It is common to get permanent marker stains on wood surfaces in your home. Children will often play on laminate wood floors with sharpies, leaving behind unsightly marks. While it appears to be a tough stain, you can easily remove it using simple home remedies. But, how do you remove permanent marker stains from laminate surfaces?
Slightly soak a paper towel in vegetable oil then put it over the permanent marker stain and let it sit for 2-3 minutes for the stain to break down. Rub the loosened stain in circular motions using a clean paper towel to remove it from the laminate surface. Clean the residual oil using soap and water.
Can Sharpie damage laminate wood?
Sharpie permanent marker ink does not cause any structural damage to the wood. However, it diminishes the visual appeal of wood surfaces such as laminate. If you try to clean off permanent marker stains using abrasive cleaners, you risk causing irreversible damage to the laminate wood.
How to remove permanent marker from laminate
Permanent marker such as Sharpie can be a problem to clean off laminate surfaces. If you don’t do it right, you risk damaging finished wood surfaces. However, there are great home remedies you can use safely on your laminate floors to remove the stain.
Here are different ways to remove permanent marker from laminate surfaces:
Use cooking oil
Regular vegetable oil is a great solution for removing permanent marker from laminate surfaces without leaving marks of distortion or a cloudy residue.
Here’s how to remove permanent marker from laminate using cooking oil:
- Pour some cooking oil into a bowl. The amount of oil you’ll need depends on how large the stained area on the laminate wood surface is.
- Next, dip a paper towel inside the cooking oil and let it lightly soak up the oil. Avoid over-soaking the paper towel, as you don’t want excess cooking oil causing a mess.
- Place the paper towel over the permanent marker stain and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. This will allow enough time for the cooking oil to break down the marker’s ink.
- Remove the paper towel and using a fresh paper towel, rub the loosened permanent marker stain in circular motions.
- Repeat the above steps until you’ve gotten rid of all the marker ink on the laminate wood floor.
- Finally, clean off any residual oil from the laminate surface using a solution of soap and water.
Use nail polish remover
Nail polish remover dissolves stains very effectively. You can use it to dissolve and remove sharpie stains from laminate wood surfaces.
Here’s how to use nail polish remover to clean permanent marker on laminate:
- Apply fingernail polish remover on a cotton swab.
- Wipe down the stained area using the cotton swab with nail polish remover.
- Finally, clean up any residual fingernail polish remover with a paper towel.
Note: Nail polish remover is alcohol-based and thus evaporation occurs rather quickly. You, therefore, need to reapply it to the cotton swab multiple times until you’ve gotten rid of all the permanent marker ink. If you don’t have nail polish remover, you can use lemon juice solution or rubbing alcohol as alternatives.
Use baking soda and water
Baking soda can break down the ink in permanent markers on upholstery and other surfaces. When mixed with water, it fizzes and removes permanent ink from the surface without causing damage.
Here’s how to use baking soda to remove permanent marker from laminate surfaces:
Put 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl then mix to make a paste. Apply the paste to the stained areas of the laminate wood and let it sit for 45 minutes then wipe down the stain with a clean paper towel. Repeat until you get rid of all the sharpie stains.
Remember, the goal is to achieve a paste-like consistency. Therefore, you can add a bit more water if the solution is too dry or a bit more baking soda if it’s too watery.
Pro tip: Avoid scrubbing the baking soda paste into the laminate surface as this might cause unsightly scratch marks.
Use dry erase marker
A dry erase marker is alcohol-based, making it easy to erase if done on time. The marker is great to use on non-porous surfaces like laminate, so you can use it to clean off Sharpie stains from plastic, tiles, and even laminate floors.
Here’s how it works:
- Write over the spots on the laminate wood containing the permanent marker stains using a dry erase marker.
- Almost immediately, wipe off the ink using paper towels, as this method won’t work once the dry-erase marker dries up.
- Repeat the above 2-step procedure until the entire laminate wood floor is free of permanent marker stains.
Use melamine foam
Melamine foam is a powerful solvent that’s commonly used to remove grease and stains from different types of surfaces. You can, therefore, use it to remove permanent marker stains from laminate wood as well.
Dip melamine foam in water then rub down the stained spots on the laminate surface using the wet melamine foam. If the stain is too dry, apply moderate pressure when rubbing to break it down. Wipe down the surface with clean paper towels. Avoid rubbing down too vigorously to avoid diminishing the look of your laminate surface.
Pro tip: This method is best reserved for fresh marker ink so that you don’t have to rub down too strongly and risk damaging the laminate surface.
- When using acetone or nail polish remover, open the windows or power on the ceiling fan for proper ventilation, to avoid inhaling the fumes.
- When using water to clean up afterwards, avoid using too much of it, as this will cause damage to the laminate wood.
- Avoid using aggressive cleaning products to remove sharpie ink from laminate wood. Apart from the products discussed above, it’s recommendable to avoid any other powerful commercial stain removal solutions.
- Wharton Staff, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania: The Evolution of Sharpie: Same Design, Different Focus
- University of Illinois Extension, Stain Solutions: Felt Tip Marker