Did the kiddos get a little “creative” with their coloring? Cleaning things up isn’t so hard with this tip:
- Try covering the stains with toothpaste then scrub off with a damp cloth (just plain–not the gel kind). I’ve tried this on wood paneling, painted walls and even a porcelain doll face.
Works like a charm for me, but didn’t work out so well for you? No worries, there’s a list of more ideas for removing stubborn marker scribbles below.
First, this is an experiment I tried on a wood table which had old permanent marker stains. Another several years old abuse. I decided to try toothpaste and they lifted quite nicely.
What I Did: I simply rubbed some in, left it for a minute or two and then took a soapy, wet dishcloth (excess water squeezed out) and rubbed out the stains going with the direction of the grain of the wood. I had to apply some pressure, but it worked!
Caution: Be careful about using toothpaste, make sure to choose a regular kind that doesn’t contain any abrasives. Especially when working on items with a fine finish (such as wood furniture) since you don’t want to scratch the surface.
Here are more helpful tips I’ve organized from readers in the comment area below (for use on wood, walls, floors, clothing–all kinds of things):
- Color over spot with a dry erase marker, wipe it off and it should pull up the ink too.
- Try erasing with a pencil eraser.
- Spray sunscreen over top (don’t leave on wood too long or there may be damage).
- Apply a bit of hair spray.
- Spray insect repellent over the ink.
- Mix 3/4 cup household ammonia with 1 quart water and soak the clothing or laundry item in the solution (tie up the pail of cleaner with the clothing in a plastic garbage bag for 24 hrs).
- Wipe them away with baby wipes.
- Hand sanitizer gel rubbed into the spot then washed away does a nice job.
Have I missed your tried & true remedy? Please share it in the comments section below!
DUDE! My 2 year old daughter wrote all over herself with a permanent sharpee marker and so I tried to get it off with toothpaste and IT TOTALLY WORKED! My wife will never know that it happened while I was babysitting!
Please HELP! I soldmy children’s bunkbeds, but my 4 year old daughter got sharpie all over it. I tried toothpaste, rubbing alcohol, bug spray, and nail polish remover and nothing works! PLease Help!
Get and Expo Marker (the kind you write on white boards with) and color on the sharpie ink. Then wipe it with a dry cloth, takes both the Expo marker ink off and the sharpie ink with it.
HOLY COW!!!!! This so worked!!!! My friends Sharpie exploded all over my kitchen table and I used an Expo pen first but it dried up so I finished with an SRX whiteboard pen and it still worked!!!! Thanx soooooo much! Nevr would of thunk of that!!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! I was in big trouble cause I had gotten sharpie on the dining room- wooden- table!! It took me a few times of reapplying the toothpaste, but I finally got it off!!! It didn’t take off the finish, and my parents are no longer mad at me. THANKS AGAIN!!!!
I wrote with blue permanent marker on tissue paper that was on top of a white painted wood end table. Every word came out on the tabletop, as if I had written on top of it, not on the tissue paper. The white toothpaste worked to erase everything but a small 1/4-inch mark. THANK YOU!!!!!
thanks that works great. i got permanent marker off a keyboard with expo dry erase marker
Dont try any of these!!! They ruined my walls and it still is on the walls!!!
I learned that the hard way. Spent 3 hours making a white board chart with permanent marker so that I could just fill in info and erase when updating was needed. Filled in info with my expo and when I tried to erase a mistake…..my chart started to disappear 🙁
My son put texta all over my wooden bunk beds. Will white board makers work. It has been there for around 2 months because I couldn’t find anything that worked. Please Help!!
HELP ME PLEASE,! About 3 days ago I slept with a red sharpie marker – I was exhausted and wanted to hi lite! The red is all over a new set of sheets my sister gave me 100% cotton as a gift and bleed through onto my brand new mattress cover (but not onto the mattress) obviously plastic backing cause I tried 99% alcohol and it did not come through onto paper towels! Dummy me!
