How to Remove Dry Erase Marker Stains from Clothing

Christine asked: How do I remove dry erase marker from clothing. My children come home from school all the time with small marks from the dry erase markers they use. I’ve tried everything I can think of, but nothing seems to get it out.

Dry erase markers are used in a variety of places from memo boards to board meetings. If you end up with a marker smudge or stain on your favorite piece of clothing, use this simple method to remove it.

You Will Need:

  • Murphy’s Oil Soap
  • Towels
  • Washcloths
  • Water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Old toothbrush

Steps to Remove the Marker:

  1. Start by folding the towel and placing it inside of the shirt, so that the marker stained area is resting above the towel. The towel will serve two purposes, to keep the liquids from draining through to the other side of the shirt, and to provide a surface for the marker to transfer to.
  2. Pour a small amount of Murphy’s Oil Soap onto the marker stain.
  3. Blot the area with a clean cloth. As you are blotting, the marker will transfer to the cloth.
  4. Turn the cloth often so that a clean surface is always being used. It may be necessary to turn the cloth inside of the shirt as well.
  5. If needed, use an old toothbrush, or other soft brush, to gently scrub the area.
  6. Once the stain is removed, launder the garment as you normally would.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If Murphy’s Oil Soap is not available, rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer can be used as well. Although it may not be as effective, it will remove light stains. Follow the same steps as above.
  • If the stains are stubborn, allow the Murphy’s Oil to set on the stain for a minute before blotting/scrubbing.


  1. How do I get it off of a stuffed animal?

  2. Didn’t work.

  3. I tried everything- I know I tried alcohol on one spot first and it didn’t budge. I escalated to everything else and nothing ever did so I had to toss my daughter’s beautiful moire and embroidered dress. I concluded that when the markers say “indelible on porous surfaces” they really are indelible.

    For the mom whose kids get it at school: ask the school district to buy the next generation of markers that are less toxic and less staining. There’s really no reason to have your kids coming home with ruined clothing.

  4. Worked!!! Can’t believe it…tried EVERYTHING else with no results. I did leave MOS to soak, then scrubbed with a cloth…took some work, but with the positive results it was worth it!
    Thank you.

  5. This worked for us. We are so glad for your research.

  6. What if it was in the shirt for several hours?????

  7. Hali,
    It’s always best to treat a stain as soon as possible, but sometimes that’s just not possible. If you’re having trouble removing the marker, use the second tip in the Additional Tips section (letting the Murphy Oil Soap sit on the stain for a minute before scrubbing it). Good luck!

Leave a Comment