Are Felt Tip Pens Permanent?

As the name suggests, felt tip pens are a type of writing instrument characterized by their tips, which are made from compressed fibers. This makes felt tip markers great for everything from drawing to labeling. However, many people have wondered how permanent felt tip pens are.

The permanence of a felt tip pen depends on the type of ink the pen uses. Oil- and alcohol-based inks tend to be the most permanent inks, as these inks have water-resistant properties. Felt tip markers with water-based inks will be less permanent overall and are less likely to leave lasting stains.

In this article, we’re going to break down everything you need to know about how permanent felt tip markers are. We’ll look at what makes a felt tip pen permanent, why some are more permanent than others, and whether felt tip pens can leave permanent stains.

Are Felt Tip Pens Permanent?

Felt tip pens are known by many names, including flow markers, fine liners, and sketch pens. Of course, it is the tip of these pens that set them apart from other types. The simple design of felt tip pens utilizes a tip made from tightly compressed porous fibers. This is connected to a tube within the pen, which stores ink.

This ink reservoir is connected to the felt tip, which allows for smooth writing or drawing. In fact, one of the main benefits of felt tip pens is that they only leave the desired mark on a page. However, does this mean that felt tip pens are permanent? While felt tips pens can be permanent, this may vary between different options.

Ultimately, this comes down to the different types of inks used in felt tip markers. While felt tip pens generally share a similar design, they can differ greatly based on the type of ink used. Due to this, it’s advised that you read the label whenever you are buying a new writing product.

For instance, some felt markers may specify that they are permanent or which type of ink is used. By reading this beforehand, you can choose the right felt tip pen for your needs. In the following section, we’re going to look at the different inks used by these pens. Are some ink types more permanent than others?

Different Inks Used By Felt Tip Pens

As discussed above, felt tip pens are characterized by their unique tips, which are made from compressed fibers. However, the type of ink within a felt tip pen will ultimately determine how permanent the ink is. Any given felt tip marker may be using water-, alcohol-, or oil-based inks.

By understanding the properties of different pen inks, you can choose the right marker for your needs. If you’re looking for a felt tip pen that’s going to be permanent, you’ll want to opt for one that uses oil- or alcohol-based inks. These types of inks are known for their fast-drying properties.  

Not only do alcohol- and oil-based inks dry faster, but they’re the most resistant to water. Furthermore, these two ink types can write on almost any type of paper. Pigment-based inks also share many of these properties while offering more vibrant colors that are resistant to fading.

Whether you’re drawing or labeling, there are many advantages to having a felt tip marker that’s permanent. However, when it comes to permanent inks, there’s always the looming threat of an ink stain. Read on as we explain whether any stains left by felt tip pens will also be permanent!  

Are Felt Tip Pen Stains Permanent?

While permanent felt tip pens can come in very handy, they can also leave unsightly stains. However, the severity of the stain will ultimately depend on the type of ink that was within the pen that created the stain. Let us explain!

In the previous section, we discussed oil- and alcohol-based inks. Of course, these are the most permanent types of inks due to their unique properties. As we mentioned, one of the properties of these two types was their resistance to water. Unfortunately, this makes alcohol- and oil-based ink stains harder to remove.

As a general rule of thumb, pen inks with a low resistance to water are less likely to leave permanent stains. If you’re looking for felt tip pens that aren’t all that permanent, you’ll want to opt for those that use water-based inks.

Due to the water-resistant properties of oil- and alcohol-based inks, stains left by these inks can be challenging to remove – but not impossible. In the following section, we’ll take a brief look at removing stains left by permanent felt tip pens!

Removing Permanent Felt Tip Pen Stains

While the water-resistant inks used in permanent markers can be hard to remove from textile surfaces, it’s far from possible. You’ll just need the right materials! The manner in which you attempt to remove the stain will ultimately depend on whether the material is machine washable.

When dealing with stains left on washable fabrics, you’ll want to start off by saturating the ink stain with a laundry stain remover. You’ll want to rub this into the fabric and then wash it immediately. For stubborn stains, you may need to use fabric-safe bleach or a powdered cleaning solvent.

However, you might be wondering about how to remove stains left on unwashable items, such as carpets or furniture upholstery. For these situations, you’ll need to prepare a solution of dishwashing detergent and white vinegar. This can be used in tandem with rubbing alcohol to remove stains left by permanent inks.

If you’re dealing with a frustrating stain left by a permanent felt tip marker, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are many useful guides to removing these stains. The following YouTube video does just that and will help you effectively remove permanent ink stains from different fabrics.


In this article, we explained why some felt tip pens are more permanent than others. Of course, this depends on the type of ink that’s being used. Water-resistant inks, like oil- and alcohol-based inks, tend to be more permanent, while water-based inks are less permanent.

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