How to Remove Permanent Marker from Couch Easily

Permanent marker spots and ink stains are among the most frustrating smudges you can deal with at home. Matter can get worse if these stains find their way onto your couch or other furniture.

In such a case, it would become very difficult to remove them. If your couch is covered by a fabric that absorbs the ink, removing it will require some effort.

However, there are many methods and ways you can use to remove the stains caused by permanent markers on your couch.

If you follow the procedure carefully, your couch will look as good as new. The techniques used to remove permanent markers from couch fabric are simple, meaning anyone can follow them. The good news is that you can remove the stains without running the fabric through a washer.

Remember, using a washer to remove stains from fabric can cause it to shrink. Such damage is permanent and can’t be reversed.

Remove Permanent Marker from Couch


As already mentioned, it’s not advisable to run your couch fabric through a washer to remove permanent marker stains. It means you must find an alternative creative way of removing such a stain. A DIY solution is the best in most cases.

You’ll notice that many household items like baking soda, toothpaste, etc., can work better than commercial stain removers.

How effectively or fast you can remove permanent markers depends on the type of material used on the couch; there are leather couches, fabric couches, coated fabric couches, and faux leather couches. Just as the materials vary, methods will also vary.

Ways to Remove Permanent Marker from Couch

Removing stains from microfiber isn’t as easy as other types of fiber.

Some household items that work on other fiber types can’t work on microfiber. But that doesn’t mean you need to use commercial stain removers on them. You just need to identify the right household cleaner to remove permanent marker stains on them.

Whichever fabric you are dealing with, check the manufacturer’s tag to determine how the fabric should be handled before starting the stain removal process. The manufacturer’s tag has all the information you need about handling the fabric, the cleaners you can use, and the ones you should avoid using on the fabric.

For example; if you have a couch whose label has the letter “W,” you can only use a water-based solution. Those with the letter “S” need solvent-based cleaners, while those with “X” can be cleaned using professional dry cleaners. The couches marked “X” should only be cleaned by brushing or vacuuming. Source: [1] [2]

Using Toothpaste to Remove Permanent Marker Stains on Couches

Toothpaste is cheap, making it the best option to clean permanent marker stains from couch fabric. To use it, you can mix it with baking soda. The mixture of toothpaste and baking soda is great for removing even the toughest ink stains.

It’s preferable to use a white bleach-free non-gel toothpaste to create your DIY cleaning agent. Do not use colored toothpaste if you want effective cleaning solutions.

Your DIY stain cleaning agent should contain one part baking soda and one part toothpaste. This is the stain remover of choice for many home cleaners. You’ll also need a toothbrush.


Mix regular toothpaste and baking soda in a ratio of 1:1. Mix them thoroughly until you get a consistent blend of a thick paste.

Make sure you mix enough ingredients depending on the size of stain(s) you have on the couch. You can use your judgment to do this.

Next, apply the mixture to the stain and gently scrub it using the toothpaste. Ensure the mixture covers the stain fully, not leaving any part uncovered.

Leave the mixture to soak for about 10 minutes or so. It will allow the fabric to absorb the mixture to loosen the stain. You can then rinse the mixture off using cold water.

Make sure you remove all the toothpaste from the fabric. You can then give your couch time to dry.

If some stain remains on the couch, you can repeat the process until you are satisfied that the stain is completely removed.

This method of removing permanent marker stains from fabric also works well for removing the same stains from common surfaces like wood floors, stainless steel countertops, and even walls. You can also use it on other furniture in your house.

It is worth noting that baking soda is very good at eliminating unpleasant odors from fabric. It means that apart from your mixture helping to remove the stain, it will also leave your couch smelling fresh.

If you aim to remove unpleasant odor from your couch, you can put the toothpaste-baking soda mixture in a spray bottle and add some white vinegar.

Spray the mixture lightly on your couch, then give it time to dry. If some whitish patches remain on the couch, you can wipe them using a paper towel, a cotton ball, or a damp cloth. If you use damp on your couch, give it time to dry before using it.

The toothpaste-baking soda-vinegar mixture also acts as a disinfectant, meaning your couch will not only be cleaned and smell fresh but will also be free from microorganisms that can cause health problems to your loved ones.

How to Remove Black marker stains from a Microfiber couch

As already mentioned, permanent ink marks on microfiber couches can not be easily removed by common items or ordinary paint removers used to remove marks on fabric furniture or clothing fabrics.

However, understanding how to eliminate permanent ink marks from microfiber couches poses a unique set of challenges. It is because microfiber is a very sensitive material that needs tender care and attention when cleaning.

