What Takes Permanent Marker Off Quartz Countertops?

Permanent marker stains on quartz countertops can be frustrating, but with the right techniques and products, they can be removed. Here are the most effective methods for getting permanent marker off quartz.

Why Is Permanent Marker Difficult to Remove from Quartz?

Quartz countertops are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. This makes them very hard and durable, but also means stains can be difficult to remove.

Permanent marker contains dyes that are designed to permanently bond to surfaces. On porous materials like wood or paper, it soaks in and stains deeply. On non-porous quartz, it bonds tightly to the surface.

Quartz’s resistant finish makes it hard for cleaners to penetrate and break down those bonded dye molecules. Powerful solvents are needed to fully remove permanent marker from quartz.

Effective Products for Removing Permanent Marker from Quartz

Acetone-Based Nail Polish Remover

Acetone is an aggressive solvent that can dissolve and strip away permanent marker stains. Look for 100% pure acetone formulas without additives.

  • Soak a cotton pad or paper towel in the acetone and place it on the marker stain. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the acetone to break down the dye bonds.
  • Rub gently in a circular motion to lift the marker. Reapply as needed for tough stains.
  • Rinse with water and wipe clean afterwards. Acetone can eat away at quartz’s shine, so limit exposure.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Another strong solvent for breaking down permanent marker is isopropyl alcohol, also called rubbing alcohol. Look for 90% or higher solutions.

  • Pour some isopropyl alcohol directly onto the marker stain. Let it sit for several minutes.
  • Use a non-abrasive cloth or sponge to gently rub the area and dissolve the marker.
  • Rinse thoroughly with water and dry the countertop. Repeat as needed for stubborn stains.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Magic erasers use melamine foam to lift dirt and dye from surfaces with just water. With some elbow grease, they can tackle permanent marker on quartz too.

  • Dampen a magic eraser and directly scrub the marker stain. Apply moderate pressure.
  • Wipe clean with a damp cloth. If the stain persists, repeat with a little isopropyl alcohol on the magic eraser.
  • Rinse and dry the countertop after cleaning. Magic erasers can lightly abrade some surfaces.

Other Helpful Tips for Removing Permanent Marker

  • Act quickly! Fresh permanent marker stains are easier to remove. The longer they set, the harder they’ll be to clean.
  • Try a degreasing dish soap like Dawn mixed with warm water first. This can lift some fresh marker stains.
  • Avoid harsh abrasive cleaners or scrub pads. They may scratch or dull quartz’s surface.
  • WD-40 lubricant can also break down permanent marker stains with gentle rubbing.
  • For light ghost stains after cleaning, try a polishing compound made for quartz.

Prevention is Ideal

The best solution is keeping permanent markers away from the countertop to begin with. But accidents happen! With the right cleaning products and techniques, permanent marker can come off quartz surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions About Removing Permanent Marker from Quartz

Should I use bleach to remove permanent marker from quartz?

No, avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals like oven cleaners on quartz countertops. They can damage and discolor the surface. Milder solvents like isopropyl alcohol are safer and effective.

How can I prevent ghost stains after removing permanent marker?

To prevent light marker “ghost” stains, thoroughly rinse and dry the quartz after cleaning. Using a polishing compound made for quartz can also help remove any remaining residue.

Can I use a magic eraser on polished quartz?

Yes, magic erasers are safe for polished quartz but be gentle. Rub lightly to avoid dulling the shine. Limit magic eraser use to prevent subtly scratching the surface over time.

How do I get dried permanent marker stains off?

For dried-on stains, try soaking the area with rubbing alcohol to soften and lift the marker. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes before gently scrubbing. Repeated applications may be needed for stubborn dried marker.

Should I use a sealant on quartz after removing marker stains?

Sealants aren’t necessary, but can add an extra layer of protection. Look for water-based sealants specifically formulated for quartz countertops. Avoid DIY sealants like lacquers or epoxies.


Removing permanent marker stains from quartz countertops is possible with the right solvent products and cleaning methods. Acting quickly on fresh stains will yield the best results. For dried-on permanent marker, be patient and persistent with solvents like isopropyl alcohol or acetone. With some scrubbing, quartz can be restored to its original pristine condition. Handle this tricky cleaning job properly, and you can get rid of that permanent marker for good.