanent and will not come off easily, which means you’ll have to spend time and energy scrubbing at the stain with a detergent or harsh chemicals. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to remove Sharpie stains.

To remove these marks, you need a few items: rubbing alcohol, hair spray, vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda.

Vinegar and lemons also work as powerful cleansing agents that can help remove Sharpie stains from your clothes. Due to their acidic nature.

Baking soda works best for grease-based stains; however, it can be used for other types of stains as well.

Rubbing alcohol will break down the oils in the Sharpie ink and dissolve them. It also acts as a disinfectant that will kill off any bacteria left behind by the ink. 

Alcohol-based products such as hairspray and nail polish remover also work well on Sharpie stains, as they contain high levels of alcohol themselves. 

Hand sanitizer contains alcohol, a solvent, which can break down the chemical bond between the dye in the marker and the fabric fibers. Hand sanitizer also contains other ingredients that help break down ink on contact without damaging fabric fibers. 

How to Remove Sharpie from Clothes

Rubbing alcohol

  1. Place the stain face down on a paper towel or cloth.
  2. Apply rubbing alcohol directly to the stain, and then dab at it with another paper towel or cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol.
  3. The ink will transfer from the clothing onto the paper towel, and you should see much of the color lift away.
  4. Change the paper towel to absorb as much of the stain as possible.
  5. Continue dabbing at it until you’ve removed as much as you can.
  6. Then place the clothing in your washing machine and wash it as normal.

Try not to saturate your clothing when cleaning it with rubbing alcohol. In some cases, soaking the cotton fabric in rubbing alcohol for prolonged periods can cause discoloration or yellowing of the material.

Removing Sharpie Markers with Vinegar

  1. To begin, mix 1 part white vinegar with 5 parts water and place it in a bucket. 
  2. Place the garment in the solution for about an hour so it can soak up some of the vinegar and set the colors.
  3. After soaking, rinse out the garment thoroughly to remove all traces of vinegar. 
  4. The last step is to wash the garment on a permanent press cycle using cold water.

Hand Sanitizer

  1. Use a cloth to spread it over the stain, and let it sit for 15 minutes as you gently work on it into the stains. Be careful not to rub or scrub at the stain with your fingers because more rubbing will only make the stain worse.
  2. After 15 minutes, dab off as much of the excess sanitizer as possible. If some of the stains remain, repeat this process until it’s gone
  3. Once you’re sure there is no more stain left in the fabric, throw your article of clothing in the washer and wash like normal.

How to Get Sharpie Out of Clothes Without Rubbing Alcohol (Using Hairspray)


  1. You can simply spray hairspray directly on the stain, wait five minutes or so.
  2. Then dab off the dissolved ink with a clean paper towel.
  3. Repeat this process until all sharpie ink is removed from the fabric.
  4. Once the stain has been removed, wash your clothes as normal.

How to Remove Permanent Marker from Clothes After Being Washed

Rubbing Alcohol

If the stain has been washed and already dried, you’ll need to follow the steps below to remove the stains.

  1. Place a towel under the stained area to protect your carpet and pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol directly on the stain.
  2. Wait 15 minutes, then dab with a clean sponge or cloth until most of the ink comes up.
  3. Repeat until the stain is gone.
  4. Then rinse out your cloth and rub again if necessary.
  5. Wash the garment as usual and let them air dry or pat them dry with paper towels and hang them up.

How to Get Sharpie Out of Fabric Couch

  1. Mix a solution of one tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid, and two cups of cold water in a bowl.
  2. Take your clean sponge soaked it into the solution then dab the spots until they are damp.
  3. Leave it on for about 30 minutes then dab or blot with a dry clean white cloth to absorb the ink.
  4. Rinse with cold water using a clean wet cloth to rinse all the mixture off of the couch.

Removing Sharpie from Leather

Removing permanent markers from leather is not as difficult as you may think, although it is a process that takes time.

  1. To clean the stain, apply distilled white vinegar directly to the affected area with a wet cloth or sponge and then let it soak for 5-10minutes.
  2. Gently wipe away any excess product with a dry cloth or sponge.
  3. Continue this process until all of the stains have been removed from your leather surface.

Getting Sharpie out of Carpet

Trying to remove this ink using plain water will only end up staining your carpet more. Rubbing alcohol is an excellent solvent and can break down the bonds of the ink making it easier to be removed.

  1. First, blot up as much ink as possible with paper towels.
  2. Then dab rubbing alcohol on the spot with a clean cloth, and let it soak in for a while.
  3. Blot the area with a clean cloth until the stain is gone.

You can also use white vinegar, which is acidic and can break down some types of ink. Create a solution by mixing one part white vinegar with two parts water, then get a clean cloth and sponge it onto the stain.

How do you use Sharpie on fabric?

Can you put Sharpie on a shirt? 

Yes, you can use Sharpie markers to create a work of art on a T-shirt. Sharpie markers are great for decorating fabric. You can draw on T-shirts, pillowcases, towels, curtains, and any other piece of fabric you can think of. The ink is permanent and will last through wash after wash. 

Can you wash a shirt signed with Sharpie? 

In the most general sense, yes, you can wash a shirt signed with Sharpie. However, the main thing to remember is to use cold water and regular laundry detergent. 

The temperature of the water is important because hot water will cause the ink to bleed into the fabric. As for laundry detergent, anything that gets clothes clean will work just fine.

Is Sharpie bad for your skin?

The ink in Sharpie permanent markers is certainly not toxic, but it is made up of chemicals that may cause irritation to sensitive skin. Sharpie is aware that some people experience health concerns after using their products, and the company advises against using the marker directly on the skin.

Does toothpaste remove Sharpie?

Toothpaste is a great way to remove sharpie markers without damaging the surface. The paste will gently break down the Sharpie ink so you can use a wet rag or sponge to wipe away the excess.

Does Sharpie wash off plastic?

You can remove the sharpie marker with a dry-erase marker. This works best on hard plastic, but it may also work on cars, desks, and other surfaces that are a bit softer.

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