Therefore, you must be extremely careful when using solvent-based solutions to clean a microfiber couch.

Using Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol

The excellent stain-removal choice for a microfiber couch is vinegar and rubbing alcohol. However, if you want your couch to smell fresh after cleaning, you can throw in some sweet-smelling essential oils.

To create a DIY solvent for cleaning a microfiber couch, mix half a cup of white vinegar, half a cup of rubbing alcohol, and three to four drops of sweet-smelling essential oil like lavender.


When cleaning a microfiber couch, it’s imperative not to let the cleaning agent saturate the cushion or the microfiber. Instead, use a small spray bottle for the mixture and then spray the mixture lightly on the stains.

Once you’ve added enough cleaning solution, let it rest for a few minutes, then use a clean cloth to scrub the stain. Do so in a circular motion slowly until you remove the stain. If some stains are stubborn, you can repeat the process until they vanish.

Once all the stains are cleared, you can use a dry cloth to dab the area to remove any moisture, then give your couch time to dry. You can as well vacuum the couch to make it dry faster.

Using aerosol hairspray to remove permanent marker

Cheap hair sprays are great for removing permanent marker stains on leather surfaces. Like microfiber, leather is another delicate material that needs to be handled with care.

Most stain removers dry quickly when applied to the leather, while some can even bleach leather. The best option to remove stains from leather couches is oil-free hairsprays.

When removing a stain from a permanent marker, never scrub the surface. You should try to be as gentle as possible. You can use a paper towel or white cloth to blot the cleaning agent and the stain from the couch.

Using hand sanitizer to remove marker stains on couches

Hand sanitizers are also great for removing stains from couches. This chemical can remove stains from permanent markers and dry erase or magic eraser markers.

To use the hand sanitizer, just apply a little quantity of it on the stained area, leave it to sit for a while, then wipe using a damp cloth or cotton ball.

Removing ink from a Couch: Important Note

Sometimes you may realize that using simple cleaning agents like baking soda, dishwasher soap, liquid hand dishwashing detergent, or alcohol may fail to remove the stains.

If that’s the case, you can resort to more robust supplies. One way is to add a little Windex or a bit of hydrogen peroxide to your cleaning mixture to make it more effective. You can also use Warks to remove marker stains from Vinyl materials or try some WD-40 on faux leather couches.

Before using these chemicals, make sure the chemical you use is safe for the material and wouldn’t damage or stain it. You can read the label on these chemicals to know how they are used.

You can try the chemical on a small area before applying it on the entire couch. Suppose you notice any unnecessary change in the area where you’ve applied the cleaning agent. In that case, you can use warm water to clean it off.


Q: How do you get a permanent marker out of a microfiber couch?

To remove a permanent marker stain from a microfiber couch, dampen a sponge in rubbing alcohol and use it to blot away the stain.

For effective cleaning, move the sponge slowly in a circular motion. Repeat the procedure using a new sponge until the stain is removed.

If some stains remain, use rug shampoo or upholstery shampoo to remove them. You can also use soil remover or Capture spots if everything else fails.

Q: Can I spray vinegar on my couch?

Yes. Apart from removing stains, white vinegar can also remove unpleasant odor from your couch. It’s also a disinfectant, meaning it will leave your couch cleaning, smelling fresh, and free from germs.

A word of caution: don’t overuse vinegar on your couch, and don’t use white wine vinegar.

Q: How do you get a permanent marker off of a suede couch?

To get a permanent marker off of your suede couch, dampen a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol. Rub the cotton swab on the stain slowly until the stain is removed. You can use a new swab if some stain still remains. Use a paper towel to remove the excess rubbing alcohol.

Q: Can you use Magic eraser on a microfiber couch?

Yes. Don’t saturate it with water or any other solvent when you want to remove a marker stain from a microfiber couch. Instead, wet a magic eraser and use it to pat or scrub the stain.

Final Thought

Permanent marker stains on couches make them look ugly, which negatively affects your entire house. Even if other pieces of furniture are neat, a dirty couch will make the house look jumbled.

The above methods work best for DIY cleaning. It’s advisable to avoid commercial cleaners as much as possible because most of them aren’t environmentally friendly. Some of them can even damage your upholstery. The above materials are easy to get and affordable.

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Maria Tanish

Hello World! Tanish here, a student of Fine Arts. Drawing was my passion from an early age but I also love to do some DIY projects to spend my leisure. Even I work as a writer, to share my knowledge about the ins and outs of drawing and the art industry itself. As an artist, I always wanna share my experiences with you all.

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