The ink in permanent markers is designed to penetrate cellulose (the main part of the cell walls of plants), effectively dying cotton fabrics or paper. The added color can be permanent—and it’s supposed to be. But, if something breaks up the ink, the right bleach product can remove the stain.
Isopropyl alcohol is very effective at breaking up ink, especially when it’s formulated into a hand sanitizer gel. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer penetrates the weave or knit of a textile and helps break up the ink stain.
If something breaks up a permanent marker stain, such as isopropyl alcohol, it’s easier for the right bleach product to remove the stain.
Keep reading to learn more about removing difficult marker stains.
For felt tip pen stains on colored fabric, pretreat with a little Clorox 2® Stain Remover & Color Booster Liquid.
For white items that don’t contain spandex, use Clorox® Bleach Pen Gel to pretreat the stain.
The good news is that most ink stains from ballpoint pens (as opposed to permanent marker) can be removed from most washable fabrics. Just follow this three-step process. But, before you start, confirm you can safely bleach the item by checking the care label.
DO use alcohol-based products to break up ink before applying a bleach product.
DO keep items out of a hot dryer until you know the stain is completely gone.
DO repeat the pretreatment step if necessary.
DON'T forget to pretreat a second time with the appropriate bleach product.
Want to learn more about getting out bleachable and non-bleachable marker stains? Watch this video.