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How to Remove Permanent Marks From Composite Decking?

  • Henry A
  • March 15, 2021

As much as possible, you will want to avoid staining your plastic decking. While there are ways you can prevent it, it’s expected and will likely happen. Among the stains that you can have on your decking are 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. How to remove permanent marks from composite decking? Here are some things you can try when removing permanent marker stains from your decking.

Ways to Remove Permanent Marks from Composite Decking

Try a Through Clean

If the permanent marker stain on your decking 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 area 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 decking.

Rubbing Alcohol

For the same reason dry-eraser works, alcohol works in removing permanent marker stains. Apply alcohol to 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 a Magic Eraser or melamine foam. Melamine foam sponges have micropores that trap even the most persistent stains. However, due to their abrasiveness, they can damage composite decking if used too harshly. 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 decking, 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 decking. To protect your composite decking, here are a few things that you should remember when treating ink stains from permanent markers.

Avoid using Abrasive Cleaners

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

Do Not Sand Your Decking

Unlike wood, you can’t sand composite decking to remove stains. Depending on the type of composite decking, sanding can ruin the top surface or capping of the composite boards, leaving them exposed to elements.

Treat Only the Spots That Need Treating

You do not need to treat the entire surface of your decking, especially if you are using chemicals. Not only is it time-consuming, but it 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 to a hidden part of your decking. If you have some spare or leftover spare boards, you can also use them to see if they will or won’t damage your decking before applying any cleaning treatment.

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