Can Fabric Markers Be Washed? (Checked)

Fabric markers give you a way to paint on your fabric without using your typical fabric paint and brush.

This can be especially useful if you are trying to paint thin or precise lines.

Can fabric markers be washed?

Fabric markers contain permanent colors that are made from dyes, paint, and even ink, and are resistant to bleeding or coming out in the wash. However, make sure you see a label on your markers that identify them as washable for best results.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about using fabric markers and how to keep the designs looking strong!

Are Fabric Markers Typically Washable?

Because fabric markers are designed to paint on fabric, they are resistant to coming out or bleeding in the washing machine.

Fabric markers contain permanent color using either a dye, paint, or even ink. If you are looking for an alternative, you could also use permanent markers to create designs on fabric.

The drawback to this method is that fabric markers come in a wider variety of colors, and you will be more limited in color choices going with permanent markers instead.

You could also look into using paint pens. This will also offer you a chance to decorate your fabric without worrying about the color washing out.

All of these three types of marker choices will typically not wash out when you wash the fabric item.

Make sure when you are buying whatever utensil you choose, that you are not getting a washable marker, as those will wash out and can ruin your design.

How Do I Know if my Markers are Waterproof?

Markers should be marked if they are washable, and you can check before you buy them, but this is not always the case.

If you have markers, and you want to know if they are waterproof before you spend precious time on a design only to have it washed out, there is something you can do to test the markers yourself.

The easiest way to test and see if your marker is waterproof is to take a test swatch of fabric and draw on it using the marker in question. Then you will either submerge your test swatch in water or scrub your test swatch with a brush full of water.

If the marker bleeds or runs, then it is not waterproof.

A general rule to know is that water-based markers are normally not waterproof, but alcohol-based markers are.

How Do You Get Washable Fabric Markers out of Fabric?

If you are using a permanent marker or other marker designed to not wash out of clothes, it can be difficult to remove, but not necessarily impossible.

If you made a mistake and got one of these types of markers on your clothing that you didn’t want to design, there are a few methods you can use to try to get it out.

These methods include:

Rubbing Alcohol:

Rubbing alcohol is a great way to get rid of permanent marker stains for multiple types of surfaces and materials.

To use it to try to get marker out of fabric, you will:

  1. Place the stain face down on paper towels.
  2. Use a cloth or a sponge dipped in rubbing alcohol and dab it around the stain first.
  3. After you have dabbed all the way around the stain, you will want to dab directly on the stain.
  4. You should see the ink transfer from the fabric to the paper towel.
  5. Change the paper towel often so that it is able to absorb the color.
  6. When the stain is gone, wash your clothes in the washing machine.

After this, your clothing should hopefully be stain free.


Hairspray is also a tool that you can use to remove ink or permanent marker from your clothing.

However, with new hairspray formulas, this is not as effective as it used to be.

When shopping for the hairspray to try to remove marker, you will want to find a cheap one that has a high alcohol content. The alcohol in the hairspray is what you need to get the stain out. It is also more effective to find a hairspray with a pump instead of a spray nozzle.

Similar to the rubbing alcohol, you will want to place the stained clothing on top of paper towels. Soak a cotton ball with the spray and press firmly on the stain. Repeatedly blot the stain as needed.

You should see the marker stick to a cotton ball. Keep doing this until the stain comes out, replacing the cotton ball as needed.

When you are finished with the stain removal, wash your clothes in your washing machine.


Milk might not be what first comes to mind when you think of removing stains, but it can help to eliminate ink and marker stains.

This is the easiest process of the three options.

To work with milk, you will simply place the clothing in a bowl and fill it with enough milk that will fully cover the stain.

Soak the clothing overnight, repeat as needed with fresh milk.

Wash your clothing in the washing machine when you are done.

Do Crayola Fabric Markers Wash Off?

Crayola fabric markers are similar to other fabric markers and are permanent for your clothes, just like any other fabric marker would.

Other Crayola markers are normally washable and will easily come out of your fabric.

These markers are commonly found in the craft aisle and are the best option for small children since it is easy to wash them out of clothing or off of other surfaces.

What is the Best Way to Temporarily Mark Fabric?

There are a few ways that you can temporarily mark your fabric.

Something as simple as using a light pencil will work.

If you are looking for the best solution, though, you will want to use a marking pencil or marker used for fabric.

This can be found in the sewing section of your local craft store, and you can make very visible marks that will wipe off with even a small amount of water and leave no trace.

How Do You Fix Fabric Marker Mistakes?

Fixing fabric marker mistakes is similar to trying to get fabric markers out of your clothing.

If you notice the mistake right away, you will want to make sure you fix it right away.

Applying a small amount of rubbing alcohol immediately would be the best way to try to fix mistakes when they happen.

If you allow the mistake to set, it will be much harder to get out, and even more difficult to spot correct without ruining your entire design.

You could also always embrace your mistakes or go over them with another and darker marker.