Permanent Marker Stains On Marble

A couple methods work for removing permanent marker stains from marble countertops or tile.

One of the two methods described below will work for cleaning marble stains from any type or color of permanent marker: Magic marker, Sharpie pen, ball-point ink pen, Marks-a-lot and even wax pencils.

The method needed depends on...
  • The quantity and saturation of the marker ink on the surface (i.e. a light line vs. a large thoroughly colored area).

  • Or whether or not it has seeped into the stone below the surface.

How To Remove Permanent Marker Marble Stains

First option: Try soaking the mark with acetone (sometimes rubbing alcohol works better) and then scrub with a non-abrasive nylon pad or brush. The acetone will not harm the stone at all, so no need to worry about that.

In many cases acetone will do the trick to remove ink stains on stone particularly if it is a "light" mark and has not absorbed into the stone.

If acetone (or rubbing alcohol) and scrubbing doesn't remove it, then try the....

Second option: Make a poultice using hydrogen peroxide (preferably 12% variety) as the key ingredient.
  • Mix HP with talc powder (or baking soda) into a thick paste.

  • Apply the paste to the permanent marker stain, cover with plastic wrap, tape down all edges and let sit for a day.

  • Then remove the plastic wrap but don't touch the poultice. Let it sit and dry out completely (usually another day or two).

  • Remove the poultice and check. If the pen mark is not gone, repeat this process until it is.
NOTE: this poultice will not work for all marble stains. Each stain is

For detailed instructions on making a poultice AND for solutions to removing all types of marble stains see the Removing Granite & Marble Stains e-book.

Unfortunately, different stains require different "key" ingredients to remove, but the e-book explains it all in detail.

A few helpful tips:

  • If you have dark marble or stone it's better to make the poultice with acetone (not hydrogen peroxide), but you may have to use the HP if acetone is not effective.

  • Hydrogen peroxide is acidic and may etch (a chemical burn that leaves whitish dull spots... the "water stains" you noted) marble, travertine and limestone surfaces (but not granite). However, this may be the only way to remove the permanent marker stains... and etching can be rather easily repaired. (see below)

  • You may have to apply the poultice several times to get an ink stain out, so be patient and keep at it.

  • These methods for removing a permanent marker stain work on any type of finish (or stone for that matter): honed marble, polished marble countertops, tumbled marble tile, travertine tile, granite, etc.

If etching occurs use the ETCH REMOVER / Marble Polishing Paste on polished marble tile and slabs (and polished travertine tile or limestone).

For honed or tumbled marble, travertine or limestone a different method is required (no product available to apply). You must essentially sand the surface to repair the etching. The procedure is fully explained in the Removing Etch Marks e-book.

Hopefully you won't etch the surface removing the permanent marker stains on your marble, but at least you'll know how to handle it. And knowledge is really the key when cleaning marble. It isn't difficult... just different.

Comments for Permanent Marker Stains On Marble

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Toothpaste Worked
by: Anonymous

Oh horror black felt-tip on my new white and grey worktops. Googled it and found that toothpaste works. It took a lot of rubbing but it slowly faded.

==== Countertop Specialty:

Thanks for sharing! Glad you got the permanent marker stains off your marble and that the toothpaste worked without any additional damage.

Something to consider... the vast varieties of toothpaste available on the market means many may have additives that could damage the finish of marble.

Websites that focus on cleaning, in general, provide great solutions that are effective for many surfaces.

But marble is sensitive and requires specific care. Most "cleaning" websites and even some stone professionals do not know the proper or most effective methods for marble care and repair.

I've often come across websites suggesting methods for care or cleaning of natural stone that are either potentially damaging or just wrong and ineffective.

There are many myths about natural stone that get passed around so much that the average consumer searching for answers will think the information is correct when, in fact, it is not.

Again, great the toothpaste worked. However, many personal care products will etch marble.

Using our recommended methods above in this article for removing ink and permanent marker stains is proven effective and safe.

Acetone and/or rubbing alcohol will remove the ink but will never damage marble or any natural stone.

Yooooooo Worked!
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much. I was stupidly playing with a Sharpie on my parents brand new state of the art marble countertops and I obviously got some pen on there.

And I was panicking but then I was like, "holdup I’m living in 2019. Just google it" and then I found this tip and it literally saved my life.

No one ever found out and the rubbing alcohol didn’t even effect it... so thanks

by: Anonymous

Thank you so much! I was home alone and I accidentally got sharpie on the marble countertops! I put rubbing alcohol on a sponge and scrubbed over the stain. It worked within a couple of scrubs!! Thanks so much!

This works excellent on light color marble
by: Anonymous

Hydrogen peroxide + baking soda paste - Glop thickly onto stain - hold in place with plastic wrap and masking tape - dry for a day - voila!! IT WORKS.

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