How To Get Permanent Marker Off Granite Countertops: 3 Easy Methods

Permanent markers have an almost magical ability to end up on just about every surface in the house, and if you have granite countertops it can be crucial to know how to get permanent marker off granite countertops properly.

The best way to remove permanent marker from granite countertops is to use either hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol or baking soda paste. Using the wrong solution can result in damage to the countertop, as well as not actually removing the permanent marker in the first place.

In this article, we will take you through the step by step methods for each solution, as well as which cleaning agents you should avoid using on your marble countertops to keep them free from damage.

3 Easy Methods For Removing Permanent Marker From Granite Countertops

We’ve listed 3 methods that are all effective in removing the permanent marker so that you can choose whichever is most convenient to you.

1. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol will not only make quick work of the permanent marker stain, but it will also kill any fungus and virus on the surface as long as it is over 70% (don’t worry, it usually is!).

All you need to do is apply the rubbing alcohol directly to the marker stain and then rub gently with a cloth and it should be quickly removed.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

Hydrogen peroxide is a good option if you want a heavy-duty cleaner with a very high chance of removing any permanent marker stain.

Simply apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the area and wipe thoroughly with a cloth as before to tackle any marker stain, but don’t make it a regular occurrence as hydrogen peroxide can begin to damage granite over time and repeated use.

3. Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda is an easy option that won’t cause any damage to the granite’s surface. It might not remove old marker stains, but it’s an easy option to try on fresh marks.

To use baking soda, simply mix water with the baking soda in a 1 to 1 ratio and mix until a consistent paste is formed. After this, apply the paste to the marker stain and scrub with a soft cloth.

Once the stain is removed rinse the area with water and dry with a rag or old towel.

For particularly stubborn stains you can leave the paste on the area for 30 minutes to an hour before rinsing it away. You can use cling film to secure the paste while you let it work on the stain.

What To Avoid

Not every cleaning agent or product will remove permanent marker, and some can actually cause damage to the granite surface.

Cooking Oil

Cooking oil is suggested for removing permanent marker from laminate countertops, but it is unfortunately not well-suited for granite.

Although it can actually be used to remove some stains from granite in very small amounts, it causes stains itself when used excessively. In order for cooking oil to be effective against the permanent marker it has to soak for 5 to 10 minutes, which means the oil would stain anyway.


Some websites recommend using toothpaste to remove permanent marker stains from walls, and this can work to some extent.

Toothpaste is not suitable for granite, however. This is for two main reasons:

  • Toothpaste is acidic, meaning it can etch away at the sealant used on the granite.
  • Toothpaste can also stain granite quite easily due to this.

Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover works incredibly well for permanent marker stains on granite countertops, but it also works just as well for removing the sealant used on the majority of them as well.

Although some nail polish removers use rubbing alcohol – one of our recommended methods from earlier – it is not the main ingredient and nail polish remover is much more aggressive.

It is quite concerning to see just how many people recommend this as a solution for removing permanent marker when it will only make things worse.


Bleach is found in pretty much every home, and you may be quick to start using it on a permanent marker stain – after all, bleach can get rid of pretty much everything, right?

While bleach may be able to remove the marker, it also interacts with the sealant used on graphite countertops which can cause damage. Avoid using bleach-based sprays as well, such as Lysol or other similar products, for the same reason.

Distilled White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is something that we recommend using for loads of cleaning jobs around the house, such as removing mold from refrigerators or cleaning laminate flooring.

Unfortunately, it isn’t suited for use on granite countertops due to its acidity.

Final Thoughts

Use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide using the method laid out in this article and you should have no problems removing permanent marker from your granite countertop.

It’s a lot more simple than you would think, but be careful to use the right cleaning products as some of them can damage the surface.