How to Clean Marker Off Walls and Hard Surfaces

I actually wrote a completely different post for today, but this morning I woke up to a surprise. My 3-year-old created a masterpiece! Since bedroom walls are not the proper canvas for my little Picasso, we had to remove it.

When I texted my friends a picture, they all told me to just paint over it, but fortunately (or unfortunately) I have experience with this type of disaster, and know how to get it off. Luckily for all of you, her work inspired this post that I hope you never need. If you ever wake up to such a special sight, here is how you can clean marker off walls and hard surfaces. 


First: Clean it up immediately. Time is against you. The longer it sits, the harder it will be to remove. I’m guessing she colored the wall behind her headboard last night and the other wall this morning because the headboard wall was a lot harder to clean. You can see in the picture below that I’m going to have to go over that wall again.


Second: Gather your supplies. I keep these items on hand at all times. Here is what you need:

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers cut in half

Damp cloth or towel

Rubbing alcohol

Paper towels

Elbow grease and patience


Third: Let’s get to work. Cut your magic erasers in half. For some reason, two halves last longer than one whole. It’s one of those mysteries of the universe. You can also hand the other half to the perpetrator, I mean, artist, and let her help clean up the mess. Dampen your magic eraser and start scrubbing. Use the damp towel to clean up the smeared ink and catch drips. Scrub, scrub, and scrub some more. Wipe, wipe, and wipe again. The type of paint you are cleaning also makes a difference. The shinier the paint, the easier to clean.

I can hear you now. “Why don’t you keep your markers put up where she can’t get them?” Well I do. I did. That worked until the older kids started buying contraband in the classroom store with their pretend class money. They come home with all kinds of goodies like markers, Play-doh, glue, stickers, glitter, scissors and anything else that can damage and deface, and I don’t even know it’s here! Until I do. I’m sabotaged daily. Anyway, back to scrubbing.

If your marker or ink problem is on a hard surface like a countertop or stone hearth, rubbing alcohol will clean it right up. It can also be used for spot cleaning on a wall, but much more than that and it takes paint off and can make it gummy. Magic erasers work much better. I also wouldn’t use alcohol on wood or anything that has a treated surface. Always test an inconspicuous spot to be sure.

So there you have it, my morning adventure. We got it all cleaned up, and it’s like it never happened. Has your little sweetheart surprised you with a masterpiece? Do you have any great tips for removing marker?


4 thoughts on “How to Clean Marker Off Walls and Hard Surfaces”

  1. Your youngest is quite the artist! ????

    Magic erasers are the best. I hadn’t thought about cutting them in half. Thanks for the tip!

    1. Sadly this isn’t her first time. She is so petite, and even though she’s approaching 4, she looks like she’s 2, approaching 3. I’ve gotten caught in the baby trap. Because she is my youngest and last, I treat her differently than my other kids at that age, and I need to snap out of it. Yesterday she got consequences she hasn’t in the past. I emptied her room of everything but her bed and dresser. All of her special toys and things are put up for now. Shame on me, but we all slip at times.

      You’ll have to let me know if cutting your magic erasers in half makes them last longer the way they do for me.

  2. I always cut my magic erasers too! Sometimes I’ll even cut them into fourths if I have stubborn spots on my stove or something and just need a small piece. I don’t really feel like they work/last well after a good scrub so I’d rather just toss them after a clean up.

    1. I’ll have to try cutting it in fourths. They are gross once they are used. I don’t seem to have small messes around here, but it could happen. Maybe when they all leave for college 🙂

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