How to Remove Permanent Marker From a Car Seat

by Lane Cummings

Permanent marker is one of the hardest stains to remove from any material. The key to removing such stains is to act quickly before the stain has time to set or soak further into the material. You may have to try more than one method, depending on the size of the stain and the material affected. Trying the suggestions below may keep you from having to seek the care of a car upholstery professional.


Blot the stain with a paper towel or dry cloth. Don't rub the stain, as it will most likely smear into a larger area.


Spray hairspray directly onto the permanent marker stain. Allow it to soak into the stain for a few minutes.


Wipe the stain with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel. Repeat Step 2 as necessary, though be sure that when you wipe it clean the paper towel or cloth is absolutely pristine to prevent contaminating it again.


Use rubbing alcohol as an alternative method. Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and softly rub it against the stain. Repeat as necessary and repeat with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel.


Try using a small amount of turpentine if your car seats are leather. After blotting the stain, dampen a cloth or paper towel with small amount of turpentine and rub it gently but firmly against the marker stains.

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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."

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