Removing Permanent Marker from Vinyl
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated September 7, 2020)
Have you ever noticed just how much vinyl there is around? Chances are, no matter where you live or work, you come into contact with vinyl at least once a day. The reason for this is rather simple since you can find vinyl in everything from automobiles, to your kitchen, to wallets. With so much vinyl around, and with permanent markers coming in a close second, it only stands to reason that eventually you will end up needing to remove permanent marker from vinyl at some point. It's a good thing then that removing permanent marker from vinyl doesn't need to be a very difficult operation, if the proper precautions are taken.
- Rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol has wonderful cleaning properties, particularly when used against ink stains such as permanent marker. Keep in mind though that there can be a few problems when using rubbing alcohol to remove permanent marker from vinyl. The main problem is that vinyl will sometimes absorb the rubbing alcohol, which can end up damaging the vinyl more than it was with the stain. Instead of pouring the rubbing alcohol directly onto the vinyl, get a clean white rag damp with the alcohol and begin to gently wipe away the permanent marker. You may need to replace the rag, or at the very least reapply the rubbing alcohol a few times, but this should remove the permanent marker with little or no problem.
- WD-40. When removing permanent marker from vinyl, WD-40 can be used in much the same way that rubbing alcohol can. Be sparing when you use this chemical to do any cleaning on vinyl, since it too can dry out some types of vinyl, and cause it to crack. Spray some of the WD-40 onto a clean paper towel, and then begin wiping the permanent marker away. You will probably need to replace the paper towel a couple of times until you have completely removed the permanent marker, but that is ok. Just be sure to reapply some of the WD-40 every time you use a new paper towel.
- Specialized cleaners. There are specialized cleaners that you can pick up at automotive parts stores that will help you clean vinyl especially well. While this method is usually a little more expensive than using rubbing alcohol, or WD-40, it is very effective in getting rid of permanent marker stains from your vinyl. Simply select a type that you prefer, and follow the directions that are listed on the back.
- More of the same. If the piece of vinyl is small enough, you can always simply hide the stain. In this case, this would be done by simply using the same marker or type of marker to color the rest of the vinyl until it matches all over. For example, this method would work best if you were trying to cover up a permanent marker stain on a vinyl wallet.
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