Cleaning Marker Off Your Couch

Try to think of the worst possible thing a child could do to a couch, and you might say something like “draw on it with marker”. That’s because this is one of the worst possible things that could ever happen to your lovely upholstery. It doesn’t matter if it was a child that did the damage, or if you accidentally did the deed yourself. The important thing is to get that couch clean, and hopefully do it quickly and easily. Now if it was a super permanent marker like a sharpie, then this method might not work, but if it was the dry erase variety, or any of those markers your kids use, then you are in good shape to keep reading. The steps below will outline a simple and effective way to completely remove all signs of marker from your couch. It doesn’t matter if it is microfiber, leather, standard upholstery or any other kind of couch. This method will work for just about any type.

If you look at the picture to the left, you will see in picture number one, a nice thick line of purple marker on a lighter colored tan couch. Normally this would be disastrous, and everyone in the house would start getting used to the way the couch looks now because that line would be there forever. It turns out that if you have the right supplies on hand, you can easily make that annoying line disappear in no time. The marker that made this line was a standard, nothing special, child’s marker from some random art set. There is no trickery involved. This is actual marker, on an actual couch that we cleaned very quickly and very easily.

What DOES NOT Work

  • Stain Fighting Sprays – Traditional upholstery cleaners are dangerous, toxic, and in many cases ineffective. You always have to be careful how much you use, and what you use it on. In the end, because it can result is ruined fabric or bleached out color. That’s why it always says to test it somewhere out of sight right on the container.
  • Home Remedies – Natural and homemade solutions require a lot of extra work, and are pretty ineffective overall, especially for this type of stain. Please don’t try to remove marker from your couch with vinegar because it will never work. It’s not that these are ineffective in general, it is more related to how tough this job is, and how easy it is to spread the stain, or ruin the material.
  • Regular Green Cleaners – Because they are little more than glorified soap in most cases, these will not be the first choice of most folks, and that is probably good. Many will be effective with some light cleaning around your home, but few are powerful enough to lift out tough stains from fabric. You will pay a premium for one of these at the store, and most will require elbow grease for a good outcome.

What DOES Work

For this type of stain, and hundreds of other ones, we recommend using Quick n Brite. It is an all natural cleaner that actually works. It is safe to use on virtually any surface, but it produces incredible results. People are always amazed at how well it works and how many things you can use it for. A little marker stain on your couch is just one of many jobs that Quick n Brite will make quick work of.

How To Remove a Marker Stain From Your Couch

  • In the example to the left, we first sprayed on a heavy solution of the cleaner. This is sufficient for most general cleaning, and many tougher stains too. Just 3 tbs of the cleaner mixed into a quart spray bottle will give you this solution.
  • Simply spray it on the affected area. You want to completely cover the stain, and don’t be afraid to use a generous amount. For our fabric couch, adding liquid is fine. Other materials that do not take so kindly to water will benefit from a straight paste application. More on How To Clean Leather.
  • If using paste, take a damp cloth and dip it in some paste. Then rub into stain to apply cleaner without a bunch of moisture.
  • Once on there, LET IT SIT for 10 minutes or so. The more pronounced the mark, the longer you will want to wait. It can be on there for 30 minutes or more if needed, and it will not harm the material.
  • After sitting, take a dry terry cloth towel and buff out the stain and cleaner. The color will release it’s bond with your sofa and transfer to your towel.
  • If you look very closely at picture number two, you will notice that after this step, there was just a very faint hint of the marker still visible. For this reason we decided to resort to the paste as well. Liquid is convenient, and the heavy solution is super cheap to make, but sometimes you need a little more strength to get the job done. So use paste if your spray doesn’t work all the way, or use it to avoid moisture.
  • In picture number 3 you can see that we added just a little bit of the paste right where the line was. A little scratch of your fingernail will work the cleaner into the area. This step is important to break surface tension, and to make sure every piece of couch affected by marker is covered with Quick n Brite.
  • We then let it sit for about five minutes more, and then came back with the same towel to completely remove all signs of marker.
  • Take a close look at picture number four to see that the purple line is completely gone.

The whole process took less than 10 minutes, and there was no scrubbing, sweating or swearing involved. In fact most of the time was spent waiting for the cleaner to do its job. We also didn’t need to worry about discoloring the couch or ruining anything about it. No gloves were necessary, and the couch was safe for people and pets to use right away. Most importantly though, the stain was gone, and it was easy to do.


Quick n Brite is an amazing cleaner. When you apply it to a stain it goes to work right away breaking it apart and lifting it off the surface you are cleaning. It is almost like it is doing the work for you. This is why we let it sit for five minutes. You always need to give the cleaner time to work in order to achieve the best results. It is a plant based cleaner, but unlike many similar “natural” cleaners this one actually works. It has been around for more than 50 years and it comes with a full money back guarantee. Safe for any couch surface, and safe for use around children and pets. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or bleach, and it is 100% biodegradable. Try it for yourself and you will be glad you did. Get it to remove marker from your couch, and then keep it around to shampoo carpets, pre-treat laundry stains, clean kitchen cabinets,  and so much more.

Quick n Brite



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