How to get dry erase marker out of clothes

We’ve all experienced it – you’re diligently writing on the whiteboard or assisting your child with their homework when you gaze down and see a long streak of dry erase marker across your shirt. Removing dry erase stains can be tricky, especially once they’ve settled into the fabric. But don’t panic! With the proper techniques and some hard work, you can lift dry erase marker from apparel and rescue your beloved shirt.

In this extensive guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know to efficiently eliminate dry erase blemishes from fabric. First, we’ll examine how dry erase markers work and why they bond so tenaciously to clothing. Next, we’ll recommend supplies you’ll require and outline step-by-step removal techniques ranging from basic soap and water to heavy-duty stain-fighting concoctions. Finally, we’ll provide tips and best practices for fully extracting stains and preventing future marker accidents.

get dry erase marker out of clothes

If you presently have a tainted tee staring you down, bookmark this manual! By the finale, you’ll have the skills and knowledge to wave goodbye to those persistent marks.

How Dry Erase Markers Work

To better grasp how to tackle dry erase discolorations, it assists to first comprehend why they adhere so firmly to fabrics.

Dry erase markers contain pigments suspended in a liquid solvent. The markings generated are not permanent because the solvent maintains the pigments in a fluid, removable state. That’s why they erase so smoothly from slick surfaces.

However, when marker pigments interact with fabric, both the pigments and solvent permeate the fibers. As the solvent evaporates over time, you’re left with just the stubborn pigment stains. This makes them far harder to remove from apparel.

Aspects that can exacerbate staining include:

  • Marker brand or formula – Some markers contain more potent pigments and solvents
  • Fabric type – More porous materials like cotton tee shirts absorb more staining particles
  • Heat setting – If stains undergo heat from dryers or irons before removal, it can permanently set them

Table summarizing factors influencing stain severity:

Marker brand/formulaCertain markers have stronger pigments/solvents that leave worse stains
Fabric typePorous fabrics like cotton absorb more stain particles, increasing stain intensity
Heat exposureHeat from dryers/irons can permanently set stains if applied before removal

Supplies Needed

Before tackling blemishes, assemble all the gear you’ll require:

Care Label Recommendations

The cardinal guideline of stain removal is adhering to your garment’s fabric care label. These labels indicate safe washing techniques for textiles based on their materials and manufacturing.

Washing and drying stained attire utilizing unsuitable temperatures can permanently set blemishes or cause fabric damage. So consult care labels for each product and follow suggestions.

Hand Wash Method

If an object is designed for hand washing exclusively, treat stains as follows:


  • Dish soap
  • Washcloth
  • Toothbrush
  • Paper towels


  1. Run the stain under chilly water.
  2. Apply a dollop of dish soap directly to the mark.
  3. Gently scrub utilizing a toothbrush, targeting soiled zones rather than massaging excessively.
  4. Once suds emerge, allow soap to permeate 1-2 minutes.
  5. Rinse soap under running water and dab dry with paper towels. Inspect if the stain has lifted.
  6. For stubborn leftovers, craft a paste blending dish soap with some baking soda or laundry detergent powder. Administer to the blemish and let sit 1-2 minutes. Scrub and rinse.
  7. Repeat as required until no traces of marker remain.
  8. Hand wash as usual, permitting adequate time for soak and rise cycles.

For more information, visit this handwashing guide.

Washing Machine Method

For hardy laundry safe for machines, attack stains by pre-treating beforehand:


  • Pre-wash stain remover spray or sticks
  • Hot water
  • Laundry detergent


  1. Pretreat by generously spraying liquid solution or rubbing solid sticks directly on marks.
  2. Allow to permeate 5-10 minutes so fighters can act.
  3. Wash as customary with detergent in the hottest water safe for the item.
  4. Inspect if stains have lifted. Rewash using removers if pigment persists.
  5. Whites can be dried in sunlight to assist lifting stubborn leftovers. UV rays degrade pigments.
  6. Avoid drying stained attire until markings have fully vanished or heat may permanently set them.

For the best laundry pre-treatment sprays, check out:

Spot Cleaning Methods

For wash-free garments or isolated stains located away from other soiling, attempt spot cleaning:


  • Paper towels
  • Toothbrush
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Commercial solutions like Resolve


  1. Stretch the garment flat on paper towels.
  2. Apply lifting agent (alcohol, peroxide or cleaner) directly to the stain. Avoid oversaturating.
  3. Allow solution to rest 1 minute.
  4. Utilize a toothbrush to gently scrub, moving inward from the edges.
  5. Dab lifted pigment with fresh paper towels.
  6. Repeat using fresh batches until no more color transfers.
  7. Rinse the reverse side by dabbing clear water and patting dry.
  8. Completely air dry prior to wearing or washing.

For the most reliable spot stain removers, consider:

Tips and Best Practices

Abide by these rules to amplify your victory:

  • Act fast on fresh stains – the longer marks rest, the tougher removal progresses.
  • Avoid spreading before treatment – dab rather than scrub when dry.
  • Continually verify fabric care instructions and adhere to garment washing advice.
  • Test treatments on discreet interior sections first to confirm colorfastness and prevent damage.
  • Utilize light, repeated administrations of stain fighters rather than heavy saturation for optimum success.
  • Lift stains from the reverse as they detach to prevent retransfer to clothing front.
  • Lengthen wash cycles to allow more detergent contact time when machine washing.
  • Verify items before drying to guarantee all traces of marker have vanished. Air dry in doubt.
  • Avoid utilizing hot water or dryers on materials with uncertain care requirements as heat can permanently set stains.
  • For extra stubborn marks, deliver items to a professional dry cleaner for specialized spot removal solutions.

Preventing Future Stains

As the adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Here are some useful techniques to avoid stains initially:

  • Adorn an oversized top or apron when extensively writing on boards. Maintain separation between markers and apparel edges.
  • Designate a dedicated arts and crafts zone using washable drop cloths.
  • Instantly rinse any skin marks to halt clothing transfer.
  • Store markers flat rather than uncapped to prevent leaks.
  • Guide children when operating markers to nurture constructive habits.
  • Select liquid chalk or chalk markers that lift easier from fabrics.
  • Inspect attire before heat drying to catch stray marks missed in washing.


Discovering surprise dry erase blemishes can be demoralizing. However, as you’ve discovered, comprehending stain properties and correctly applying removal techniques means these marks don’t have to be permanent.

Whether machine washing, hand cleaning, spot treating or seeking professional assistance – solutions exist for eliminating dried ink from fabric. Together with vigilant staining prevention practices, you can maintain clothing looking its best.

So next time you or your kids have a marker mishap, take heart! Consult these guidelines and roll up your sleeves. With some targeted effort, you’ll retain stained pieces precisely where they belong – in your fashion rotation.

Sharing Is Caring:

As the founder of Clean It Spotless, I am Melissa Walker, a leading expert in removing tough stains from fabrics, carpets, and upholstery. With over 10 years of experience in the cleaning industry, I have developed my own natural, non-toxic stain-fighting formulas that lift stains while preserving the integrity of the underlying material. My stain removal tutorials are widely read online, and I have appeared on local TV segments demonstrating my techniques. I also present popular stain removal workshops at community centers and schools.

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