How To Remove Permanent Marker From (just about) Anything!

THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO REMOVING SHARPIE FROM EVERYTHING! 

Whether you’re a mom cleaning up after your kids, a reseller preparing items for eBay, or simply a weirdo who likes writing on things and then removing it, we’re here for you!

As eBay sellers and the parents of a 3 year old we’ve removed our fair share of sharpie (from skin, my chair, books, and the dog just to name a few…)  However, since this site is dedicated to flipping items on eBay w​e’ve listed our methods in the order that we use them as eBay resellers.  e.g. removing prices that unscrupulous Goodwill employees felt the need to scribble onto shoes…or clothing tags…or packages….

​So let’s get this party started!

*If you have any other tips or tricks, send us a message and we’ll add them to our list (we’ll even credit you…what an honor!)

If you have any other tips or tricks, send us a message and we’ll add them to our list (we’ll even credit you…what an honor!)

The Best General Advice

When it comes to removing permanent marker from walls, glass, skin, or what have you there is no magic household item that will remove it everytime. Life would be super cool if you could just rub some bacon on a stain and it would be gone but it’s not so. In reality, what removes stains in some places can ruin other items. So, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but be sure to spot test anything you are oging to use to remove sharpie.

Now, while there may not be a magic household product, there are some amazing cleaners that will remove stains from nearly anything that can be stained. The one in particular that you will see mentioned again and again in this guide is Amodex.

Amodex does more that just clean up marker. It cleans marker, ink, crayon, makeup (and more) from furniture, skin, clothing/fabric, leather, etc. If you are in a bind and need something to remove marker NOW! we’ll do our best to offer some alternatives. Just be sure to order a bottle or two of Amodex (and the super convenient wipes) to have in your cupboard for the next time this happens!

Now that you’ve ordered yourself a miracle in a bottle, let’s get into the meat of the subject and talk about how to remove some marker lines!

How to Remove Permanent Marker from Whiteboard

Unfortunately, there is a student in every middle school class that thinks it’s funny to draw some parts of the male anatomy of the classroom whiteboard in permanent marker. While this might be funny to the developing brains of 13-year-old boys, it can be a nightmare for a teacher who needs to remove it, and quick!

Or maybe you’re simply in the boat of grabbing the wrong marker to use on your fridge or personal whiteboard. Whatever the case, rest easy. It is actually incredibly simple to remove permanent marker from a whiteboard and you only need one item.

When I accidentally used a Sharpie on my whiteboard I tried everything from goo-gone to oven cleaner to get it off. Don’t bother. All you need is a Magic Eraser. Get it a bit wet with either water or Windex and rub the offending marker right off!

If you don’t have a Magic Eraser handy, there is always the old standby trick of coloring over the marker. Just grab a dry erase marker and trace/scribble over the line you want to remove and then erase it before the ink dries. Easy as pie!

How to remove sharpie from the soles of shoes

Shoe soles comes in many different materials but thrift store employees scribble prices on them all.  Nothing dampens the sale of your $200 shoes quite like a $4.00 price scrawled on the bottom.  It’s simply bad form to leave the price there for your buyer to see so let’s talk about how to remove the sharpie from a shoe sole!

Use:
​Nail Polish Remover
​Dryer Sheet

Don’t Use:
Goof Off – It actually melts the sole!  It’s probably better to have a price than a melted glob on the bottom of your shoe…

Luckily for resellers everywhere, sharpie on rubber soles is incredibly easy to remove.  For awhile we used Goo Gone (it does work) which required lots of scrubbing and left us with an oily mess.  Quite by accident we discovered a cheap and easy solutions….nail polish remover and a dryer sheet!  Dryer sheets are a commonly used article for people removing finger nail polish but, as far as we know, we are the only ones who use it for sharpie removal!  The ways of doing this are many but the gist of it is, get some finger nail polish on the sharpie and then rub it with the dryer sheet.  We usually use a cotton ball to dab some over the sharpie and then use a dryer sheet that has been wet with polish remover to simple wipe the sharpie away.

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How to remove sharpie from leather (especially leather shoe soles)

Leather soles come in two varieties: soft and porous (impossible to remove marker from) and old and crusty (also impossible to remove marker from).  If you don’t mind a little discoloring, most household products will remove or at least reduce the appearance of sharpie.  If you don’t want to go that route then here are the two alternate routes we take:

To remove sharpie from leather soles you can buff it off with fine grit sand paper.  These is especially effective for worn soles where a little sanding won’t be very noticeable.  Your other option is to doctor the price.  This does limit your selling price but this is an option that we use all the time both for shoes and for clothing items with mark down prices on the tags.  Sold for $24.99?  Well make that $124.99!  Sold for $14.95?  Now it’s $44.95!  Just make it believable.

If you have a better way to get this done please let us know….

