So you want to save some money by removing that permanent marker? We understand. With 5 kids and what we thought were “hidden” Sharpies, we thought we would be safe, but we have had our fair share of “Sharpie removal experiments!”
So we want to share this list with you to help you restore your item to it’s previous “before Sharpie” stage.
Many of these, we have used and done ourselves, but some of these are reader submitted suggestions for removal on other items that we haven’t tried, but passing the information along.
*Please note, some of these experiences will vary based on the EXACT type of surface and how long the Sharpie or permanent marker has set it. For best results, you want to try and remove the Sharpie as soon as possible. These solutions may have to be repeated depending on how set in the marker stain is.
I know – toddlers love to color on themselves with Sharpies. Well, the best solution we have found is to use sunscreen to remove it. The best brand has been Waterbabies (or rather, what we have successfully used). The sooner you can get sunscreen on the skin where the Sharpie is, the faster it will remove it. Basically, rub the sunscreen on pretty thick and let it set for several minutes. Then wipe it off! You may have to do this another time or two depending on how long the Sharpie set.
2. Old Style Television Screen
Draw over the Sharpie with a dry erase marker and wipe away with a dry cloth!
3. Flatscreen Television or Computer Screen
Toothpaste and baby wipes with alcohol have both be stated to work. For toothpaste, very gently rub the toothpaste over the marker and let it set for a couple of minutes and then wipe away with a baby wipe or a very damp cloth. Test a small area before. Depending on the screen and stain, a baby wipe alone may do the trick.
4. Plastic Surfaces
The best reported method is simply using a pencil eraser and erase just like you would pencil on a paper – except it won’t be quite that easy. You will have to put a bit of elbow power into it. But eventually, you may be able to erase those marks away!
5. Plastic Storage Totes
You can try pencil erasers since they are plastic, but they are a rougher type (not smooth) and so WD-40 or sunscreen have also worked on these surfaces.
6. Laminated Surfaces (like posters)
Dry erase marker is a simple solution! Just color over the marker with your dry erase marker and wipe away with a dry cloth.
7. Metal Surfaces
Toothpaste may be the best removal solution! Classic Colgate is the reported best. Rub the toothpaste into the marker on the metal and wipe away. Repeat as necessary.
8. Stainless Steel
Again, Dry Erase markers will be the best solution! Color over the permanent marker with your dry erase marker and wipe with a dry cloth.
9. Glass and Mirrors
And……. again, Dry Erase markers will be the best solution! Color over the permanent marker with your dry erase marker and wipe with a dry cloth.
Dawn may be the best solution for your jewelry. It is gentle, but effective. Please be careful cleaning your jewelry as some may be very sensitive to anything but jewelry cleaner. But if you want to try this, you can soak in a solution of dawn with a bit of water or a spot of straight dawn and then gently rubbed away.
11. Clothes and Upholstery
Simply spray the marker with Aerosol Hairspray or hand sanitizer and let it set for several minutes (test a small spot for colorfastness!). Then using a bit of classic blue dawn and water, scrub away with a toothbrush. Rinse in cool water. Wash clothing as usual and pat your upholstery dry.
Please note, if you have washed and dried the permanent marker stain on these surfaces – it will be more difficult and potentially impossible to remove. It may be only lightened by this solution.
A solution of white vinegar and classic Dawn may do the trick. Similar to the clothing, spray vinegar and drop some Dawn on the carpet spot and let it set (again, test a small spot for colorfastness!). Then scrub with a toothbrush. Rinse with a wet rag until it is removed. Pat dry with a dry cloth.
Rubbing Alcohol or peanut butter may remove the Sharpie stain. It will depend on your wood surface and the finish. Peanut butter will be safer, but the rubbing alcohol may be more effective. Use your best judgment based on your wood surface and finish and test a spot. You can also try a Magic Eraser with caution!
You can always buy a marker that shares the same/similar color as your wood surface and just try disguising it by coloring over it too.
The success on this one will vary depending on how set the marker is, the color and type of wall surface. But here’s the top successful ways to remove permanent marker from walls.
Toothpaste (classic Colgate has been reported to be the most effective). Gently rub a bit of toothpaste onto the stain with your finger and then use a wet rag to gently rub the stain away.
In addition, some have had success using an Aerosol Hairspray by spraying the spot and then wiping away.
Finally, some have also had success with just using a magic eraser.
What have you tried that has been successful?
Do you have any tips to add to the above list?
Disclaimer: please note that the above are simply suggestions and are not guaranteed to remove the stain. Use at your own discretion and test a small, inconspicuous area before full application of any of the above tips. In addition, your results will vary depending on setting time, exact surface, marker brand and environment.