How to Remove Marker Ink From Your Carpet

Written by dad - 7 Comments

As I write this, there’s a guy cleaning the carpet in the other room, and I’m starting to lose hope…

Ink on the carpet…

Six or eight weeks ago, Son #4 (currently four years old) went through a scribbling phase. He scribbled on the door frame and his desk with a pencil (no big deal), he scribbled on the hardwood floor with a black Sharpie (despite being “permanent,” it eventually came off), and he scribbled on the carpet in his bedroom with (supposedly) washable markers.

Unfortunately, we got sidetracked and didn’t get around to cleaning the marker off the carpet until today. My wife started out trying to clean one of the spots with Resolve. When that didn’t work, she called a local carpet cleaner. They were actually able to make it out here this afternoon, but the last I checked, the news wasn’t good.

…and it won’t come out

The worst of the scribbles are in the dead center of the room, and the steam cleaner was unable to make a dent in them. When I walked in the door from work, the cleaning guy was telling my wife that he was going to try a “heavy duty” cleaner, but that he suspected our son had gotten his hands on permanent markers.

We dug the markers out and, sure enough, they said “Washable” right there on the barrel. I’m guessing that what they really mean by “Washable” is more along the lines of “Washable, but if (and only if) you take care of the problem immediately.” We didn’t, and we might now have to live with the consequences.

Update: The carpet cleaner managed to make the stain fade, but the ink is still there, and it’s still fairly obvious. Oh well, I guess this is just something else to help us remember the “Terrible Fours.” Lesson learned… If you want to remove “Washable” ink from carpet, you should start cleaning immediately. If not, it will magically morph into permanent ink.

Published on October 28th, 2009 - 7 Comments
Filed under: How To
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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Try Shot Spot. It works wonders at removing old (as in years) stains from carpet.

    Comment by Betsy — Oct 29th 2009 @ 12:33 pm
  2. Sharpie ink is alcohol based. Do not use water on it to try to remove it as it will “set” the stain. This was our lesson from when our twins were two years old.

    Comment by Teresa — Oct 30th 2009 @ 12:57 am
  3. We’ve had success even on carpet using the Mr. Clean type eraser sponges. Worth a try.

    Comment by Elizabeth — Oct 30th 2009 @ 12:47 pm
  4. Rubbing alcohol. Carpet, furniture, almost anything but unfinished wood – gel ink out of a pale yellow coat once. Worth a try!

    Comment by Leia — Oct 31st 2009 @ 11:44 pm
  5. Oxy Clean, believe it or not, has saved my carpets and laundry more than once. It also is the only thing that gets my bathroom grout clean.

    There is also a product my neighbor recommended to me call Sol U Mel. It’s expensive to buy with out becoming a preferred customer of the company who sells it, but I sprayed it on a red wine stain that was on my white carpet and you could not even tell that there was a spill. Having three boys, to me that made it worth it’s weight in gold.

    Comment by Kelli — Nov 17th 2009 @ 1:15 pm
  6. Folex. It’ll take just about any stain away – I think it uses enzymes. I was amazed to see grape kool-aid come out of white carpet instantly. With permanent marker, you may have to use an oil-based solvent like WD-40 first to break it down a little. I know it sounds wierd, but it’s worked for me.

    Comment by Steve W. — May 1st 2010 @ 7:03 pm
  7. Crayola recommends alcohol and blotting.. Shot Spot by name if alcohol does not work. overnight blotting with weight placed onto the cotton ball and a glass cup or jar covering all to prevent drying out in extreme cases. blot not scrub folks.. good luck.

    Comment by Todd's US Military style Clean — Aug 20th 2012 @ 8:18 pm

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