How to Remove Sharpie Marks from Anything

Remove sharpie marks from plastic, wood, skin, clothes, carpet, walls, and more with these easy expert cleaning tips.

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I know the makers of Sharpie markers boast that their markers feature permanent ink. And when one of your children decides to draw on your carpet or furniture, it sure seems like it will be impossible to get those marks off! Lots of other people have had this problem too, but have discovered ways to get Sharpie marks off of plastic, wood, skin, clothes, carpet, walls, and more. Their tested tips are shared here.

Tip #1: Hairspray sometimes works – or maybe the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (if it’s vinyl).

Tip #2: Try toothpaste, I just saw this on the Today show.

Tip #3: I haven’t tried this but have had GREAT success with lots of other marks on vinyl floor. It is a product called Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It literally erases marks. It sells for about $2 here. You can use it many times though..good luck!

Tip #4: Try denatured alcohol. My (then) 2 year old son got Sharpie all over his room during what was supposed to be his nap time. It was on the carpet, walls, furniture, window, curtains, bedding and of course him. It did a good job on most of the things. (Don’t use it on skin!)

Tip #5: Nail Polish Remover. Just remember it has to be the original cheaper stuff and pour it on the sharpie mark and leave about 15 minutes or so and then wipe it off, you may have to scrub it a bit but it will come off, and laminate flooring too…Nikki

Tip #6: The idea of toothpaste getting rid of sharpie marks is right on target. Used it to remove sharpie marker, both fresh and old, from dining room table, and it works wonders!

Tip #7: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! to the contributors to the posting on removing Sharpie marker markings. Especially the person who posted tip #4. I walked out of my child’s middle school today to find that one of her school mates had dragged a black sharpie down the side of my car from the trunk to the hood. My champagne colored car was not looking too good! Thank God for this posting that mentioned the use of alcohol for removing Sharpie marker. I went outside and tried it with a cotton ball and it immediately removed every bit of the marker. THANK YOU!

Tip #8: Black permanent marker was on our $3500+ French slider doors on the white vinyl part done by my 2 yr old. I can’t believe it came off w/toothpaste and a wash cloth. The window company had NO suggestion for me to remove it and said sorry, but we would have to live with it or replace! THANK YOU TO THE ONE WHO DISCOVERED THIS HOME REMEDY! I LOVE YOU :)…Selina

Tip #9: Thank you for the idea of using toothpaste to remove Sharpie marker. My four-year-old son just wrote all over our new dining chairs and it took it right off! I’m amazed!…Wendy

Tip #10: Try a dry erase marker to remove a sharpie mark. It works on most non porous materials…Chris

Tip #11: I just tried the toothpaste tip using Colgate “Total Whitening Gel” on a Sharpie mark on a vinyl kitchen floor. The mark came out in seconds! If denatured alcohol also works, then I suspect that the glycerin in the toothpaste is the active cleaning agent…Jeff

Tip #12: I used Glass Cook Top Cleaner by Weiman, and a scrubbie pad. Just wet the pad, apply the cleaner, rub in a circle, and off it comes. Just that easy!! I used this to remove sharpie from the countertop and cabinet at 6 am after my 4 year-old decided to be an artist during the night!…Janice

Tip #13: Be aware that the toothpaste method is an abrasive one. It is removing material from whatever surface you are rubbing it on…Brynna

Tip #14: Suntan lotion works, we have used it and a friend of ours who has twins that love to draw everywhere used it…it works…Kellye

Tip #15: Thanks so much for the toothpaste idea. My 2-year-old grandson just scribbled a 4X3 design on the new bamboo floor the landlord installed in my kitchen. Besides taking the Sharpie right off, my kitchen now smells minty fresh! :>) Now maybe the toothpaste will take the sharpie off of the artwork he wrote on himself. Now where did he go?….he’s wayyy to quiet….yikes…Joan

Tip #16: I’m not certain what “denatured” alcohol is, but my twin 2-year-old girls thought it would be a riot to draw all over my kitchen cabinets with a blue Sharpie – and each other. While their mustaches eventually faded, I was left with some very blue doodles on my very brown cabinets until I went at them with a $2 box of q-tips and a $.59 bottle of rubbing alcohol. Simply saturate the q-tip with alcohol, rub the marker, and TADA, no more Sharpie. Test in a non conspicuous place to see if it will take off paint or finish first and use a paper towel to catch any drips. You may also want to wear gloves if your hands are already dry…Karla

Tip #17: If it’s not a painted surface, and you have no other choice, forget paint thinner and acetone. MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) will take it right off without scrubbing at all! It can be found at a local hardware store right next to the paint thinner. I used it to get sharpie off the side of our family TV and refrigerator!…Alec

Tip #18: Alcohol to remove Sharpie worked immediately. My daughter made red sharpie dots on my soft touch flat screen computer monitor. I put a tiny bit of alcohol on a q-tip and lightly rubbed the red dots and they went away instantly. Thank You for the great tip!…Lisa

