How to Get Permanent Marker Off Countertops? (7 Ways)

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how to get permanent marker off countertop

It happens all the time. One minute we are labeling our mason jars with a Sharpie, and the next, its ink is all over the countertop. Permanent marker on quartz and similar non-porous surfaces can be challenging to deal with.

But don’t fret! There are actually many ways to remove the ink using simple home remedies. Check out the following methods on how to get permanent marker off countertop.

Get Rid of Permanent Marker on Countertops

Method 1: Using Rubbing Alcohol

What to Prepare

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Cloth or Sponge

Rubbing alcohol is the go-to solvent for getting rid of permanent marker stains. It works for stains on non-porous surfaces, like laminate countertops and porous surfaces, such as white quartz countertops.

  • Step 1: Pour rubbing alcohol over the marker stain.
  • Step 2: Use a clean cloth or sponge to scrub the stain. Use moderate pressure and be thorough.
  • Step 3: Repeat steps one and two until the stain goes away.

Alternatively, you can pour rubbing alcohol on the cloth or sponge, then use it for scrubbing. This should work just as well.

Method 2: Using Acetone


What to Prepare

  • Acetone
  • Cotton Pad or Cotton Ball
  • Cloth

Acetone is the first ingredient you can use to take permanent marker off countertops. It is an effective liquid solvent that can break up ink molecules. If you have a nail polish remover that contains acetone, you can use it for this method too.

  • Step 1: Pour the acetone on a cotton pad or cotton ball. You just need a small amount.
  • Step 2: Use the cotton pad or cotton ball to scrub the stain until the ink fades. Add more acetone to the pad or ball if necessary.
  • Step 3: Swab the treated area with a dry cloth when the stain is completely gone.

Method 3: Using Hydrogen Peroxide


What to Prepare

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Sponge or Cotton Pad
  • Cloth

Hydrogen peroxide can kill two birds with one stone: help you get Sharpie off countertop and disinfect the surface. It is inexpensive and easy to get; just visit a drugstore.

  • Step 1: Pour a bit of hydrogen peroxide on a sponge or cotton pad.
  • Step 2: Dab onto the areas with ink stain on quartz countertop with the cotton pad or ball.
  • Step 3: Wait several minutes for the hydrogen peroxide to work its magic. Or you can apply hydrogen peroxide to the marker ink directly. Then, proceed to scrub it.
  • Step 4: Work the stain off the surface with scrubbing motions, but do not apply too much pressure to avoid causing damage. Do this until the surface is stain-free.
  • Step 5: Wipe the treated area clean with a dry cloth.

If hydrogen peroxide alone does not work, consider the next method.

Method 4: Using Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

What to Prepare

  • Baking Soda
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Bowl
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Masking Tape

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide together can remove Sharpie from countertops. Simply follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Combine baking soda and hydrogen peroxide in a cup or bowl. Use a 2:1 ratio. We suggest measuring the amounts in tablespoons. But if your marker stain is small, teaspoons might be sufficient.
  • Step 2: Apply the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixture over the marker stain, making sure the entire area is covered.
  • Step 3: Cover the area with plastic wrap and stick the sides of the wrap with some masking tape.
  • Step 4: Leave the area as is for at least a day (24 hours). You can extend it to two days if you treat stubborn marks on white kitchen countertops. During this time, the mixture will harden.
  • Step 5: Remove the plastic wrap slowly. As you peel it, the marker ink should be pulled off too.
  • Step 6: Rinse the treated area and dry it with a clean cloth to complete the process.

You also can use baking soda to remove permanent markers from leather or rubber effectively.

Method 5: Using Toothpaste


What to Prepare

  • Toothpaste
  • Cloth or Sponge

Toothpaste is another household item that works like a charm when it comes to handling Sharpie stains. Here is how you use it:

  • Step 1: Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste over the stain, making sure to cover it fully.
  • Step 2: Wait for 10 to 15 minutes for the toothpaste to do its thing.
  • Step 3: Swab the treated area clean with a damp cloth. You should not have to work it out roughly.
  • Step 4: Rinse the treated area to ensure no residue remains.

Method 6: Using a Magic Eraser

A Magic Eraser is often hailed for cleaning permanent markers from non-porous surfaces. But it is also excellent at removing stains from porous surfaces — marble countertops, granite countertops, Formica countertops, Corian countertops, you name it.

  • Step 1: Douse the Magic Erase with water to get it to work.
  • Step 2: Remove the excess water by squeezing it.
  • Step 3: Use the Magic Erase like a sponge and scrub the marker stain.
  • Step 4: Continue scrubbing in circular motions until the ink disappears.

Method 7: Using WD-40

What to Prepare

  • WD-40
  • Cloth

Detailed Steps

WD-40 is a commercial cleaning solution that can deal with tough permanent marker stains. You just need to grab a bottle from your local Walmart and a clean cloth, then follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Shake your WD-40 bottle. If yours comes with a nozzle, point it to spray over your marker stain. If there is no nozzle, uncap it and pour a bit on the cloth you have prepared.
  • Step 2: Rub the stain with a cloth if you have sprayed over it directly or use the soaked cloth to do this. Be sure to apply moderate pressure and go over the surface in circular motions.
  • Step 3: Repeat the process until the marker stain is gone.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What removes dried permanent marker?

All the ingredients we have mentioned above can all remove dried permanent marker ink. But the number of applications will depend on how long the ink has been dried.

Can you remove permanent marker from quartz countertop?

YES! You can even do it for white quartz countertops. You can rub the stain off with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, toothpaste, a magic Eraser, or aerosol hairspray.

When the stain disappears, rinse the treated area with water. Just scroll back up for the specific steps to remove ink from quartz countertops.

Does vinegar remove permanent marker on countertops?

Vinegar is sometimes used along with other cleaning agents to get rid of permanent markers from non-porous surfaces. However, it is not commonly recommended for cleaning porous surfaces.

Can Sharpie be removed from stone surfaces?

Yes. Sharpie and any other permanent marker ink can be taken off of stone surfaces. All the methods we mentioned above can work. Play around with them to find the one that works best. It is really all about trial and error.

Can I squeeze toothpaste on quartz countertops?

Sure! You can squeeze toothpaste over the stain on your quartz surface. If you are hesitant about doing it directly, dispense some on a cloth or sponge, then use that to work the stain off.


Any of the seven methods above can help you deal with stubborn Sharpie stains. Just apply what you have read in this how to get permanent marker off countertops guide and you will be good to go. Let us know which you choose to use and why in the comments down below. We look forward to hearing from you.

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