As much as possible, you will want to avoid staining your composite deck. While there are ways you can prevent it, it’s expected and will likely to happen. Among the stains that you can have in your deck, ink stains from permanent markers, pens, and other similar objects are the worst. Fortunately, they are not as “permanent” as some may think. There are still a few things you can do to remove them, as long as you tend to them as soon as possible. Here are some things you can try when removing permanent marker stains from your deck.

Ways to Remove Permanent Marker from Composite Decks

Try a Thorough Clean – If the permanent marker stain in your deck is relatively new, a quick scrub may remove it. Using a brush and hot soapy water, scrub the area until the stain is gone. You may need to do it repeatedly if the stain persists.

Use A Dry-Erase Marker – While it may seem counterintuitive, another popular method that you can try is using dry-erase markers. To do this, you will have to completely colour over the areas of the permanent marker stain. Then, wipe the entire area with a cloth or a rag. The dry-erase marker will come off along the permanent marker stain. But how do they remove marks? They act as solvents, chemically dissolving the permanent marker ink and detaching it from the surface of your deck. 

Rubbing Alcohol – For the same reason dry-eraser works, alcohol works in removing permanent marker stains. Apply alcohol on the affected areas and let it dissolve the ink. Then, wipe it off using a cloth. 

Hydrogen Peroxide – One of the safest products to remove stains is hydrogen peroxide. To use it, soak a cotton ball or clean cloth with hydrogen peroxide and wipe it on the marker stains. You can also use peroxide-based cleaners. Follow the instructions on the labels to use them. 

Vinegar and Baking Soda – Another solution that you can try is using vinegar and baking soda. To remove stains, pour vinegar over the affected area and sprinkle it with baking soda. Let it sit for a few minutes, but do not let it dry out. Then, gently scrub the surface with a brush to remove the ink. Lastly, rinse off with water. Aside from these, you can find many DIY cleaning solutions using vinegar and baking soda. 

Magic Eraser – Another method that many suggest is using Magic Eraser or melamine foam. Melamine foam sponges have microscopes that trap even the most persistent stains. However, due to their abrasiveness, they can damage composite decks when used too hard. It can remove the grain patterns and textures from your decking boards. For best results, you can use it together with the solutions mentioned above for gentler treatment. 

Other Commercial Products – Aside from these solutions, you can also find various commercial products for cleaning decks, including marker stains. If you don’t know what to use, you can contact your composite decking board manufacturers for advice.

Things to Remember When Removing the Stains 

Dealing with marker stains can be tricky. While many solutions work, some can also damage your deck. To protect your composite deck, here are a few things that you should remember when treating ink stains from permanent markers. 

Avoid using abrasive chemicals. While useful for cleaning various surfaces, chlorine bleach is harmful to composite decks and other plastic materials. It will remove the stains, but so as the colour of your deck. Depending on the boards you are using, other chemicals, such as Acetone, can also be abrasive. For more information, contact and consult your boards’ manufacturers. 

Do not Sand Your Deck. Unlike wood, you can’t sand a composite deck to remove stains. Doing so will ruin the caps of your composite boards, leaving them exposed to elements. 

Treat only the spot that needs treating. You do not need to do it on the entire surface of your deck, especially if you are using chemicals. Not only is it time-consuming, but can also be detrimental to your decking.

Do some practice treatment. If you are using a cleaning method for the first time and unsure whether it is safe or not, it’s best to test it first. To do this, apply the treatment on a hidden part of your deck. If you have some spare boards, you can also use them to see if it won’t damage your deck.