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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I agree, it takes a lot of experimentation, to find what works.
Good to know to keep my grandkids artwork off my walls.
This is very helpful my grandson had written on my walls and this helped thank you
Great article, that is one thing I did not have to worry about, my girls never drew on the walls
I have never thought to try bread on the walls. I’m curious to try this and see if it works.
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!
I am so happy I came across this post, these are all neat tips for getting stubborn ink off from walls.
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.
It’s always a great idea to have cleaning ideas around when you run a home daycare!! The kids are always getting into something!