The area of red is very very large on bottom sheet as if I had been murdered but not quite so bad on mattres cover which was also a gift at $175.00! PLEASE HELP
My 2 year old kid place pain balm on my modern artistic wall it was faded when I place soap on it scrubber also – did not match any answers in Google Search Help.
Any Suggestions please
My mums office got a blue pen stain on her shelf.I tried it with EVERYTHING.LITERALLY EVERYTHING.And it Still doesn’t WORKKKKK😭
for furniture with marker on it try a pencil eraser
try marker remover… lol it works!!!
My husband left a black permanent marker in the pocket of his shorts…I failed to check his pockets before washing a load of clothes, and the result was black markings all over the inside of the dryer and all over our clothes. I used spray on sunscreen and it totally removed it. Every bit!!! It was easy too. Just thought I would share this with you guys
The sunscreen worked on my microfiber couch my son drew on with a perment marker. I can’t believe it but it did. Thanks a bunch.
I just tried spray-on sunscreen on my tabletop. It took the black marker right off. I can’t believe I have my table back to normal!
I got marker in a new end table and I felt horrible.
the sunscreen trick worked ans took it right off. just apary on lightly
ans rub off immediately.
thanks fir the advice.
it was amazing.
after you spraied on the sunscreen did you put it back in the wash?
and do you think that would work on a school bag?
used coppertone sunscreen spray. it completely removed multicolored 6 month old marker stains on my new white metal washing machine!
Praise God for sunscreen!!! I read all the tips before I tried and it worked like majic!!! I bought my son a real fine guitar for Christmas. His fellow band member took a sharpie to it to draw their logo. Shoot…he couldn’t even color in the lines! I was a little more than just ticked off. I was really concerned about destroying the fine wood finish. I did a test spot and no harm done. It was a rather large area. The sunscreen was instant and easy. I just poured it on and lightly rubbed it off with a towel. I’m impressed. And needless to say….in a much better mood. Thank you all for this fantastic remedy.
how did you get it out of the clothes I only have kids spray on sunscreen will that work
Try aerosol Hairspray. THIS ONLY WORKS IF YOU HAVE NOT DRIED THE SHEETS SINCE THE STAIN. Saturate stain with Hairspray and wash as normal. Drying them sets the stain. If one attempt doesn’t work, try again.
Try hair spray i’m doing a sceince fair project and that worked best.
thanks worked great good luck on your sceince project
i would try shoe cleaner 2 weeks ago i tried it and it worked perfectly! Good luck!!
try hairspray with a baby wipe. If that’s doesn’t work try water down conditioner
I know it sounds crazy, but it works (for more than just marker, by the way) but brake fluid works wonders! It dulls the gloss on paint only just a little, but the ink comes off. I’ve also used it to remove automotive grease from white silk & not only did it remove the stain, it didn’t harm the silk! I wouldn’t use it on skin, though it won’t really hurt the skin…
thanks it really works i used brake fluid to get the permenant maker of my gloss paint thank you again
Do NOT use brake fluid on the skin! It’s corrosive, irritating and can even be absorbed causing systemic problems such as impaired kidney function. Rinse off skin promptly and thoroughly if in contact.
Try WD-40, My 2 year old did the same with our chest of drawers, worked just fine
2yr old got permanent marker n our solid oak stand. Fiance thought it would come off with guardsman furniture polish -.-” Only thing i figured it would do is put a protective layer OVER the marker. Anyways, we tried banana boat spray on sunscreen.. that worked a TINY bit. Then we found some plain white toothpaste and that worked much better! we had to use a bit of elbow grease but it got most of it off you can barely tell anything happened.
OMGGG the toothpaste worked like magic seriously i literally got the reg toothpaste from my house left it on for about 2-3 min and scrubbed it out actually i didnt even have to scrub that hard it literally came right out just like how how hairspray does on clothes with pen or pretty much anything else i couldnt believe it it worked so good its like its brand new
HELP!! NOTHING WORKS!! I got permanent marker on my desk. I ended up painting it over. It looks so bad please help!
