There are a variety of marker types and brands on the market each with its own degree of intransigence, from the permanent marker to the erasable dry erase markers. When it comes to stain removal, some will be easier to remove than others will but all can be treated to some degree with these suggestions.
Attempt to Lift the Stain While Fresh
If the marker stain is fresh, it may still be damp. Blot it with an absorbent white cloth until you no longer see any marker on the cloth. Be careful not to rub at the stain as you could embed it further into the carpet or cause it to spread. For larger stains, work from the outside toward the center. Blot gently in one direction to avoid unraveling the fibers.
As with any stain, always test an inconspicuous area of your carpet before applying any cleaning or stain removal product.
Crayola, the leading manufacturer of markers, has the following suggestions for marker stain removal.
Rubbing Alcohol: Use a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a damp sponge and begin gently blotting at the stain. (Hairspray containing alcohol may also be effective)
Carpet Stain Remover: If rubbing alcohol does not remove the stain completely treat the area with a carpet stain remover according to product directions. (The spot remover should contain either trichloroethylene or petroleum naphtha)
Upholstery Shampoo: Follow up by shampooing the area with an upholstery shampoo.
The Utah State University Cooperative Extension suggests an interesting recipe to try if the first attempts at removal are unsuccessful.
You will need:
1 part glycerin
1 part liquid dish soap
1 part water
Few drops of vinegar
Mix and shake well. Squeeze enough to cover the stain and let sit for 30-40 minutes. Blot frequently and reapply solution as necessary.
Complete any stain removal project by giving the area a cool water treatment to remove any excess cleaning solutions. Dry the area completely.
“Crayola Stain Removal Tips.” Official Crayola Site – Free coloring pages, crafts, lesson plans, games and more. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2010. http://www.crayola.com/canwehelp/staintips/index.cfm.