Here are 3 tried-and-true ways to remove permanent marker from wood furniture

Kids do the darndest things — like writing with permanent marker on your new wooden table.

Instead of putting stamps on their foreheads and mailing them to grandma, tackle the stain. Fortunately, you can remove permanent marker using these ordinary household products: alcohol, toothpaste and/or hairspray.


TODAY tested each of these to see which worked best to remove permanent marker from a wooden TV tray. Good news! All did the job, removing 98 percent of the marker. Here’s what worked:


Wet a cotton make-up remover pad with alcohol. Using a blotting motion, work the stain. Rubbing too hard may smear the ink and create a bigger area to clean. It also could dull the varnish. Repeat as needed using a clean pad.

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The best choice here is baking soda toothpaste because it’s gently more abrasive. If you don’t have that, just add a little soda to your regular toothpaste. Never use gel toothpaste, however, because it won't work. Apply a nice amount of toothpaste to a dry cotton make-up remover pad. Rub lightly, going with the grain of the wood. Repeat as needed. (TODAY had to apply the toothpaste a couple of times.)

Aerosol hair spray

After we worked on the stain with toothpaste and alcohol, a bit of the marker still remained. It was faint but still there. We could have easily removed it with a little more alcohol or toothpaste, but we tried hair spray too and it did the trick.

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For best results, tackle the stain as soon as possible and test each product in an inconspicuous place first.

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