How to Get Permanent Marker Off of Skin

by Kimbry Parker ; Updated July 18, 2017

Maybe you stuck your hand on a paper wet with permanent marker, or your 4-year-old decided to give himself permanent marker tattoos on his arms. No matter how the permanent marker got on the skin, soap and water likely won’t do the trick to remove it. As its name suggests, permanent marker ink is meant to stay on for good, or at least be difficult to get off. But if school picture day is tomorrow or you don’t want to go to work with a black smudge on your hand, try some home remedies to get the permanent marker off the skin.

Wash your hands with exfoliating soap and warm water to get off as much of the marker as possible. Dry them thoroughly with a hand towel.

Wet a paper towel with rubbing alcohol. Rub it over the permanent marker until no more is coming off the skin.

Moisten a cotton ball with milk. Rub the milk-soaked cotton ball over the remaining permanent marker.

Wash your hands again with exfoliating soap and warm water. Dry them thoroughly with a towel.

Scrub the marker-stained skin with non-gel white toothpaste. Put a dab of toothpaste directly onto your skin. Rub over it with a paper towel until the marker has lifted. Wash your hands well to remove the toothpaste.

Use nail polish remover if any permanent marker remains on the skin after trying the above methods. Moisten a paper towel with nail polish remover and scrub the skin until the marker completely disappears. Wash your hands well with soap and water to remove any traces of the nail polish remover.

Photo Credits

  • Michael Price/Demand Media

About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.