Do Fabric Markers Wash Off?

Do you ever get a stain on your shirt and wonder how to get it out? Chances are, if the stain is oil-based, such as from food or lotion, you can treat it with laundry detergent. But what if the stain is polyester? Will laundry detergent help remove it, or will it make the problem worse? Keep reading to find out!

No, fabric markers are not washable. If you do not want the marker to come off on your skin, allow the ink to dry first before touching it. If you’re worried about getting any of these on your skin, just let them dry for a few minutes! They’re not permanent at all!

In this article, we will look at whether or not fabric markers are washable. While we’re at it, we will also look into how you can remove ink from fabric. Finally, we’ll find out if the marker ink will come off of your skin or not once it has dried on a surface.

What is a Fabric Marker?

Fabric marker is a common name for pens that have an ink tip made out of porous fabric. They are used to write on fabrics, typically cotton ones. The ink works by absorbing into the fabric and forming a color stain.

Markers can be used as graffiti or to create designs on clothing, but they’re also commonly employed as a temporary way to label clothing. Instead of using a tag, you can simply write on the item’s surface and remove it later when needed.

Fabric marker ink is made up of dye or pigment particles suspended in a solution containing solvent and vehicle. The fabric tip contains fibers that help transfer the ink onto any fabric you apply it to.

Do Fabric Markers Wash Off?

Most fabric marker ink is completely removable from fabrics with a simple wash. Traditional laundry detergent should be enough to clean the cloth and remove any dye stains left by a marker. However, it may take a few washes before all of the colors comes out.

Other factors which might impact the effectiveness of washing markers off of fabrics include:

  • Type of solvents in the marker ink. Some solutions are made up of water while others are oil-based
  • The age of the stain – older stains might be harder to remove
  • Number of times you wash your clothing – multiple washes could help break down stubborn spots
  • Fabric type – some fabrics may not absorb marker ink as well, thus making it harder to clean off

Common Colors Used in Fabric Markers

There are many different colors used for fabric markers, although most tend to lean toward primary colors since they will show up on most types of clothes. However, if you don’t want a bright color showing up on your items, there are also gray and black fabric pens available. Gray dye tends to be less noticeable than other colors and black dye is used for hiding stains.

How to Remove Fabric Marker Ink from Clothes

Do you have a pesky marker stain? You can remove it with the following methods.

  1. Use a pencil eraser

You probably already have erasers around the house, so they’re a great tool to try if you need to get marker ink off of clothes. Just rub it against the fabric until the stain is gone. But make sure to start rubbing on the underside of the fabric, not on top.

  1. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is an excellent way to get marker ink out of clothes (and skin). Since it’s water-based like laundry detergent, it will easily remove any dye stains left by fabric markers. Just apply it to the stained area and let it air dry overnight.

  1. Laundry Detergent

Since traditional laundry detergent is meant to break down oil-based stains, it’s an effective solvent for marker stains. It can help remove even old fabric marker ink so long as the stain doesn’t have time to set.

  1. Hair Dryer

Another quick and easy method for removing marker stains is to blast it with a hair dryer. The heat will help the solution evaporate, thus taking the dye with it. Just make sure not to get too close to the fabric or else you could end up shrinking your shirt!

  1. Sponge It Out

For stubborn fabrics, you can soak the marker stains in warm water for at least ten minutes. Then blot the fabric with a sponge or clean towel to remove most of the excess moisture. This will make it easier for you to get rid of any dye particles stuck on the surface.

  1. Cooking Spray

A cooking spray like Pam might be able to help remove marker stains. Apply a small amount and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping away with a clean towel, rinse the area with water after you’re done.

  1. Vinegar

Vinegar has milder solvents that can work well on marker stains, specifically if the dye is water-based. Mix it with a little dish soap and let it sit on the stain for ten minutes before washing as usual.

Things to remember while removing Fabric Marker Ink

Following are some of the tips which you should keep in mind while removing marker stains:

Do not rub the stained area too hard. It can damage your clothes. Always start rubbing from the underside of the fabric; by doing so, you will make sure that the stain comes out and doesn’t spread across your garment. If you have a washing machine at home, always try to check for colorfastness before putting the clothing into the laundry basket. Even if solvents are used from a safe brand, sometimes they might still cause harm to your clothes when mixed with hot water during the wash cycle.

You can also contact a professional cleaner service, which is specifically trained to remove tough stains, especially those left behind by permanent markers. They will be able to get rid of any dye left by the marker with minimal damage to your clothes.


At last, it is concluded that fabric markers are generally safe to use around kids. However, avoiding skin contact can be a smart choice for parents. Also, always remember to test the ink on the underside of your clothes first before doing any permanent marker projects on them. And finally, keep some rubbing alcohol or hairdryer nearby just in case you have an unexpected spill.

Hope you enjoyed this article and found our answers helpful! Thanks for reading.

Leave a Comment