Home » Home and Garden » How To Clean Ink Off Walls

How To Clean Ink Off Walls

A child’s drawings with pen or marker are priceless on paper, but not so treasured on the wall. Here are some tips on how to clean ink off walls and getting the artwork off permanent display.

How To Clean Ink Off WallsPin
Young boy caught by his mother painting the wall

Help for Removing Ink Stains From the Wall

Hopefully kids were using the less toxic and easier to clean water-based markers when they added their artistic license to the clean wall. If they got a hold of a permanent or water proof marker, the job will prove trickier.

Like most stains, the quicker you find and attempt to remove ink from a marker or pen, the more likely it is to come completely clean. As they work, they’ll want to watch for drips that can stain the wall.

Help for Cleaning Ink Marks Without Damaging the Wall


One interesting way to attack a pen mark is bread. You can ball a slice and rub it on the mark like an eraser. It may not affect the toughest stains, but it’s worth trying since it’s unlikely to hurt the wall.

Dishwasher soap and colour-safe bleach

Stains from water-based markers can also be tackled with dishwasher soap mixed with colour-safe bleach. Just because the markers are water-based doesn’t mean there’ll be no scrubbing involved though. And, even though the dish soap isn’t abrasive to paint finish, vigorous scrubbing or a rough rag might leave its mark.

Baby Wipes

Some marker and pen marks can be wiped clean with baby wipes. Parents of infants or toddlers who have a stash handy can give them a try.

Advice on More Aggressive Household Products to Remove Ink From Walls

White Toothpaste (non-gel)

The next option you might consider is a non-gel, white toothpaste, an old tooth brush, and some elbow grease. Toothpaste will definitely lighten most marker stains. You can also sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and scrub the area. They’ll want to keep in mind that even though the toothpaste and baking soda are relatively gentle, vigorous scrubbing may damage the finish on the walls.


Next, you can try spraying the marked area with WD-40, allowing it to soak in and then scrubbing with an old toothbrush. If the mark remains, they should repeat this step and add a bit of dish washing detergent.

Rubbing alcohol and Acetone-based products

Some stronger household products you can use to remove ink marks are rubbing alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Acetone-based products such as liquid hairspray and nail polish remover also work well. The only problem is that these products are tough. If they can remove the marker, they’re likely to take off a little paint as well. You will definitely want to experiment with them on a portion of the wall that’s out of sight or a scrap of wall paper before fully committing. If the results look better than your child’s artwork, you can spray a little on the damaged surface and blot with a white rag.

Magic Eraser

For walls that are painted in white or off-white colours, I use the Magic Eraser to remove ink stains. I find this product leaves a residue, so you need to clean the spot you use it on the wall after. Also, if you apply the Magic Eraser on a wall painted with a dark colour, it will remove some of the paint colour, so I don’t recommend it.

How To Clean Ink Off WallsPin

Helpful Tips on How To Clean Ink Off Walls

Several cleaning methods on how to clean ink off walls will remove ink stains, but may also damage the finish or remove paint. You will want to experiment with each idea on an inconspicuous portion of the wall before diving in. Also, since there are several methods for cleaning pen stains and some are more aggressive than others, a good piece of advice is to start with those least likely to damage the paint or wallpaper. If worst comes to worst, and you have too much ink from makers or pen on the wall, repaint it!

Lyne Proulx
Lyne Proulxhttps://ottawamommyclub.ca/
Lyne Proulx is a Certified WEBB Bodywork Pet Practitioner, Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI), Certified Professional Wedding Consultant, and an Event Planner. She loves all things Disney and is an avid teaholic and chocoholic. She coordinated the Annual Infant Information Day/Early Years Expo for the City of Ottawa for 8 years. She was the Queen B of the BConnected Conference, Canada's Digital Influencer and social media Conference in Ottawa and Toronto. She was also the co-chair of the Navan for Kraft Hockeyville 2009-2011 committee that organized five community events within 6 months, and helped Navan reach the top 10 finalists in Canada. In April 2011, she received the City of Ottawa Mayor's City Builder Award.

Join the Ottawa Mommy Club Newsletter

* indicates required

Related Posts


  1. This reminds me of when my son was 3 and decided to draw a spiderman web in red marker on the wall the day before we were moving.

  2. Hold up, this is the first time I heard that you can use bread as a cleaning tool?? Now, I actually want my daughter to mark the walls with a marker just to see if I can actually clean it off with a piece of bread!

  3. Good tips! When the kiddos were little, we created a chalkboard and “dry erase” wall for them. It somewhat corralled them into a singular area and saved the other walls.

  4. It’s always a great idea to have cleaning ideas around when you run a home daycare!! The kids are always getting into something!

    Mishelle G


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected


Recent Stories

Share to...