I was working on a science project and the same problem happened I tried everything but nothing can get this shakier out of my desk! SeNd HeLp!!!!!
Thank you so much, my daughter freinds got permanent marker on my light grey leather car seat… they had written on their bodies with marker to go to stagecoach… ended up on my seat. This works! got it right out without damaging the leather. My car smells good too. O:)
It worked PERFECTLY for me too! My 3 year old did the same thing on my MacBook Pro and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It worked like magic.
Thank you so much. Toothpaste is the new “duct tape” for 2010!
What kind of toothpaste was it? Do you think any kind will work?
You should use white toothpaste not the gel
toothpaste and baby wipes worked great on my computer desk but not on my two yearold!! I put him in the tub and smeared a thick layer of toothpaste all over his arms, legs and face where he had drawn on himself, let it set for about 5 minutes then washed him off using and exfoliating scruber and no luck!! I haven’t even tried to get the marker off the quilt yet!!
try any of these • White Vinegar
• Warm water
• Mr. Magic Eraser
• Warm or cold water
• Rubbing Alcohol
• Toothpaste (non-gel just plain white)
• Dry erase marker
• Paper towels
• Antibacterial hand gel
• Non-Oily Hairspray
• Cooking spray
• Nail polish remover
• Bleach (depending on the surface)
• Tide to go stick
• After shave
• Spray on sunscreen
• Black Coffee
• Isopropyl Alcohol
• Toothpaste mixed with baking soda
• Salt (and nail polish remover)
• Insect repellent
• Baby wipes
• Shoe Cleaner
• Brake Fluid
I tried the Isopropyl alcohol – Lightened it up – but didn’t remove it.
I have tryed every thing!!!! and a combination of all the above nothing will work on cement 🙁 what else can I try?? any suggestions?
Try muriatic acid (used for cleaning mildew off swimming pool tiles) read and follow directions carefully you should only need a little bit so don’t go buy a large container of it. This is a suggestion for concret only. Afterwards hose off completely.
If the concrete isn’t painted try an abrasive, such as sandpaper, or a wire brush with paint thinner, acetone, or brake cleaner.
Just a suggestion, try putting baking soda on your son’s arms, legs, etc… wet his skin then lightly rub baking soda on areas to try to remove the unwanted marks. Hope it works.
Its not babysitting if its your daughter
Tried the sunscreen and it worked great on our wooden dining table. Sprayed it on and wiped it off right away and it came right off!! THANKS A BUNCH!!!
Good save there Dad!…What she doesn’t know will keep you out of the doghouse…LOL…
To remove permanent marker from BRICK use rough sandpaper. I tried toothpaste, sun screen etc. Nothing worked! One swipe of the sandpaper took it right off my adobe fireplace bricks!
you can buy goof off from your local hardware store.Spray it on wait 40seconds and wipe off
I tried getting permanent marker off my desk with nail polish remover and it worked!!!!
Thanks for this great tip. Toothpaste removed permanent marker from my wood desk in a matter of seconds.
This tip helped save my antique desk! My daughter used a permanent marker but forgot to put something under the paper,so it soaked through. I was so worried it wouldn’t come off, or that if I tried something like goo be gone it would ruin the finish. Thanks for the tip! Toothpaste….who knew?!
thank you so much, i got permanent marker on my moms table and the tooth paste took the marker out perfectly
Discovered a new solution: spray-on sunscreen removes permanent marker even better than toothpaste! Just spray on and it dissolves instantly. Note: do this over a sink as the marker will just run right off!
THANK YOU SOOO MUCH…. THAT REALLY HELPED. AGAIN… THANK YOU
it worked!!!!!!!!!!!! now im not gonna get grounded when my parents get home!
toothpaste no work 🙁
Yup, toothpaste was a huge dud!
my daughter used a washable marker on the walls in her room im moving out of this house and it not washing off at all (crayola washable marker) ive tried eveything posted here nothing has worked at all.
My son wrote on the wall with a green Sharpie Marker. Three years later I tried toothpaste and lighter fluid it did not come off. I used Cutters insect repellant and it removed the permanent marker from my wall!
that is coolim going to have to try that.
why did you wait that long?