Tip #19: OMG!!! Thank you guys for posting your comments about the tooth paste on furniture my 4 year old wrote all over my dresser with sharpie. I am a single mom and this furniture is recently new. I was so upset when I saw it. Thank you again your guys have made my day…Jennifer

Tip #20: My 2 1/2 year old covered my laptop monitor with a fat head sharpie. Luckily, I could see the screen enough to find this. Isopropyl Alcohol on cotton balls cleaned the screen to 95%…James

Tip #21: My two-year-old just wrote all over the front of our refrigerator with a black Sharpie. I tried the toothpaste with a toothbrush and it really worked! Thanks!…Melissa

Tip #22: My 6 year old son marked up his brand new LED television tracing an image on TV. Isopropyl-Alcohol(70%) solution and a Q-Tip and now it is perfect again, thank you for the great tip…Matt

Tip #23: All I can say is ditto on the Magic Eraser — it’s gotten magic marker off of many things in our house — except the toilet seat! FYI – on clothes it comes out great with Zout — will have to work it a little, but that’s better than throwing it out!

Tip #24: There’s a cool product called Goo Gone that I’ve found gets pretty much everything off.

Tip #25: My five-year-old wrote on several surfaces one day with black permanent marker. I used “white-board cleaner” fluid to remove the marker from the non-porous surfaces.

Tip #26: I just accidentally put a smudge of black permanent marker on my LCD computer screen!!! Tried everything…then googled this page. Tried hairspray…one wipe and it’s gone.

Tip #27: My 2-yr-old covered her entire body, a wooden desk, and her plastic play kitchen – I called answerlines (run by the Extension Service) they said to use baking soda paste. It worked great on the plastic kitchen, the wooden desk (dulled the shine for a bit but can’t tell now) and as far as her skin – they said use Ponds cold cream – didn’t have it so I used any/every lotion cream available…ended up she was eating a yogurt & the yogurt lifted it right off her skin!

Tip #28: My 2-year-old (and I find it funny that most of these incidents are from 2-year-olds), wrote her name on the fridge with permanent marker. I was able to get her writing off the tv screen with glass cleaner but the fridge was something else. I tried alcohol, bleach, all purpose wipes, bathroom cleaner and who knows what combinations I put together. Well I decided to try toothpaste and much to my surprise the stain is completely off my white refrigerator. So definitely toothpaste works, thank goodness.

Tip #29: My son, age 3, did something similar. He drew on just about everything in his room with a blue permanent marker. He drew on the walls, hardwood floor, window, rocking chair, toys and his bedding. I was only able to get the marker off the window, chair and hardwood floor by using those Mr. Clean Eraser pads. The wall has to be repainted. It worked a little bit, but painting the wall proved easier than scrubbing it for hours. I haven’t come across anything that will get it out of cloth. But I was able to save some stuff with the help of the Erasers. If you are going to use them, be sure to buy plenty – four pads at least.

Tip #30: Have you tried shaving cream? Teachers use this to get permanent marker off desks.

Tip #31: Try dry erase board cleaner, like Expo white board cleaner. It will take the permanent marker off. Let it sit on the marks for awhile and then wipe with a dry clean cloth. It should come out.

Tip #32: Hairspray has usually worked for me. If you used the pump kind, try an aerosol. Another thing I have used is Spray n Wash. Good Luck!

Tip #33: HAIRSPRAY I know others say that hairspray doesn’t work. But it does. The object of the hairspray, is don’t use anything else on the ink. Just the hairspray. And a toothbrush. The reason other people cant get the hairspray method to work is because they use other stuff like rubbing alchohol, on the stain. Other stuff water, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, etc., will make the stain set. And then nothing will get it out. Use the hairspray first! If you have already used the other stuff, don’t bother with the hair spray. Use a very small amount of nail polish remover.

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"Remove sharpie marks from plastic, wood, skin, clothes, carpet, walls, and more with these easy expert cleaning tips.

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3 Comments on "How to Remove Sharpie Marks from Anything"

  1. I have tried all of the above and nothing. I am trying to get the marks off soft sandstone(like bluestone) that I just had installed in my landscaping. If anyone has any other ideas it would greatly be appreciated.Thanks.


    1. Hi Carol,

      with a sandstone in a landscaping situation perhaps physically removing the part of the stone that has he marks. Start with a wood rasp, then smooth out with a bastard file before going through grades of sandpaper from course to fine until you have smoothed out any marks you made with the rasp. Soft stone is easy enough to reshape and as long as you are not looking at a polished marble statue/benchtop you should be able to blend it back in.


  2. I’ve tried everything on the list so far and then some and although the marks are faded they are far from gone. The permanent marker is about 26 years old and is on a metal wall that has been textured and painted. The marks are numbers from behind signs that have recently been removed.


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