How to remove Posca pen paint from fabric, plastic, leather, and more

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I think I speak for most crafters when I say we don’t always get it right the first time around.

That’s why I wanted to share some tips on how to remove Posca pen paint from different materials, whether you’ve made a boo-boo or are looking to reuse surfaces as a clean slate.

Luckily, the solutions in this tutorial are straightforward and inexpensive — all you’ll need are a few household items to get the job done.

Looking to slap on some Posca paint instead? Check out our guides on how to use Posca pens for beginners and what to draw with Posca markers!

Affiliate disclosure: Articles on Tiny Workshops may contain affiliate links.

How to remove Posca pen paint

In most cases, the best way to remove Posca pen paint from surfaces is rubbing alcohol.

Other tricks include using lukewarm soapy water, acetone (nail polish remover), vinegar with baking soda, window cleaner, and even hand sanitizer.

After trying to remove Posca paint from different surfaces a couple of times, these are the solutions that have worked best for me:

  • Fabric/clothes: rubbing alcohol, vinegar with baking soda, hairspray
  • Leather: rubbing alcohol
  • Plastic: rubbing alcohol, soapy water, window cleaner
  • Ceramic: rubbing alcohol, soapy water
  • Glass: rubbing alcohol, window cleaner
  • Metal: rubbing alcohol

Can you remove Posca pen paint once it’s dry?

In short, Posca paint can be removed once it’s dry. But there’s a catch: it can be a bit of a pain.

Although Posca markers are permanent, removing fresh or recently dried paint is doable. However, this doesn’t always apply to paint that’s been dry for days or weeks. 

Overall, materials like glass and smooth metal are the easiest to remove Posca paint from, no matter how long the paint has been set. Others, like fabric and some plastics, will be more challenging to get rid of.  

And if you’re wondering how to remove Posca pen paint from paper, canvas, or cardstock, my honest advice is to start over (unless the paint is entirely wet); repeated friction will damage your surfaces.  

When experimenting at first, always consider the possibility of redos and errors — doing a spot test before taking on your final project is a helpful way to avoid mishaps. 

Below, I’ve lined up a few effective solutions based on personal experience. However, the best way to determine what’s right for you is to test them out yourself!

Check out our test results for how long Posca paint takes to dry to learn more about how these pens dry on different materials.

How to remove Posca pen from fabric and clothes

How to remove Posca pen paint from fabric and clothes
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Knowing how to remove Posca pen paint from different fabrics can take a while.

What’s important to know is that once on fabric, Posca paint dries very quickly and will be difficult to remove manually. That’s why I advise machine washing your items several times after applying the solutions mentioned below. 

Just remember to follow the washing guidelines per fabric type to maintain the integrity of your clothes. Here are a few ideas that work with denim!

Rubbing alcohol

How to remove Posca paint from denim with alcohol
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)
  1. Fill a bowl with lukewarm water
  2. Soak some paper towels in the water and blot the painted area
  3. Soak a cotton ball or disc in rubbing alcohol
  4. Dab on the painted area
  5. Repeat until the ink has faded
  6. Soak fabric in lukewarm water with ~2 tbsp of laundry detergent (1 hr. approx.)
  7. Machine wash your item (cold water) and air dry
  8. Repeat this process as many times as needed

Vinegar and baking soda

Removing Posca pen paint from denim with vinegar and baking soda
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)
  1. Soak a paper towel in lukewarm water and blot the painted area
  2. Pour baking soda generously on the wet areas
  3. When baking soda is entirely dry, dust it off (repeat if the stain is still very visible)
  4. Mix 1 part white vinegar + 1 part lukewarm water in a bowl
  5. Spray or blot the solution onto the fabric
  6. Let it rest for 30 minutes
  7. Throw your item in the washing machine and let it air-dry
  8. Repeat as many times as necessary

Note that it’s crucial to apply the mix when it’s bubbly.

Hairspray

How to remove Posca pen from fabric with hairspray
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshop)
  1. Blot a wet cloth on painted areas
  2. Apply hairspray directly on the paint
  3. Dab surface with a dry cloth, removing ink little by little
  4. Spray and dab until the ink has faded
  5. Machine wash your piece in cold water
  6. Let it air-dry
  7. Repeat until the paint has vanished completely

To avoid buying a standard hairspray can, grab a travel-sized can or sample at a cosmetics or drug store!

How to remove Posca pen paint from leather

How to remove Posca pen paint from leather
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Removing Posca paint from leather can be challenging, especially if paint has been dry for some time.

For leather, I recommend using rubbing alcohol only, as experimenting too much can damage your surface.

It may take several attempts to remove paint entirely, and sometimes, a faint outline of your drawing may remain visible even after the pigment is gone. To prevent this, it’s best to use Posca markers on leather for small details only.

Rubbing alcohol

Removing Posca pen paint from leather bag strap
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)
  1. Wipe the painted surface down with a clean cloth
  2. Dab a cotton cloth, ball, or disc in rubbing alcohol
  3. Remove paint in (very) slow, circular motions
  4. Wipe excess paint with a dry paper towel and repeat until the pigment has faded

Avoid removing Posca paint from pleather since it will peel off immediately and ruin your surface.

