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Can Fabric Markers Be Washed? Find Out Here (2023)

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can fabric markers be washedAre you looking for a way to add some personality and unique flair to your clothing? Fabric markers may be the perfect solution. But one burning question remains: can fabric markers be washed? The answer is yes, as long as they are labeled water-resistant or waterproof.

In this article, we’ll explore all the different types of fabric markers available, how best to care for them after use, and even find out which ones are most effective when it comes to creating lasting designs on fabrics that can withstand frequent washing cycles.

So if you’re ready for an in-depth look at the world of fabric painting with permanent ink – let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • There are two main types of fabric markers: permanent and washable.
  • Washable fabric markers use water-soluble ink and are designed to be washable.
  • Proper drying time (24-72 hours) and heat-setting with ironing enhance the durability of fabric markers.
  • Fabric composition, drying time, and care methods (such as gentle washing cycles and cold water) impact the permanence of fabric marker ink.

Are Fabric Markers Washable?

Are Fabric Markers Washable
Wondering if that t-shirt customization will hold up after laundering? The answer depends on the type of markers used. Fabric markers come in two main categories: permanent and washable. Permanent fabric markers use ink or dye that doesn’t wash out, making your designs resilient against washing machine cycles and bleeding.

On the other hand, washable fabric markers use water-soluble ink, which can easily wash out when exposed to water. To ensure the longevity of your fabric marker art, consider the fabric type you’re working with.

Cotton and canvas fabrics tend to absorb ink well, reducing the risk of bleeding. Proper drying time, typically recommended at 24-72 hours, prevents ink from smudging or running.

When washing fabric marker-decorated items, opt for a gentle washing cycle and mild detergent, using cold water for the first wash, although warm water can also be used. To further enhance durability, you can iron or heat-set the fabric design, although it’s optional and depends on the marker’s characteristics.

Keep in mind that the care and handling methods, as well as the brand of fabric markers you choose, can also affect washability and the longevity of your designs.

So, with the right techniques and fabric marker brands, your creations can withstand regular washing.

How to Determine if Fabric Markers Are Waterproof?

How to Determine if Fabric Markers Are Waterproof
Moving on from discussing the washability of fabric markers in general, let’s talk about determining if specific fabric markers are waterproof.

Here are three tips for testing waterproofness:

  1. Check the manufacturer’s label for indications of waterproof or permanent.
  2. Take a small fabric swatch and draw on it with the marker. Hold the swatch under running water to see if the ink bleeds or smears.
  3. Use the marker to make a stain on a scrap piece of fabric. Try to remove the stain with water, soap, or rubbing alcohol.

The most foolproof way is to actually test the markers yourself, since labels aren’t always accurate. Pre-washing your fabric is also wise to reduce bleeding risk when decorating with markers, even if they are labeled waterproof.

Following the manufacturer’s care instructions is key for getting the maximum life from your fabric marker designs.

Methods for Removing Washable Fabric Marker Stains

Methods for Removing Washable Fabric Marker Stains
Fabric markers come in washable varieties that can accidentally stain clothing. A quick solution exists by using rubbing alcohol, hairspray containing alcohol, or soaking in milk to lift stubborn washable fabric marker stains.

Rubbing Alcohol

You can remove those stubborn leftover water-based fabric marker spots by dabbing rubbing alcohol on the stain. Gently rub the alcohol into the fabric, focusing on the stained areas. Check after 1-2 minutes.

Reapply and rub more as needed until the stain disappears. Avoid excessive rubbing to prevent fabric damage.


Hairspray with a high alcohol content can also help you lift those stubborn marker stains from clothes.

  1. Spray hairspray directly onto the stain.
  2. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Scrub the stain with an old toothbrush.
  4. Launder the fabric as usual.

The alcohol in hairspray breaks down marker ink, making it easier to remove. Remember to test it on an inconspicuous area first.


Soaking stained clothing in milk can get rid of ink and marker stains. The casein protein in milk acts as a stain remover by dissolving fabric marker ink. Simply submerge the stained fabric in cold milk and soak for 5-10 minutes. Then, rinse thoroughly with cold water and launder as usual with a mild detergent.

The milk method is an effective natural solution for eliminating those pesky marker stains.

