How to Get Marker Out of a Carpet

Markers are difficult to clean from any surface, especially if they’re permanent markers. This makes knowing how to get a marker out of a carpet key. 

While it may be a stubborn stain, there are a few ways in which you can effectively get rid of the marker from your carpet. The method you need will depend on the nature of the stain, as well as how long it has been on the carpet. It is usually best to get to it with haste, as the older the stain is, the more stubborn it becomes. 

We run through some of the most effective ways to clean marker stains out of the carpet so that you are equipped to get your floors looking good as new. 

What this article covers:

How To Get Permanent Marker Out Of A Carpet

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When you have a permanent marker stain on your hands, the best approach is to clean it out as soon as possible. If you leave it for too long, it becomes more difficult to remove. 

If you attend to a marker stain shortly after it happens, you can get away with a very simple home remedy using common household items, as it is likely that the ink is still wet on the carpet and can be wiped off with less effort. This can also be used to clean dried paint from a carpet.

Remove Excess Ink

A new marker stain will still be wet, or at least damp, so you may be able to remove some of it before applying a cleaning solution. 

Use a dry cloth or paper towel, and dab the area with pressure. The excess ink should transfer to the cloth or towel. Continue this until there is no more ink coming out. 

Be sure not to rub the surface, as this can cause the ink to spread on the carpet, making the stain larger and more difficult to remove. 

Mix and Apply The Cleaning Solution

Combine lukewarm water with a tablespoon of liquid soap, or dishwashing detergent, and transfer to a spray bottle. 

You will then spray the mixed solution onto the stained area, generously enough to soak through the fibers. This solution works well to clean ash from a carpet.

Leave this to settle into the carpet fibers for 5-10 minutes before you move to the next step. 

Blot Stain

how to get permanent marker out of carpet

Use a dry, absorbent cloth to blot the area repeatedly. This will lift the marker ink out of the carpet and onto the cloth. 

Continue this until the ink stops transferring to the cloth. This should also work to clean crayon off of a carpet.

Rinse Area

Fill a spray bottle with plain, cold water and then apply to the area generously to rinse out the cleaning solution. 

Use a new, dry cloth to dab the area repeatedly until it has absorbed as much liquid as possible. 

Dry Carpet

Leave the carpet to dry for a few hours, or overnight, depending on the size of the area and the depth of the carpet. 

Once fully dried, check to see that all marker has been removed. If not, repeat the process from the beginning. You can also add a carpet-cleaning brush machine for heavier cleaning. 

how to remove permanent marker from carpet

How To Remove Old Permanent Marker From A Carpet

When a marker is exposed to a carpet, and the mark is left for a prolonged period, the ink dries up over time and becomes embedded in the carpet fibers which makes it more challenging to remise. 

The best way to deal with this type of aged marker stain is by using a slightly harsher cleaning chemical with an alcohol base that will erase the marker, and the need for a carpet repair kit

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Choose a Solution

The cleaner you choose to use might depend on what you have available, or can easily access, when cleaning out an old stain. 

You can go with the traditional rubbing alcohol that is more commonly used for stains, or if you do not have any readily available, you can even dip it into your cosmetics cupboard for acetone. Usually used for nails, this also works as a cleaning solution for tough stains. 

Spot Test

Before you apply your chosen alcohol-based solution to the carpet, you should do a spot test. You can pick a small patch of carpet that is located under a couch, in a hidden corner, or behind a curtain, and apply a tiny amount of the solution on to test it. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes to see if there is any change to the carpet.

If there is a change in color or texture, you should avoid using the solution. If there is no change, you can proceed with the next steps. 

Apply Solution

Use a soft, dry cloth to dip into the solution, and then gently dab at the stain. Continue doing this with small, light movements. You should see the ink transfer onto the cloth. 

Intermittently dip clean areas of the cloth into the fresh solution to prevent pushing the ink back into the carpet. Alcohol solutions work especially well to get dirt out of a white rug.

Repeat this until there are no visible marks left on the carpet. 

Check Area

Leave the area to dry out for a few hours and then check back to ensure that there are no remnants of the marker. If there is, repeat the process from the beginning. You can also use an Orbot Cleaner for a harsher clean. 

how to remove old permanent marker from carpet

How To Remove Marker Stains From A Carpet

If you are dealing with a stubborn stain on your carpet caused by a marker, you will generally need to use a professional carpet cleaning product

This is key as these products are designed for these types of stains, and to be used on carpets, so you do not have to worry about causing even more damage to your floors. 

Always ensure you have all the necessary equipment when using these tools, like velcro straps

Apply Pre-spray 

First, you need to rinse the area with a good pre-spray product

how to clean marker out of carpet

One of the best available is the Truck Mount Forum Black Label Sweet Breeze Pre-spray. Not only does it effectively clean the toughest of stains, but it also leaves your carpet softer and brighter after the cleaning process. This makes it a must-have product for general carpet cleaning, in addition to stain removals. 

remove marker from carpet

Its Sweet Breeze scent also leaves the carpet, and the room, smelling pleasant and fresh afterward. 

Prepare the product according to the instructions on the bottle.

Water Extraction

Next, you should use quality water extraction equipment to clean the carpet. Combine this equipment with the pre-spray for the ultimate cleaning process. 

how to clean permanent marker off carpet

One of the best extraction machines around is the Water Claw. It flushes contaminants from your floor with ease, using flushing ports to flood the carpet and then extract the water. This is a great tool to use to get playdough out of a rug.

If you are dealing with tile stains, you would use a Hydro Force tile cleaner.

how to get marker out of rug

Dry Carpet

Finally, you will need to dry the carpet thoroughly. You can use a vacuum for this, or leave it to air dry overnight, depending on the size of the area and the location of the stain. You could also use a Rotovac carpet cleaner here.

how to get marker out of a rug

Once fully dry, check to ensure that the marker stain is completely gone. If it has not, you will need to repeat the process. This process could be used to remove mud from a carpet.


A permanent marker stain is always a challenge, and on a carpet, it becomes even worse. But it is not impossible to clean this type of stain out completely if you have the right approach, products, and equipment. 

A fresh marker stain can be removed with a simpler cleaning method and common household items that you likely have lying around the house. 

An older, more stubborn marker stain requires a harsher cleaning process. You will need professional carpet cleaning tools and products, which will allow for a deeper, more intense cleaning process to remove the marker stain.

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