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How To Easily Remove Highlighter Stains From Your Couch

We’ve all been there – you’re studying on the couch and accidentally mark it with a highlighter. Don’t panic! In this comprehensive guide for couch cleaning, we’ll walk you through an easy 9-step process to remove pesky highlighter stains from your couch using common household items. With a bit of time and elbow grease, you can get your couch looking brand new again.

Easily Remove Highlighter Stains

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloth/paper towels
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • Cotton balls
  • A soft brush or old toothbrush
  • Clean, dry cloth

Step 1: Blot the Stain Immediately

As soon as you notice the stain, blot it gently with a clean microfiber cloth or paper towel. Don’t rub it, as this can spread the stain. Quick action is key for easy removal.

Step 2: Make a Mild Soap Solution

Mix a small amount of dish soap with warm water in a bowl. Be careful not to make the solution too concentrated.

Step 3: Test on an Inconspicuous Area First

To ensure the solution won’t damage the couch, first test it on an inconspicuous spot.

Step 4: Gently Blot with Soap Solution

Dip a clean white cloth in the solution and blot the stain. Continue blotting until it starts to lift.

Step 5: Use Rubbing Alcohol

If soap alone doesn’t remove the stain, blot it with a cotton ball dampened with rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol helps break down the ink.

Step 6: Make a Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

For stubborn stains, mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with 3 parts water. Dab this on the stain and let sit briefly. Be careful, as hydrogen peroxide can lighten fabric.

Step 7: Gently Scrub the Stain

Use a soft brush or old toothbrush to gently scrub the stain in circles. This lifts the remaining ink.

Step 8: Rinse and Dry the Area

Once the stain is gone, rinse the area with a clean, damp cloth. Then blot dry with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture.

Step 9: Allow to Air Dry

Let the couch air dry completely. Don’t use heat, as this can set any leftover ink.\

Easiest To Remove From A Couch


Q: What type of highlighter is easiest to remove from a couch?

A: Water-based highlighters are easier to remove compared to oil-based ones. The oil can penetrate deeper into fabric making stains more difficult to eliminate. Start by trying to remove water-based highlighter stains first.

Q: Can hairspray remove highlighter stains?

A: Yes, hairspray can help remove fresh highlighter stains. Spray a bit of hairspray on the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then dab it with a clean cloth. The alcohol in hairspray helps break down the ink. Be sure to rinse it afterwards.

Q: What should you avoid when trying to remove highlighter stains?

A: Avoid using heat from a hair dryer or iron when trying to remove highlighter stains, as it can set the stain. Also avoid rubbing or scrubbing aggressively, which can push the stain deeper into the fibres. Use gentle dabbing and blotting motions instead.


With the right supplies and techniques, even stubborn highlighter stains can be removed from couches and other upholstery. Act quickly, use mild solutions and gentle scrubbing, and let the area completely air dry. With some elbow grease, your couch will look clean and new again.