How to Remove Highlighter: Tips and Tricks

Highlighters are great tools for marking important passages or lines of text in books, papers and other documents. However, we all know the frustration of accidentally highlighting the wrong text or marking up an important document. Luckily, there are various methods to remove highlighter stains from paper, clothes, and other surfaces. In this article, you will learn some practical tips and tricks on how to remove highlighter stains like a pro.

Removing Highlighter Stains from Paper

Highlighter marks on paper can be quite tricky to remove, especially if they have been left to sit for a long time. Here are some tips to help you remove highlighter stains from paper:

1. Erase it

If the highlighter stain is fresh, you may be able to erase it using a good quality pencil eraser. Be gentle with the paper and make sure you don’t tear it while erasing the stain. This method is best used for small stain areas.

2. Blot it with a sponge

You can try using a soft sponge dampened with water to dab at the highlighter stain. Make sure you avoid rubbing the stain as this will make it worse. Dabbing helps to loosen the stain and also helps to absorb most of the color. This method is best used for large or heavy stains.

3. Use rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a popular choice when it comes to removing highlighter stains from paper. Soak a cotton ball or swab with rubbing alcohol and gently dab at the stain. The alcohol works to break down and dissolve the marker ink. This method is great for small and large stain areas but may take a few passes to entirely eradicate the stain.

Removing Highlighter Stains from Clothes

Highlighter stains on clothes can be a nuisance, but with the right approach, they can be removed easily. Follow these tips to remove highlighter stains:

1. Rinse with cold water

Rinsing the stain with cold water is the first step to take when removing highlighter stains from clothes. This helps to loosen the stain and prevent it from setting. After rinsing the stain, you can then gently dab at it with a soft sponge or cloth.

2. Apply vinegar

Vinegar is a natural stain remover that works great on highlighter stains. Mix one tablespoon of vinegar with two cups of water and apply the solution to the stain. Let it soak for a few minutes, then rinse with cold water. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.

3. Use dish soap

If vinegar is not available, you can use dish soap to remove highlighter stains from clothes. Mix a small amount of dish soap with water and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse with cold water. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.

Removing Highlighter Stains from Other Surfaces

Highlighter stains can also find their way onto other surfaces like carpets, walls, and furniture. Here’s how to remove them:

1. Use baking soda and water

If the highlighter stain is on a carpet or rug, you can use baking soda and water to remove it. Mix a small amount of baking soda with water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the stain and let it dry. Once it’s dry, vacuum up the residue. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.

2. Apply hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful cleaning agent that can be used to remove highlighter stains from furniture and walls. Apply the peroxide to a soft cloth and dab at the stain until it disappears. Be sure to rinse the area with water after you’re done.

3. Use a Magic Eraser

The Magic Eraser is a great tool for removing highlighter stains from any surface. Wet the Magic Eraser with water and gently scrub at the stain. Rinse the area with water once you’re done.

Tips to Prevent Highlighter Stains

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to highlighter stains. Here are some tips to help you prevent highlighter stains:

1. Always cap the highlighter

Make sure you always cap the highlighter when you’re not using it. This helps to protect the tip and prevents the ink from leaking or drying out.

2. Test the highlighter before use

Before highlighting important documents or papers, always test the highlighter on a small section to make sure it won’t bleed through to the other side or cause any damage.

3. Be gentle with your highlights

Apply a gentle hand when highlighting and avoid pressing too hard, as this can cause the ink to bleed through the paper or cloth.


Removing highlighter stains is not a difficult task when you know the right methods to use. Whether it’s on paper, clothes or other surfaces, there’s always a way to remove the stain effectively. With these tips and tricks, you can keep your highlighter in check and keep your documents and surfaces clean and clear.


  • Q: Can you remove highlighter stains from all types of paper?
  • A: No, some types of paper are more porous than others, and the ink may have already soaked into the paper fibers. In such cases, it may be impossible to completely remove the stain without damaging the paper.
  • Q: Can highlighter stains be removed from clothes in the washing machine?
  • A: Yes, you can try washing the clothes in cold water with detergent that’s meant for removing stains. Make sure you follow the care instructions on the clothing labels.
  • Q: Should I blot or rub the stain when removing highlighter stains?
  • A: It’s always best to blot the stain gently rather than rubbing it. Rubbing can make the stain worse and may cause it to spread.
  • Q: Can I use hairspray to remove highlighter stains?
  • A: Yes, you can use hairspray as a last resort if other methods have failed. Spray the hairspray on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before blotting it off with a soft cloth.


1. How to remove highlighter from paper,
2. Removing highlighter from clothes and fabric,
3. How to remove highlighter from walls and other surfaces,

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