How to remove Posca pen from plastic

How to remove Posca pen paint from plastic
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

While eliminating wet paint from plastic is usually straightforward (although it can get messy), removing days-old, dry paint can be more difficult if your surface is thicker and textured vs. glossy and smooth.

And, of course, you may find that not all solutions work on all kinds of plastic. For example, hand sanitizer didn’t do the trick for me, although many crafters recommend it.

Below are my top tips on how to remove Posca pen paint from rougher, porous, plastic surfaces.

Rubbing alcohol

How to remove Posca pen paint from plastic with alcohol
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)
  1. Clean your surface with a dry cotton cloth
  2. Soak a cotton ball or disc abundantly in rubbing alcohol
  3. Wipe vs. dab across your surface
  4. Use a dry cloth to remove moisture
  5. Repeat until the paint is gone

Note: Avoid acetone since it burns through some plastics.

Soapy water

Removing Posca pen paint from plastic with cloth
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)
  1. Mix dish soap in lukewarm water
  2. Soak a soft towel or cotton cloth in the water
  3. Rub across the surface (apply pressure)
  4. Clean off moisture with a dry cotton cloth
  5. Repeat until the pigment has faded 

Window cleaner

Removing Posca paint from plastic with window cleaner
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)
  1. Wipe down your surface with a dry cotton cloth 
  2. Spray window cleaner directly onto your material
  3. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the surface
  4. Use a damp paper towel to wipe off suds
  5. Repeat these steps until the paint has come off

Note: Distilled white vinegar also helps loosen paint.

How to remove Posca pen from ceramic

How to remove Posca pen paint from ceramic
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Posca pen paint works effectively on ceramic, from matte bricks to glazed tiles, and will stay on permanently, given the proper finishes and upkeep.

But if you want to remove Posca paint from ceramic, know that it may be difficult or impossible to do so if the surface has been sealed with a quality varnish.

Here are my suggestions for removing wet or dry pigment from ceramics. I’ve used a glazed tile I painted to demonstrate each solution.

Rubbing alcohol

Removing Posca pen paint from ceramic with toothbrush
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)
  1. Clean your surface with a damp cotton cloth
  2. Spill rubbing alcohol directly onto your surface
  3. Use a hard-bristle toothbrush to rub off the paint
  4. Wipe down the residue with a clean cloth
  5. Repeat until areas are paint-free 

You can also use a stainless steel scouring pad for particularly stubborn areas.

Soapy water

How to remove Posca pen paint_FEATURE IMAGE_
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)
  1. Combine hot water with liquid dish soap in a bowl
  2. While still warm, soak a cotton towel in the water
  3. Rub your surface in circular motions while applying pressure
  4. Clean off leftover paint with a damp cloth
  5. Repeat this process

You can also use a hard-bristle toothbrush or stainless steel scouring pad to help get rid of more challenging areas.

How to remove Posca pen from glass

Removing Posca pen paint from glass
Photos via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

Crafters who enjoy creating window art for special occasions or making decorative glass items for display will have it easy when it comes to removing Posca paint.

Glass is one of the most receptive mediums for Posca paint removal, making it an excellent pick if you want to reuse and revamp the same surfaces. There are several ways to do this, but these are my go-to solutions!

Rubbing alcohol

Removing Posca paint from glas
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)
  1. Pour rubbing alcohol onto a cotton disc or ball
  2. Clean off paint in circular motions
  3. Wipe down the painted area with a soft cotton cloth 
  4. Repeat as many times as needed (shouldn’t require much repetition)

Microfiber cloths used to clean sun/seeing glasses and electronic screens are other materials you can use.

Window Cleaner

How to remove Posca pen paint with glass cleaner
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)
  1. Spray window cleaner onto your surface
  2. Use a paper towel to wipe down painted areas
  3. Use a dry paper towel to clean off residue
  4. Repeat until the paint is off

You can use vinegar for a less toxic alternative. This works to clean your windows too!

How to remove Posca pen from metal

How to remove Posca pen paint from metal
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)

If you’re trying to figure out how to remove Posca pen paint from heavy-duty, porous metal, you may have to look into more industrial-grade solvents.

But, if you want to remove Posca markers from smooth, non-porous metal surfaces like iron or aluminum, I can assure you this is super quick and easy, whether the paint is wet or dry.

To demonstrate how easy it is to remove pigment from this type of surface, I used a metal drinking bottle with weeks-old paint. The paint was completely gone in seconds! Here’s how to get the job done fuss-free.

Rubbing alcohol

Removing Posca paint from metal bottle
Photo via Stephanie Bento (Tiny Workshops)
  1. Pour rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball or disc
  2. Apply and clean painted areas in circular motions
  3. Repeat until your material is paint-free

Note that this can also be done with acetone.


That’s it for this guide on how to remove Posca paint from fabric, plastic, leather, and more! Feel free to drop questions or suggestions in the comments below.

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