How to clean permanent marker off the walls

If you read this blog with any frequency, you know that my little one has developed a love of markers recently. Only it’s not as much a love of markers as it is a love of covering everything she sees with markers.

I’ve posted pictures of her body art and alluded to how much she likes to see her work on the walls (come to think of it, her love of picking locks and tagging walls should probably make me a little nervous). But until last week, all of this had been done with washable makers. And, while they’re not exactly as washable as they’d love to have you think, they’re a million times easier to remove than permanent marker.

How do I know this? Well, because after I took away the washable markers (because she was writing on things other than paper with them), Miss Ellie snuck into her sister’s room, grabbed some markers and made a lovely mural on the wall in the hallway while I was otherwise occupied by the Dance Nazi. Samantha was performing a new routine and I was scolded harshly any time either of my eyeballs dared to wander. Ellie took full advantage.

After a few minutes went by and I realized Ellie was suspiciously quiet, I had myself some perfect material for a blog post. I guess I should thank her for that at least.

How to remove permanent marker from the wallsAt first, I crossed my fingers and toes and tried wiping with a damp towel. When that did nothing but smudge the glorious work of art, I turned to my trusty friend Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser. And you know what? For the first time ever, that bald bitch failed me.

I started to think I was going to have some cardiac issues (especially since we’re moving soon and the last thing I want to do is repaint that hallway), so I took a deep breath and headed to the internet.

A little poking around led me to a new idea to try: toothpaste. If I trust it to keep my teeth white and clean, why not trust it to do the same for my wall? And believe it or not, with a little elbow grease, it worked!

how to remove permanent marker from the wall

I’m not gonna lie, it took a whole lot of scrubbing. And you can’t use just any toothpaste. I tried the natural stuff (Tom’s children’s paste) and it was way too gentle–which should probably tell you something. But when we used Aquafresh, we started to see some results.

how to remove permanent marker from the wall

We scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed some more and finally, it was gone. Please note that Samantha does her cleaning in heels while Ellie gets her scrub on better when she’s barefoot. These details are very to remove permanent marker from the wallDo you have any weird cleaning tips like this one that come in handy with kids? And I don’t mean vinegar and baking soda or lemons. I’m on the prowl for weird. Mostly because it amuses me, but also because I have a child that sometimes requires weird solutions.

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.