Cleaning a Marker Stain on Carpeting

marker on carpetGotta love kids. Especially the creative, artistic type. Their colorful pictures are always impressive, but if they would stick to paper instead of household objects, everyone would be a whole lot happier. Thanks to curiosity, devious behavior, and accidents, if you have children, markers and carpet together in the same house, sooner or later, they will all combine to create an awful mess.

Marker lines on rugs and carpets are difficult to remove no matter what type it is, and spot removers you find at the store can be dangerous and ineffective. Home remedies and all purpose sprays are pretty laughable for this type of grime, so most people are left scratching their heads, or thinking about rearranging the furniture. If you want to go back to admiring their work instead of scolding them for the damage, you’ll need a fool proof method to get that color out of your carpeting. When you don’t have to worry about permanent staining, then you won’t get so mad the next time you see a big blue line on your lovely, cream colored carpet. You may have a spot to remove now, or you may just want to be prepared for the next time disaster strikes, but if you continue reading, you will discover a quick and effective way to make that marker disappear.

What You Will Need

The supply list is short, and the steps that follow are incredibly simple and fool proof. Gather your ingredients from the list below, then continue to read step by step instructions for tackling this job.

  1. Quick N Brite Paste
  2. 2 Cloths or Rags
  3. Water

You might not have any Quick n Brite on hand, but before you get all “I’m not buying another piece of crap cleaner” on us, take a look at the pictures that follow. The results speak for themselves. Unlike the other garbage you have wasted your money on in the past, this stuff actually works. Complete with a money back guarantee, you are sure to remove the stain when you use it, and it’s totally safe for any carpet, no matter the color or material. What’s even better is that it also works well as a tub and tile cleaner, a degreaser, a stain fighter for clothing and so much more. Totally biodegradable and environmentally friendly, this cleaner is safe for use just about anywhere, and highly effective. Get it to make quick work of any stain on your carpet, but then keep it around to save time, money and effort when cleaning other stuff too.

cleaning marker on carpet step 1Step One. To begin, take one cloth, rag or towel, and get it wet with warm or hot water. Soak it down, and then ring out so it’s not dripping wet. This cloth will be your applicator. Scoop up a generous amount of the pink stuff, and then apply to the stain. Work it in with an up and down, or back and forth motion. You want to make sure that the cleaner penetrates the fibers as much as the pigment from the marker did. There is no scrubbing necessary, just work it in, and make sure you cover the area.

cleaning marker on carpet step 2Step Two. Once you get the cleaner on there, it will look something like the picture above. What seemed like a very faint line was actually a much larger mess than anticipated. After getting started, we could really begin to see just how much color was there, and it was not something that anyone would consider faint.

You will notice that the blue color has loosened in the image above, and it is trying to spread around. This is because the QUick N Brite is working to release the bond the stain has with the carpet, and then causing it to float up off the surface. This makes it easy to remove, but it can also allow for spreading, so be careful, and don’t work too hard. Once the cleaner is in place, just let it sit there for about five minutes. It will continue to break down the stain and release it from the fibers. Not waiting will only make your job harder, so be sure that you don’t skip this step.

leaning marker on carpet step 3Step Three. Once it sits, take your other cloth rag or towel, and buff the stain out. This second cloth will be your removal tool, and you’ll want to keep it dry. The stain will transfer onto this remover, so make sure it’s not one of your favorite towels. Take a look at the picture above. We have just rubbed the area to remove most of the stain. You can see a faint hint of blue still on the carpeting at the top center and left, and you can also see a large grayish-blue area on the cloth. The discoloration of the rag is due to the fact that the marker has lifted off the rug(along with some other grime), and is now on the rag. As you rub, continue switching to a clean section of the towel. Once no more color is lifting out, move on to the next step.

cleaning marker on carpet step 4Step Four. Because the stain was not all the way gone after a single application, we grabbed the damp rag, and reapplied some more cleaner. This second application was lighter in comparison to the first, but it was worked in the same way, and we let it sit for another five minutes before doing anything further. As the cleaner sat, the last little bits of blue were loosened up, so a final round of buffing was sure to remove the remainder of the marker.

cleaning marker on carpet step 5Step Five. After rubbing again, all of the cleaner was removed, and no signs of blue were left on the beige carpet. This close up view shows the area after cleaning, and the marker has completely disappeared. A small residue of cleaner was left over, so we took a clean section of the removal towel, and got it slightly damp. After buffing with the damp, clean surface, all of the residual soap was lifted off too. Nothing was left except a shockingly clean surface that was soft, and free of any toxic fumes.

cleaning marker on carpet step 6Step Six. Here is a close up from a slightly different angle. It was taken after the damp cloth was used to remove any extra cleaner left behind. No blue remains at all, and every bit of cleaner is gone too. The carpet looks rejuvenated, and completely clean. Every spec of blue has been lifted out, and no damage or lasting effects have been inflicted on the carpet.

cleaning marker on carpet step 7Step Seven. The job is now complete, and the picture above shows the end result. After only about ten minutes of barely trying, the blue line has been completely eliminated. There was never any risk of bleaching or ruining the material, and the surface is soft and clean instead of stiff and sticky.

