How to remove whiteboard marker stains from clothes

How to remove whiteboard marker stains from clothes

A whiteboard marker is great compared to its predecessor, chalk, which was dusty and messy to clean. However, it is not so fun to clean if it ends up on clothing fabric. Your young ones may accidentally get white marker stains at school or playdates, while you could even get some on yourself at work while working on a presentation.

Worry not- whiteboard marker stains can be removed by using Isopropyl alcohol, distilled white vinegar, or Murphy oil liquid soap.

Whiteboard markers contain pigments and resins, so when they come into contact with fabric, they get trapped within the fibers. This can make the cleaning process a bit hard. To successfully remove whiteboard marker stains, you can use the following household products:

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Murphy oil liquid soap

Using isopropyl alcohol on whiteboard marker stains

Isopropyl Alcohol is an excellent solvent that breaks down organic compounds like the ones found in whiteboard marker ink. However, you need to be careful of the type of fabric to be cleaned, as different materials react differently to different cleaning agents. Consider doing a spot test on an inconspicuous part of the fabric before proceeding.

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To use Isopropyl Alcohol to get rid of whiteboard marker stains on your clothing, you will need the following:

  • ½ cup of Isopropyl alcohol
  • A liter of clean water
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton balls


  1. First, try to remove any excess ink if it is a fresh stain by dabbing with paper towels. 
  2. Next, lay the fabric on a flat surface and place paper towels underneath the stained part.
  3. Using cotton balls dipped in isopropyl alcohol, gently rub into the stained area from behind.
  4. Change the paper towels underneath when they get wet and keep rubbing the stain.
  5. The stain should gradually disappear.
  6. Rinse the region with water and launder as usual.

Using a combination of white vinegar and isopropyl alcohol

White vinegar is a versatile liquid with several household uses, from cooking to cleaning, including even medicinal purposes. The acetic acid in vinegar makes it a good oxidant, so it complements the work done by isopropyl alcohol when removing whiteboard marker stains from clothes.

What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup of isopropyl alcohol
  • A cup of white vinegar
  • A gallon of clean water
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton balls

Follow these steps:

  1. Lay the fabric on top of a flat surface.
  2. Place paper towels underneath the stained region to absorb isopropyl alcohol when cleaning.
  3. Dampen a piece of cotton ball with isopropyl alcohol and dab on the affected region until the stain starts fading. Faint marks will still be visible.
  4. Fill a container with about a gallon of water, pour in white vinegar, and mix evenly.
  5. Put the fabric in and let it soak for fifteen to twenty minutes. The remaining marks should now be completely clear.
  6. Remove the fabric and wring it to remove excess water, then launder as usual.
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Murphy Oil Soap on marker stains

Murphy Oil Soap is a natural vegetable oil cleaning agent hailed for cleaning wooden surfaces, leather material, and stainless steel appliances. It is, therefore, not a surprise that it can clean whiteboard marker stains, since it is also used by artists to clean paintbrushes. This is because it is so good at dissolving organic compounds.

To use Murphy Oil Soap to eliminate whiteboard marker stains, you will need the following:

  • Murphy Oil Soap
  • A hand towel
  • An old toothbrush 


  1. Lay the affected region on the hand towel to absorb any Murphy oil soap that seeps through.
  2. Apply a dab of Murphy oil soap over the stain.
  3. Gently using the old toothbrush, rub the soap over the stain. This will start to remove the stain.
  4. Keep working with the toothbrush until no more whiteboard marks are visible, and repeat the process until you get completely rid of the stain.
  5. Afterward, launder the fabric as usual.

Frequently asked questions

What can you use in place of Isopropyl Alcohol?

If you can’t get isopropyl alcohol from a local store, you can consider using rubbing alcohol which may contain isopropyl alcohol. Some may be ethanol-based but are equally effective and should still give you satisfactory results if used properly.

Can you use hand sanitizer in place of isopropyl alcohol?

Yes, you can use a hand sanitizer in place of isopropyl alcohol as it contain at least 60% alcohol, which is excellent for getting rid of whiteboard marker stains. However, it may not be as effective as isopropyl alcohol itself, as it was made for cleaning hands, and the chemical content in it is mild.

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What can I use on set-in stubborn whiteboard marker stains?

In this case, the Murphy Oil Soap works best. You will, however, be required to let it sit on the stain for fifteen minutes before applying the above approach, where you scrub gently with an old toothbrush. You can then soak in distilled white vinegar, as described in the second process, followed by washing the clothing as usual.

Can bleach be used to remove whiteboard marker stains from white clothes?

Yes, bleach can remove whiteboard marker stains from white garments. Just make sure to handle bleach with care and not to mix it with any other ingredients. Mixing bleach with other cleaning agents can release toxic fumes that may be harmful to your health if inhaled.

Mix bleach and water then soak the white garment in, overnight works best. Afterwards, work on the spot with normal soap and water. Then launder as usual.

Wrapping up

As long as you use whiteboard markers at work or home, you are likely to end up getting some of your garments or household fabrics stained. Using the remedies explained will help restore your clothes to their original form. As with any other stain, the sooner you treat the stains, the better. Doing this prevents the whiteboard mark stains from setting in.

How to remove whiteboard marker stains from clothes

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