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How to Get Marker Off Hands

how to get marker off hands

It does not matter how carefully you use your markers. You will still get a bit of ink on your hands. Thankfully, unlike tattoo ink, marker ink will only lie on the surface of the skin. However, even though they are temporary, if you do not know how to get marker off hands, you should deal with the stains for at least a couple of days.

In this article, you will learn about the different and most effective ways to get rid of marker stains off your hands using only regular household items.

Step-by-Step Guide

Method 01 – Using Hand Sanitizer

Using Hand Sanitizer

What to prepare:

  • A bit of alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cotton ball, a piece of cloth, or a paper towel


Step 1: Apply hand sanitizer over the stain. You will need a liberal dollop of hand sanitizer if you want to get rid of marker stains on your palm or hand. About the size of a 25-cent coin would suffice.

Step 2: Rub the hand sanitizer to loosen and remove the stain. Using a cotton ball, paper towel, or any piece of cloth, proceed to rub the hand sanitizer over the marker stain.

Step 3: Repeat as needed. Depending on how large the stain is, you may need to repeat steps 1 to 2 several times. After maybe 2 or 3 applications of hand sanitizer, the marker stain should be completely erased.

Method 02 – Using Rubbing Alcohol

What to prepare:

  • Rubbing alcohol – Get enough to remove the stain. Isopropyl alcohol is the best option. If you have something that is a 90% solution, then use it. On the other hand, if you only have 70% solution isopropyl alcohol that will do as it means you will just have to use more.
  • Cotton pads or a clean cloth


Step 1: Soak the cotton pad or ball with a bit of alcohol. Make sure that you saturate the cotton with enough alcohol as you will need quite a bit to get permanent marker ink out of your skin.

Step 2: Rub the stain with the cotton. You should now rub the cotton over the stain. Do not just dab the alcohol on the stain. Be aggressive at scrubbing the ink off your skin.

Step 3: Repeat as needed. If the cotton ball or cloth has gotten too dirty, replace it with a new one and douse it with rubbing alcohol and scrub the stain again. Depending on the number of stains you have to deal with, you will need around 2 or 3 cotton balls to remove the stain completely.

Method 03 – Using Nail Polish Remover

Using Nail Polish Remover

What to prepare:

  • Nail polish remover – Unlike the first two items, nail polish remover does not contain alcohol, but instead contains acetone, which is far stronger. This means you should use the bare minimum amount.
  • Cotton balls or pads


Step 1: Apply the nail polish remover over the stain. Using the included brush applicator, put a bit of nail polish remover right over the stains.

Step 2: Scrub the stain using the cotton ball. You should be quick in scrubbing the stain away using a cotton ball while the nail polish remover is still wet. Since nail polish remover is quite potent, you might not need to repeat the process.

Method 04 – Using Bleach

Using Bleach Get Marker Off Hands

What to prepare:

  • A small amount of bleach – You will only be needing a small bit of bleach, just a couple of drops will do.
  • Tap water – You will need 7 times more water than bleach.
  • Cotton balls


Step 1: Dilute the bleach with water. You should never apply straight bleach on your skin as it can cause chemical burns. You will need to dilute it with at least 7 times the amount of water to make it safe for your skin.

Step 2: Dip a cotton ball in the diluted bleach. Take a cotton ball and dip it into the bleach solution. Squeeze some of the excess water, the cotton ball should be substantially wet, but not dripping.

Step 3: Rub the stain out using bleach. Gently rub the stain away using the wet cotton ball. The ink should lift off your skin and deposit into the cotton ball. If one cotton ball is not enough to get rid of the stains, repeat steps 1 to 3.

Method 05 – Using Baby Oil/Olive Oil

What to prepare:

  • Baby oil or olive oil – Unlike bleach or alcohol, baby oil or light olive oil will not harm your skin if you use them for getting marker off the skin.
  • Paper towels


Step 1: Pour some oil on the ink stain. Pour just enough of this to cover the ink stain. Depending on the size of the stain, you are looking at ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of oil.

Step 2: Rub the oil into the stain. Using your finger, rub the ink stain until the ink particles loosen up and lift off your skin. You will know that it is working when the oil starts to gain some color.

Step 3: Wipe off the oil using a paper towel. Once you have loosened up the ink, wipe the excess oil away using a paper towel.

Step 4: Repeat as necessary.

Is Permanent Ink Harmful?

Unless you have an allergic reaction to any one of the many ingredients included in permanent ink, getting a bit of it on your skin should not be a problem. Yes, permanent ink does contain toxic substances, like xylene, toluene, and resin.

However, you cannot absorb enough of these toxins through your skin through accidental stains.

Note, though, that this does not necessarily mean that you can cover yourself in permanent ink. If a large enough area of your skin does get covered with permanent marker ink, a significant amount of toxins can leach into it. This will make you a bit sick but it will not be fatal.


Although permanent marker ink will not harm your skin, it will take a couple of days to wear out on its own, even when you wash it with soap and water. Now that you know a couple of foolproof ways on how to get marker off your hands, you no longer need to worry about ink stains.

The methods mentioned above are just some of the ways to get rid of permanent ink stains, and the best part is that you already have everything you need at home. So, the next time that you or your kids accidentally wrote on your hands with a permanent marker, don’t panic. It is an easy fix.

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