Can Crayola Fabric Markers Be Washed Off?

Can Crayola Fabric Markers Be Washed Off
Check it – their classic markers bleed, but Crayola’s specially made fabric ones’ll stay vibrant through the wash. Unlike most markers that’d stain your clothes, Crayola’s fabric-safe offerings feature vivid hues made to last.

They’re specially formulated with high-pigment, bleed-resistant ink that’ll adhere as you create your fabric artistry.

While not entirely indelible, these markers are designed to endure machine cycles without fading or bleeding excessively. As a fabric-safe marker leader, Crayola’s washable fabric choices stand out. However, mistakes happen; should staining occur, promptly treat the fabric with stain removers or solvents while the ink’s still fresh.

Overall, Crayola’s specialty fabric markers differ from their regular ones, boasting brilliant washable color that’ll elevate your fabric creations. Just remember quick action for any oopsies, and those vibrant hues will keep rocking washes without losing their pop.

Best Techniques for Temporary Fabric Marking

Best Techniques for Temporary Fabric Marking
You’d be wise to reach for a marking pencil or fabric marker when in need of temporary fabric marking. There are effective techniques like using a water-soluble fabric pencil for pattern transfers and a water-soluble marker for minor alterations.

When marking, remember:

  • Test markers first on a fabric swatch.
  • Avoid overly saturating the fabric.
  • Allow adequate drying time before washing.

Following manufacturer guidelines for your chosen marking method helps ensure a clean removal.

With care, temporary fabric markers enable adjusting garment fit or creating design guides that completely wash away after serving their purpose.

How to Correct Mistakes Made With Fabric Markers

How to Correct Mistakes Made With Fabric Markers
Instead of stewing over the mistake, dab it quickly with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.

  • Dab rubbing alcohol on the mistake right away before it sets.
  • Use a darker marker to cover light mistakes.
  • Blend and shade markers for an ombre effect.

Embrace mistakes as part of the design. Add details to transform mistakes into something new.

With some creativity, correcting fabric marker mistakes can lead to an improved, more artistic design. View mistakes as happy accidents and opportunities for growth when decorating fabrics.

How to Care for and Wash Clothes With Fabric Markers

How to Care for and Wash Clothes With Fabric Markers
Let the fabric markers dry completely before tossing your decorated shirt in the wash to prevent any ink from bleeding. Test washability by dabbing the ink with water before use. Permanent ink won’t smear.

Check fabric marker labels for specific wash and care instructions. Consider prewashing fabric before decorating for best absorption.

Following proper care and washing methods will help your fabric marker designs last longer. Permanent fabric marker stains require alcohol or heat setting. For longevity, allow fabric marker ink 24-72 hours to fully bond before washing.

Handle decorated items gently, inside-out on gentle cycles. Avoid direct heat exposure when drying.

With the right fabrics and care, fabric marker creations can withstand many wears and washes.

Longevity of Fabric Markers on Different Fabrics

Longevity of Fabric Markers on Different Fabrics
Consider testing fabric markers on a swatch before decorating your favorite tee. Ink absorption rates and washability differ by fabric. Densely woven cotton and canvas hold color well with minimal bleeding. Polyester and nylon may lead to uneven ink distribution.

Frequent washing can diminish marker vibrancy over time. Handle decorated items with care; friction may smear ink while drying.

Air dry shirts inside out, away from direct sunlight. Heat setting provides added protection. For best longevity, follow individual marker instructions per fabric type. Gentle cycles, cold water, and low drying heat extend decorative designs.

Thoughtful handling and laundering preserve your personalized fabric creations.


It’s clear that fabric markers can be a great way to add an extra pop of color to any fabric item! But before you get started, it’s important to understand if your fabric markers can be washed.

Generally, fabric markers come in two varieties: permanent and washable. Permanent fabric markers contain permanent ink or dye that doesn’t wash out, while washable fabric markers are water-soluble and can easily wash out.

To make sure your fabric marker design lasts, it’s important to use the correct fabric, prewash the fabric, and allow the fabric marker design to dry for 24-72 hours before washing.

Knowing how to care for your fabric markers and the fabrics you’re using them on can ensure that your beautiful fabric marker designs last a lifetime!

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.