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How to Remove Sharpie: Four Quick-and-Easy Hacks

Sharpies and other types of permanent pens are incredibly useful household tools. And no, they’re not just good for doodling absent-mindedly while chatting on the phone. They are also good to have around for labeling things and jotting down quick to-do lists.

But unfortunately, because they’re, you know, permanent – they can cause quite an issue if you accidentally get that ink on your walls, clothing, or anything else you value.

But don’t worry! There are actually a few ways you can remove Sharpie ink, and you probably have at least one of the necessary ingredients already on hand. Read on to learn some of our favorite Sharpie ink-removal hacks, so you’ll be prepared for your next faux pas!

Sharpie Remover: Rubbing Alcohol
Sharpie Remover Option #1

Rubbing Alcohol

Although somewhat harsh on finished wood surfaces, Rubbing alcohol is great for removing permanent ink from clothing and upholstered furniture. And yes – this goes for removing Sharpie ink, as well! Because of its multi-uses (disinfecting hard surfaces, cleaning wounds and bug bites, and reducing body and shoe odor, amongst many other things), you’d be hard-pressed to find a home that doesn’t have at least one bottle of rubbing alcohol laying around.

For this reason alone, it’s always the first thing I recommend when asked how to remove Sharpie ink.

All you’ll need to do is pour a generous amount of rubbing alcohol into a small bowl. Then, dampen a sponge with warm water (squeeze out any excess water into the sink). Once you have both in hand, tiptoe your way over to the main offender to not scare the stain into running, and the rest is easy peasy. Soak up a good portion of the rubbing alcohol into the damp sponge and dab it into the stain.

You do not want to rub the alcohol into the stain with your sponge. This may cause the ink to spread. So, adding just a dab of the rubbing alcohol over each inch of the ink spot will be enough to help lift the stain. Once you’ve finished those steps, let it soak for about 10 to 15 minutes, grab a few paper towels, and pat the area dry. If the ink doesn’t completely come out the first time, repeat the process, and the surface should eventually be restored to its original condition.

Sharpie Remover: Nail Polish Remover
Sharpie Remover Option #2

Nail Polish Remover

If there are women of any age living in your home, chances are, you will find a bottle of nail polish remover, as well. Because of the acetone found in nail polish remover, it can be great for removing Sharpie ink from many surfaces. Especially harder surfaces.

Acetone tends to be a little rough when used on some fabrics, so you’ll want to test it on a small portion of the stained area before committing to using it as your ink remover. To do that, all you’ll need is a cotton ball or Q-tip with the nail polish remover on it. Put a few drops onto the portion you’ve selected as your “test area,” and then wait about 15 minutes to see how the fabric reacts.

If all looks well when the timer goes off, you can feel safe to treat the rest of the stain. Put a generous amount of the nail polish remover onto the Sharpie stain in question, wait for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then pat it dry with a paper towel. Feel free to repeat this process two or three times, if needed.

Sharpie Remover: White Vinegar
Sharpie Remover Option #3

White Vinegar

Many people are choosing to use white vinegar for a variety of household chores these days. Since it’s 100-percent natural, it’s the greener way to go when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and removing certain stains.

If you need to remove Sharpie ink from your countertops, walls, or other hard surfaces, white vinegar could easily be your best friend. Pour it in a spray bottle, carry it in your holster (er, I mean apron), and those stains won’t know what hit ‘em. Well, you might — but they won’t.

While vinegar has a strong smell that might clear a room, you can take comfort in knowing that it’s not harmful when sufficiently diluted. Not to your surfaces nor to you.

Like with most cleaners used to remove Sharpie ink, you’ll want to let the vinegar soak into the stain for about 10 to 15 minutes before patting it dry with a paper towel. You may need to repeat this process once or twice, and that’s OK! Just be patient, and you’ll be happy with the final results.

Sharpie Remover: White Vinegar
Sharpie Remover Option #4

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice, not unlike white vinegar, is a great “all-natural” cleaner that has proven to be effective when removing Sharpie ink. And chances are, you probably haven’t had the chance to use the entire bottle that you bought for the lemon chicken dish you made for your in-laws three months ago.

And you thought you’d never get around to using it.

Well, today is your lucky day! It’s time to open the fridge, break open that bottle of lemon juice with pride, and go at that Sharpie ink stain with gusto. Or should I say “with lemon zest”?

And no need to follow a cookbook for this. You can apply the lemon juice until the stained area is saturated (if it’s not a hard surface). Once it has soaked for a few minutes, pat it dry with some paper towels, and voila! You can feel proud of yourself as you put the lemon juice back in your fridge for another three months.

Or at least until you have another Sharpie ink stain emergency.

Remove Sharpie Marks For Good!

Learning to get Sharpie markings – or any kind of permanent ink – off of your belongings is just something everyone should know how to do. Even if you don’t have little ones running around the house, leaving marks everywhere, you will eventually end up accidentally getting permanent ink on something important.

Just be sure to keep one of the solvents discussed above on hand, and you’ll be prepared!

Post By: Rachel

Rachel Team is a writer and childcare professional who loves sharing innovative home décor ideas and domestic solutions with readers. An accomplished musician, Rachel spends most of her free time in the recording studio or playing in front of live audiences, but she also enjoys spoiling her dog, traveling, and maintaining the world’s largest collection of ChapStick.

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