In this case, the stain was created by a child’s marker. It could also be regular dirt, food, pen, crayon, paint or just about anything else. The same technique will remove just about any spot from your rug because this is probably the best carpet cleaning solution available. You never risk any harm to the material, and the ingredients are totally non-toxic and safe for use around children and pets. The steps above are ideal for any spot or line you encounter, but for larger areas, full rooms, or whole area rugs, add some Quick N Brite to your steam cleaner. You can use less than you would when using the normal soap, and it will work way better. For spot cleaning, the paste will always be the best, but when adding to a carpet shampooer, the liquid is far more convenient. Just pour some in, and you are good to go.

Other Options

Maybe you’re cheap, or maybe you just like a challenge. The steps above are pretty much fool proof, and guaranteed to work, but if you like to torture yourself, continue reading to discover a couple of the common recommendations for this type of stain. Because marker is tough to remove, the following methods may not work at all, despite the fact that they are often the go-to options for people that don’t know any better. You probably have the stuff on hand to try the techniques below, so if you’re still arguing with your computer screen, and saying stuff like “I’m not buying some tree hugging green cleaner”, then you may want to give one of them a try. Although our method will work with little effort, hardly any time, and at a very low cost, some of you will want to break out the hair spray to give it a go. We can’t guarantee that either method below will work at all, and you may even make the mess bigger, but if you ask someone else, or continue to search, these are the words of wisdom you will encounter.

Traditional Method #1

The hair spray method.

There’s nothing like using a sticky liquid full of perfumes and other hazardous ingredients to remove a stain. It probably won’t work, but you will make it smell nice, and as an added bonus, you can style the carpet fibers after you finish.

The type of hairspray is important if you want it to work, so make sure it is oil free. The idea here is that the stuff in the liquid will loosen the stain, and allow you to remove it.

  1. To begin add a generous amount of hairspray to a clean white cloth.
  2. Use the cloth to dab the marker stain. Color should now lift and transfer to the rag.
  3. When working, use a firm and deliberate motion, and avoid wiping to prevent any chance of spreading.
  4. Repeat as necessary util the stain is gone.
  5. For best results, and to avoid damage, test a hidden area of carpet first to see how it reacts.

Traditional Method # 2

The hurry up and pray method.

This method is all about speed. Those who recommend it believe that if you move quick enough, you can get the stain out before it locks itself in. There is some truth to this, but we don’t always have the luxury of tackling each stain right away, and many go unnoticed for hours, days or weeks. If you have your track shoes on, and you’re hovering like a helicopter over your children, you may be able to act fast enough to clean the stain with regular old soap and water. This method requires both luck and speed to eliminate the grime, so only attempt it with fresh messes on your carpet.

  1. To begin, take a clean cloth and press down to lift up any marker that you can. If still wet, you should be able to get some up before continuing.
  2. Once blotted, any loose pigment should be removed. To tackle the set in portion, use a wet rag with dish soap.
  3. Use your soapy cloth to continue blotting.
  4. Do not rub. Use a firm and deliberate blot to avoid any smearing.
  5. If one area becomes saturated with color, switch to a new spot, and continue working.
  6. Continue cleaning until all color has faded, or lifted away.

Don’t get mad the next time you see a stain on your carpet. Get busy cleaning it, and make it disappear in a matter of minutes. This type of mess is incredibly difficult when using stuff under the sink, or even special products from the store. When you choose Quick N Brite instead, the task will be incredibly simple, and you are sure to get the spot out. With such a powerful tool at your disposal, you won’t have steam pouring out of your ears the next time your child spills something on the carpet.

Products Mentioned

  • Quick N Brite Cleaner – Buy It

Tip Highlights



2 Comments so far.

Use the form below to add your own thoughts or questions. Scroll down to read what other people had to say.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Thank you for your detailed instructions! As a mother of a little boy I’m very interested in that kind of information. I’m going to try it very soon! Thank you again! Greets!

    (0) (0)
    • Hopefully you never need to follow these instructions, but if you have kids, the odds are not in your favor. Luckily, with the right technique, this impossible mess is pretty easy to clean.

      (0) (0)



NEED MORE HELP? HAVE YOUR OWN QUESTION? If you are looking for a tip, but can not find it, use the link below to ask us for help. If the tip on this page helped, but you would like more detail for your specific situation, add a comment in the box above, or use the link below to send it direct. You can also submit your own tip to be published, ask a question about the stuff we sell, or send any other question or comment to our team of experts. We are here to help, and bursting with valuable info, so if you can not find what you are looking for, use these links: Submit A Tip | Ask A Question