How to Remove Pencil Marks From Fabric | A Step By Step Guide On 2021


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Our children often develop their artistic talent at home, sometimes in the wrong places! And yes, the walls, the carpet, or even their clothes seem to be adequate supports for our children to express their creativity. Furthermore, pencils are great because they allow you to go back and change what you have written. On the other hand, the marks they leave on non-paper surfaces can be a different story; thus, if you desire to learn how to remove pencil marks from fabric, it’s best to follow these tips below.

How to Remove Pencil Marks from Fabric: Tools Needed

If you desire to remove pencil marks from fabric, you will need the following tools:

  • Soft eraser
  • Toothbrush
  • Domestic ammonia
  • Alcohol 
  • Cotton
  • White vinegar
  • Liquid laundry soap
  • White detergent
  • Sponge
  • Absorbent pad

How to Remove Pencil Marks from Fabric

The pencil markings on the fabric are ugly and affect the appearance of the fabric. If you find pencil marks on your clothes, upholstery, tablecloths, or other types of fabrics, don’t worry. You do not need to discard the fabric for this type of stain. You can remove it through the following steps:

  • Rub a pencil eraser over the pencil mark to remove it as much as possible. Do it carefully to avoid damaging the fabric.
  • Mix 1/4 cup of cold water, 3/4 of disinfectant alcohol, and one tablespoon of detergent without bleach in a bowl.
  • Dip a toothbrush in the solution and rub the pencil lines until it disappears.
  • Wash the cloth in cool water. If the pencil is on the upholstery, wash it with a cloth and cold water and then dry it using a clean cloth to remove excess moisture.
  • Wash the fabric in the washing machine, if possible. For fabrics that cannot be washed with the machine, allow them to air dry after washing.
  • If the pencil marks persist, combine 1 liter (946 ml) of warm water and three tablespoons of domestic ammonia. Next, apply the solution to the pencil stain and then dry with a dry cloth. 
  • Switch to applying the ammonia solution and the cloth until the pencil stain is gone.
  • Finally, wash the cloth and dry as usual.

How to Remove Pen marks from Fabric

Staining clothes with pen or marker ink is always an annoying situation. Regardless if it’s on children’s or adults’ clothes, there are some straightforward homemade tips to use. This can relieve you in the face of this problem quickly too. It is also important to remember that there are differences between the processes depending on the fabric that has been stained. Therefore, be careful when performing the following procedures.

How to Remove a Pen Stain

If the stain was made using a water-based pen (traditional models on the market), homemade solutions are straightforward. In pens that do not need special removers to be cleaned, two situations must be treated carefully before starting any process, namely: dry or wet pen ink stain.

In general, what you will need to evaluate in both cases will be just two scenarios: in the first, whether the stain is small or fresh, and in the second, whether it is large or a little more resistant.

Small or fresh stains

To remove small or fresh pen stains, do make use of the following steps:

Alcohol and cotton

For small, newer stains, the best solution is to put some alcohol on a cotton pad and wipe over the stained spot. Thus, in addition to not damaging the clothes’ fabric, alcohol will eliminate any trace left by the pen. For susceptible fabric, the alcohol may leave a few color traces. This rarely happens in less than 10% of cases, but it can still happen.

White vinegar

Another widespread solution used is white vinegar with a cloth to remove the freshest ink stains.

To do this, place a clean cloth under the stain and add the white vinegar on top of the paint. With a second cloth, lightly wipe over the stain to absorb excess liquid and remove it. In the end, wash the piece as usual.

Large or more resistant (dry) stains

To remove large or more resistant (dry) stains, do make use of the following steps:

White detergent

On a cotton swab, drop a few drops of dishwashing detergent and wipe over the dry paint or a larger amount on the clothes. When removing all the excess, apply more detergent over the remaining stain and let it act for an hour. After that, take the cotton and rub it over the stain and wash normally. 

Repeat the process if necessary.