How to get Sharpie off leather

Use:

  • Aerosol Hairspray
  • Leather Conditioner
  • ​Clean Rags
  • If you don’t have aerosol hairspray, you can substitute white vinegar

Don’t Use:
Anything else

Steps

  • Spray a small section of your clean rag with your hairspray – just enough to dampen it, we don’t want it soaking
  • Use the damp rag to gently wipe the marker mark
  • Reapply hairspray as needed and move to clean areas of the rag often
  • Continue until you have removed all of the marker
  • Once you have the bag cleaned to your liking, be sure to condition the leather (with leather conditioner) to restore the moisture that was pulled out by your cleaning.
  • Celebrate!

REMOVING SHARPIE FROM FABRIC

Because fabirc is porous, it presents a much more difficult challenge than rubber or hard leather.  Sharpie tends to penetrate the fibers and it is very resistant to any efforts to remove it.  Do not despair however, it can happen!

MICROFIBER UPHOLSTERY

Use:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Clean Towel

Don’t Use:

  • Rough Towels – They’ll damage the microfiber
  • Anything Oil Based

Steps

  • Add a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to a towel and scrub the stain for approximately 10
    to 15 minutes.
  • Apply some rubbing alcohol to a second clean towel and scrub the stain for another 10 to 15
    minutes.
  • ​Using a clean, damp towel, continue scrubbing until the stain has been removed.
  • Remove any excess moisture by pressing firmly with a clean, dry towel.

ALL OTHER UPHOSLTERY

Use:

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Windex
  • Clear Nail Polish Remover
  • Clean, Dry, High Absorbent Towels

Don’t Use:

  • Colored Nail Polish Remover (It Stains)
  • Anything Oil Based

Steps:

  • ​Apply a small amount of one of the above items to a clean towel. I find that towels that closely
    match the color of your fabric work best (Light colored or white towels for light colored fabric
    and darker or black towels for darker colored fabric)
  • ​Using the wet (not soaked) part of the towel, pat the stain firmly. Continue patting and and add
    solution as needed until stain is gone. Keep in mind that you do not want to soak the fabric.
  • ​Once the stain has been removed you need to soak up the excess moisture from your upholstery.
    Use a clean, dry, and absorbent towel. Pat firmly until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • ​Place item outside or in a well ventilated area until completely dry.

REMOVING SHARPIE FROM CLOTHING

WHITE CLOTHING

Use:

  • ​Bleach

Don’t Use:

  • ​Anything Else

Steps:

  • Make a weak bleach/water solution and cover the stain with it.  For dried stains, soaking may be necessary.  Just remember that bleach has a habit of eating fabric that soaks in it for too long!  Once the stain is removed, wash the clothing immediately.

ALL OTHER CLOTHING (EXCEPT SILKS AND SATINS)

Use:

  • Acetone, Rubbing Alcohol, or Citrus Fruit
  • ​Clean Cloth or Cotton Ball

Don’t Use:

  • Anything Else!

Steps:​​

  • 1. For most fabrics, I would suggest spot-cleaning the area with citrus fruit (orange, lemon, or
    lime). Squeeze the juice onto a clean rag and pat over the area or cut the fruit in half and dab the
    cut side over the stain until the stain has disappeared. Wash immediately.
    2. For more delicate fabrics such as silk and satin, dilute the citrus juice in water before applying it
    to the fabric. Wash immediately.
    3. If you are working with sturdier fabrics dampen a cotton ball with acetone or rubbing alcohol
    and pat onto the stain until the stain disappears. Wash immediately.

REMOVING SHARPIE FROM ALL OTHER HARD SURFACES

For items such as toys, plastic, enamels, etc. there are a plethora of ways to remove sharpie.  We’ve listed them here in the order that we’d suggest, taking into account ease of removing the stain, mess created, etc.

OTHER HARD SURFACES
1. Magic eraser – Dampen the magic eraser with water and scrub over the stained area until the
stain has been removed.
2. Toothpaste and baking soda – Mix 1 part toothpaste with one part baking soda and apply a
small amount to the stain. Using a clean cloth, rub in a circular motion. This may take a little bit
of work but it should come off.
3. Pencil Eraser – Rub the eraser over the permanent marker to erase it.
4. Dry Erase Marker – Color over the stain with a dry erase marker then wiping it off with a cloth.
This process also works great on dry erase boards.
5. WD-40 – Spray some WD-40 on the affected area and scrub with a clean cloth.

*Tip: Permanent marker can easily cover up marks and scratches in most furniture. Just find a marker that matches the color of your furniture and fill in the scratched or discolored area.

Other products that people have had luck with:
• Hand sanitizer
• Bug spray
• Lighter Fluid
• Sunscreen
• Baby Wipe
• Hair Spray

We hope that was helpful!  If you’ve made it to this point in the article you’ve probably got a three year old as well and have to do a lot of damage control!  But whatever you’re removing marker from, may the goo-gone be forever it your favor.  Happy spot testing!

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