Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pinterest Bustin': how to remove sharpie marker from different surfaces

There's a little something floating around Pinterest that tells you all the magical ways to remove permanent (Sharpie) marker from different surfaces. It looked like just the thing for the Pinterest Busters to test.

Sharpie off clothing with...hand sanitizer?

One of our Pinterest Busters drew a llama on a shirt and attempted to kill it with hand sanitizer.

Even after rubbing AND rinsing in water, all it did was blur the edges of Ms. Llama. We all agreed that although this was quite artistic, it did not look good for the hand-sanitizer-attacks-sharpie theory.

Sharpie off walls with...toothpaste and/or hairspray?

Kids get so excited when you say "Hey, grab that Sharpie and draw on the wall, okay?"

Then you say "spray some hairspray on it" and the ink runs down the wall.

Then you tell them to smear toothpaste all over the other drawing...and they get all giggly.

Then you use some elbow grease with more toothpaste and more hairspray...

Eventually you use enough elbow grease that you get the images to fade pretty darn good. also realize you've taken off paint at the same time. :)

Sharpie off wood/furniture with...rubbing alcohol and/or milk?

As you can see in the Pinterest image at the beginning of this post, wood is notated differently than furniture. All our Pinterest Busters wondered what exactly "furniture" meant. Was it wood furniture? Leather furniture? Upholstered furniture? Plastic furniture? We opted to test both rubbing alcohol and milk on the table top...because (at first) Sharpie ended up there without us planning to put it there. ;)

The Sharpie bled through from the llama on the t-shirt...
...and the rubbing alcohol took it away!
Then a certain Pinterest Buster got silly, and drew a smiley on the table...

...poured milk over it...

...and scrubbed it out!

Sharpie out of carpet with...white vinegar?

A Buster drew a lovely scene on a little rug...

And the white vinegar did nothing but smear stuff matter how hard we tried.

Sharpie off a dry erase board with...dry erase markers?

First, use Sharpies to put some random artwork on the dry erase board.

Second, cover the artwork with dry erase marker scribbles.

Thirdly, erase everything. It really comes right off. For reals!

End result? The Pinterest Busters found that most claims for the hard surfaces turned out to be true, while the things that supposedly worked on fabric-like things did not work. The Pinterest Busters also found that it is a lot of fun when someone hands you a Sharpie marker and basically says "Wreck this, we're going to try and fix it. And it's okay if we can't." :)


  1. The hand sanitizer one is actually a common one I see done to make "fireworks" shirts with sharpies, so I wasn't surprised that didn't work.

    1. Ticia - so funny you mention that, because as the ink was spreading across the t-shirt, we were discussing all the really cool designs we could make with it! :)

    2. Hand sanitiser one works on things like plastic. But it has to be hand sanitiser with an alcohol based active ingrediant. I do it often at work to remove writing off the plastic paper sheafs!

  2. To get it off of a shirt just use rubbing alcohol, it's a helluva lot cheaper. Put a white towel (have several if the spot is big) between the front and back layers of the shirt. Blot the top of the stain with a little rubbing alcohol on a paper towel. Blot until the ink starts to transfer to the paper towel and the towel underneath. Switch out both towels when you get ink transfer, otherwise if just bleeds right back into the shirt. Keep dabbing until the spot comes out. While I doubt major amounts of Sharpie like your lovely llama will come out weel, this works great on smaller spots or markings.


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