Do not forget to leave a cloth under the stain of the piece. That way, the liquid will not spread to a clean part of the garment.

Paint remover (in case of dry paint stain)

It is essential to remember that it will be a little more challenging to eradicate dry stains, as the ink has already been fixed on the fabric. For this situation, you will be able to remove much of the paint using a little alcohol on a cotton pad and lightly rubbing the spot.

After performing this process, wash the piece with a stain remover. Its also best that you wash the garment yourself, following the product instructions and the laundry symbols.

How to Remove Permanent Pen Marks from Fabric

For stains of felt-tip pens or permanent pens, the process is a little different, because in some cases, its composition is oil-based, which makes it very difficult to remove the stain. However, no stain is impossible to remove. Upon applying some techniques and products, it will not be challenging to remove pen stains from clothes. Follow the steps below:

Alcohol and cotton

Absorb the paint

As in removing the ink stain from the clothes, put a little alcohol on the stained fabric (except on leather pieces) and lightly wipe the cotton over it.

Do not forget to leave a cloth or paper towel under the fabric not to allow the stain to stick on the other side.

Take it to the washing machine

After removing most of the marker stain or permanent pen, take the piece still moist with alcohol to the washing machine. Add soap as usual and wash well. If the stain hasn’t come out, ultimately, repeat the process.

Important: Do not forget to wash the piece separately from the others. This way, you prevent the paint from spreading between other clothes.

Place to dry

After the washing process is finished, just put the clothes to dry in an airy place, preferably away from the sun. Ensure that the stain has come out completely; otherwise, it will dry, and the removal process must be done again.

Hot milk

You can also use a little hot milk on the permanent pen stain to remove it more safely.

This process is very simple; heat the milk until it is hot. Next, apply the liquid to the stained fabric and rub it gently. After the process has been carried out, wash the part normally.

How to Get Pencil Out of Fabric: General Rules 

  • Fresh stains (no older than three hours) are easier to remove than those which are dry and firmly absorbed. Therefore, you must act quickly.
  • If the stain is fresh, first blot it using a dry paper towel to absorb as much of the pen’s ink as possible.
  • You can remove the stain from the wrong side of the fabric by placing paper napkins under the bottom.
  • Never rub the stain – it just absorbs completely. 
  • When purchasing a stain remover, be careful by the type of stain and the type of material that needs to be cleaned. Do read the instructions first and adhere strictly.
  • Any stain remover, both home and industrial, first check on a small fabric area that is not the most prominent part of the product. If the color remains the same, you can continue.
  • Begin by removing the pencil or ink mark with a weak solution. If necessary, gradually increase concentration.
  • Peroxide and other stain control products should not be poured on the stain but applied with soaked cotton pads or a soft-bristle toothbrush (for example, those for younger children). 
  • After spot treatment, wash the item thoroughly. First, read on the label the information about the care of the stained fabric.

How to Remove Pencil Marks From Fabric: FAQ

Will pencil marks washout?

Yes, after making use of the steps highlighted above, pencil marks will wash out.

How do you remove pencil marks from the finished wood?

To remove pencil marks from finished wood, go ahead and spray the stained section with an “All-Purpose cleaner.” Next, wipe with paper towels.

What removes lead pencil marks?

To remove lead pencil marks, do make use of the following steps:

  • Start by rubbing a soft rubber over the lead pencil stain to remove the excess.
  • Put a little liquid laundry soap on the stain and rub gently while squeezing the spot to impregnate the soap into the fabric’s fibers. 
  • Wash with plenty of water to remove the soap. 
  • If the stain has disappeared, wash normally.
  • If it hasn’t disappeared, put some more soap on top and give it a little squeeze to get it right. 
  • Then wash to finish. 


In conclusion, pencil marks usually make fabrics appear unsightly and diminish the appearance too. If you are caught up in this same situation, you can use the tips on removing pencil marks from the fabric highlighted above. It is also worthy of note that the steps above are significant in 70% of situations.

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