How to Remove Permanent Marker From Shoes? (4 Ways)

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how to remove permanent marker from shoes

If you have accidentally gotten permanent marker ink on your shoes or are customizing them with a black marker for shoes (or something similar) but made a mistake, you should know how to remove permanent marker from shoes.

There are different methods and cleaners to use, depending on the materials of your shoes. This article will run through the methods for mix-material, fabric, leather, and rubber shoes. Continue reading to find the materials list and steps for each method.

Get Permanent Marker Off Shoes


Method 1: For Mix-Material Shoes

Prepare the following:

  • Magic Eraser
  • Water
  • Mild Soap
  • Cloth (2x)

You can use the magic marker for shoes made of several materials, like Converse rubber and cotton canvas Chuck Taylors and Air Force ones. White magic erasers can also work well for white shoes without further staining the pair.

  1. Soak the eraser in cool water and squeeze to remove any excess water.
  2. Then, use the wet eraser to rub the stain on your shoes. Scrubbing in small circles will help lift the dirt more easily.
  3. Clean the scrubbed surfaces thoroughly with water, mild soap, and a clean cloth.
  4. Blot shoes dry with another clean cloth.

Method 2: For Fabric Shoes


Prepare the following:

  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Dishwasher Soap
  • Water
  • Spoon
  • Cloth (4x)

You can follow these steps to make sure the stains are removed completely.

  1. Bring out a bowl of water, then add a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar and dishwasher soap to create your cleaner. You will want to make sure all the ingredients mix well together by stirring them for a minute or two.
  2. It might be risky for some colored fabric shoes to be exposed to an abrasive cleaner. Even though this mixture is not that strong, you can test a bit on a small hidden corner and wait for 3 minutes. Wipe with a white cloth to see if there’s any color on it.
  3. Now, use the sponge to dab the mixture onto the area you want to clean. Once you dab it, wait for the mixture to settle for 20 minutes. Then, rub and apply the mixture again.
  4.  Now, wet a cloth under cool water and use it to sponge the stain. You should do this gently until the stain fades away. During the process, feel free to run your cloth under water again to get it.
  5. Once the stain is gone, use a different clean, dry cloth to blot the area you have just sponged. Your shoe is good to go once the treated spots dry completely.

Method 3: For Leather Shoes


This method is applicable to get Sharpie off leather shoes without harming the materials. Just repare the following:

  • Sunscreen/white distilled vinegar – Choose a sunscreen that is creamy and white. Avoid using colored or spray products.
  • Cloth (2x)
  • Water
  • Mild Soap
  • Leather Conditioner

If you want to remove permanent markers from patent leather, use white distilled vinegar instead of sunscreen.

Here’re the steps to get permanent marker off leather shoes:

  1. Dispense sunscreen onto a cloth, then rub it onto the stains. Be sure to use light pressure.
  2. Move in circles to lift off the dirt. And add more sunscreen to the cloth throughout the process.
  3. Create a soapy solution with water and mild detergent. Use another clean cloth dampened in the mixture and rub it onto the stains.
  4. Dry the area with another dry and clean cloth. Finally, complete the process by applying leather conditioner to the area.

Related post: 4 easy ways to remove permanent marker from leather.

Method 4: For Rubber Shoes

Prepare the following to remove marker stains from rubber shoes:

  • A bucket
  • Water
  • A plastic scraper
  • Baking Soda
  • A bristle brush

Follow these steps:

  1. Shake your shoes and beat them against the floor to get rid of as much loose dirt as possible. Then, use the scraper to remove any clinging dirt from the shoe sole and its side.
  2. Pour warm water into the bucket. Next, add in some laundry detergent to make soapy water.
  3. Submerge your shoes in the basin. Give them 5 – 10 minutes to soak.
  4. Take your shoes from the basket and scrub them down with a bristle brush. If there are still stubborn ones, move on to the next step.
  5. Get a brush and dip it in baking soda. Then, use this rush to scrub and remove the difficult stains. This may take a bit of time, but remember, the results will be worth it!
  6. If you need to use your shoes immediately, dry them with a clean cloth. If you have time to spare, you can leave it to air dry. Place them somewhere with airflow but avoid direct heat exposure.

More details on how to get permanent marker off rubber here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How do you get Sharpie off rubber shoes?

Using nail polish remover is another option. But if you want to do it without nail polish remover, use rubbing alcohol.

White vinegar and toothpaste are also good choices. These two ingredients are often used to get Sharpie off Nike shoes and from foam sneakers.

What removes permanent Sharpie?

You can get Sharpie off shoes with detergent if it’s a new stain. Also, if you want to remove Sharpie from shoe soles, consider using toothpaste, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol.

Does Sharpie wash out of shoes?

Sharpie will not be washed out with just water. You need to use a magic eraser for fabric shoes or white vinegar combined with soap for leather shoes.


There are several ways to remove markers from shoes made of various materials, including fabric, leather, rubber, and more. You can choose the right cleaner to make sure the materials are not damaged during the process.

If you have tried one of the methods, share your experience in the comments. Also, feel free to share this article to help others know how to remove permanent marker from shoes!

3.4/5 - (9 votes)

Magazine Posts

why are fountain pens so expensive

Why Are Fountain Pens So Expensive?

Carroll Leilani

Have you ever wondered, “Why are fountain pens so expensive”? Beyond just ...

how to remove ink stains from plastic

How to Remove Ink Stains From Plastic?

Laura Walker

In our daily lives, it is not uncommon to encounter ink stains ...

How much ink is in a pen

How Much Ink is in a Pen?

Laura Walker

Pens, those everyday tools we use without much thought, are a staple ...

How to Use a Diamond Painting Pen

How to Use a Diamond Painting Pen

Laura Walker

A diamond pen is many DIYers’ favorite, as it is a great ...

How to Tell Which Cross Pen You Have?

Laura Walker

How to Make a Wooden Pen? – A Detailed Tutorial

Laura Walker

Winsor and Newton Pigment Marker Review

Laura Walker

Are Ohuhu Markers Any Good? – A Quick Review

Laura Walker