How to Remove Highlighter Stains

A highlighter can stain your clothes and it is not going to be a pretty sight. It will look bad enough for you to think that the stain will never come off. Or if it did, that your clothes will forever be ruined and you can never wear them again.

Well, the good news is that you could remove the stains. And all you need are items that are readily available in your home. Or if not are actually easy to buy at the local home improvement store or even supermarket. Read on to know more about the details.

Steps to Remove Highlighter Stains

The following are different ways to remove highlighter stains. They use different materials but the one thing that’s common about them is that they are all ordinary items. None are too complicated or hard to find.

How to Remove Highlighter Stains Using Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is actually the best option to use for removing highlighter stains on pages of books. After all, that is probably the most common type of highlighter stain. Although other types of highlighter stains exist, such as those on clothes and fabrics.

Here us the simple guide for using lemon juice to remove the stains:

  • Get a piece of leon and then cut it in half.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice on a cotton swab.
  • Run the cotton swab over the text that has been stained by the highlighter. 
  • Watch as the color fades.
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How to Use Highlighter Stains Using Rubbing Alcohol

Here’s what you will need for this process:

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Paper Towels or Rags

Step 1: Place paper towels behind the stained area. Just make sure that paper towel or rag is placed directly below the stained part of the clothing or fabric.

Step 2: Use rubbing alcohol to dab around the stained area. Get a clean piece of rag and dip it in rubbing alcohol before dabbing it to the affected area.

Step 3: Pat the stained area with rubbing alcohol. You will need to add more rubbing alcohol to the rag that you are using. 

Step 4: When the stain is removed or mostly gone, wash the clothing in your usual way. Do this when you cannot see the stain anymore. Just be sure that you don’t put it in the washer with any other piece of clothing.


Common Questions About Highlighter Stains

Can You Get Highlighter Out of Clothes?

Highlighters can leave stains on your clothes. That is what happens when you are too busy studying or reading. Before you know it, you already got colors such as green, pink, or yellow on your clothes. The important thing is to act fast.
Here’s what you can do to get the stain out:
Use a clean cloth or paper napkins gently. Blot any excess so it won’t spread deeper. Apply a laundry pre-treatment solution and leave it alone for 10 to 15 minutes before washing it out. If the pre-treatment solution does not work, you can use plain laundry detergent.
Rub the highlighter stain gently. Avoid scrubbing the stain as it will only cause the stain to go deeper into the fabric.
Use alcohol if the plain laundry detergent still doesn’t work. When the stain fades, soak the clothes in saltwater for two hours and then wash.

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How Do You Remove a Highlighter Without Lemon?

You can remove highlighter stains and it can be done without the use of lemon. There are several steps that can be made to remove a highlighter stain. First thing that you can do is to use a laundry pre-treatment solution and let the clothes sit there for a few minutes.

Another solution that does not involve lemon is to use plain laundry detergent if the pre-treatment solution is not that effective.
Of course, you could always rely on using rubbing alcohol as a last resort if all else fails. You could either dab the stained area with a piece of cloth or paper towel that has alcohol. Or you could pour it directly on the stained area if the case is rather severe.

Why Does Lemon Juice Erase Highlighter?

Lemon juice is effective in removing highlighter stains. If your favorite book is somehow stained by the highlighter that you used, you could still erase it. It’s done easily using lemon juice. Using lemon juice is your best option since it fades the stain and makes it nearly undetectable.
But what exactly makes lemon juice capable of erasing highlighter stains?
The dyestuff that is used to color the highlighter is known as pyranine. This dyestuff is PH sensitive and under acidic PH conditions, the color is going to fade or change to colorless.


Removing highlighter stains can be concerning at first. It can stain your favorite books and it can also stain your clothes and other pieces of fabric. But there is really no need to panic or overreact because the solutions are easy to access. The main solution is using lemon juice, which is so easy to find or buy. And another is to use rubbing alcohol, which is almost always present in any home. 

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