I was in the laundry room with a permanent marker but the marker stopped writing. I started shaking it to get the ink flowing and didn’t realize that I had gotten the ink splattered all over the laundry room tile floor, the wall & door and on my white front loading washer and dryer. I tried using nail polish remover, WD-40; hair spray, bleach/water solution and Goo-Gone. The nail polish remover removed some of the ink but left a big purple glob on my white dryer. I read your suggestions and tried the insect repellent (Off-Deep Woods and Cutter All Family Insect Repellent) on my dryer and IT WORKED!!!!!! It took 5 or 6 applications to get the job done. This did not work on the wall or door but it did work on my shiny floor tiles. Next time I shake a permanent marker I will use a zip-lock bag and prevent any mishap! Thank the Lord for your web-site!!!
thanx “I LOVE TOOTHPASTE IT’S MY NEW BFF” it removed perm. marker from my flat screen computer monitor!!! thank god
Did using toothpaste to clean the permanent marker smear your screen.
Oh my gosh April you are brave, I don’t think I would have dared try toothpaste on my flat screen monitor! lol!
GREAT TIP, my 2/o daughter got red permanent all over the computer desk, it came out perfectly thank you. I never knew toothpaste could be so powerful. Thanks a bunch.
I had my doubts, but the black sharpie my daughter wrote on the walls with, almost evaporated when I tried the spray on sunscreen…..I do not want to know what is in that stuff, just know that it keeps the sun and the sharpie from places I do not want it.
My 4yr. old decided to decorate the wall with a sharpie marker in royal blue.. I tried everything, and nothing seem to work until I used the off insect repellent. I am still trying to get the rest of it out of my couch, but the fabric is harder to get it off of. any suggestions?
Hats off to the bug repellent it really works
I think you should use toothpaste it is so amazing it is like magic
Really, because it didn’t remove a thing for me. My 3 Yr. old wrote on the wall with permanent marker, and I have yet to get it to budge, but I haven’t tried the insect repellent or sunscreen yet, but the toothpaste maybe only works on nonporous materials?
The fabric. Use germ X, or white vinegar.
Hi Kathy, how about trying toothpaste (rub it into the stain) or nail polish remover?
You could try a product called WashAway, it works well around our house. It removed some resin stains from my White Sox jersey back in the early 90’s. It has worked to clean out a lot of stains around here but those were the toughest. Try it with a toothbrush!
You could also try hairspray. . Saturate the spot completely and let dry. Then attack it with a regular upholstry cleaner and scrub the stain out. You might have to repeat this a few times, but it works. . I’ve used this trick on permanent marker on clothing, as well as permanent hair color. . works like a charm!
Worked great!!! i had my doubts but it did what i needed it to do! Thanks a bunch!
WOW!! Can’t believe it worked!! We are so happy!!! Worked right away off of a $2,000 desk – black marker and all!
I got lots of marker on my new parket floor, so i tried everything but the winner was “SUNSCREEN” it is amazing.
YOU ROCK….our 4 yr old wrote on our flat screen monitor..I was panic stricken. After a very deep breath, did a search and found you first hit. 3 minutes later I had a clean screen..Thank you so much
My son drew some pictures on typing paper with a black sharpie without anything under the paper and got marker on the oak kitchen table…after looking at this site i used some toothpaste(the jell type was all we have in the house)…took it right off…thanks for the tip
you so rock. My 3 YO drew a HUGE circle on our kitchen table. I tried part of it tonight and will be finishing tonight after the kids are in bed (and don’t want to play with the toothpaste like mom!)
Thank you SO SO much!
My friends and i at camp were going to be in huge amounts of trouble because my friend wrote her name all over the wooden bunks, and i told everyon to get their bugspray, and we did and by wetting it with the bugspray and then wiping it off. it came off fantastically, the camp director never knew!
oh my goodness, i got a mark on my finace’s wooden coffee table, while marking dresses in a catalog, and i about had a heart attach, i did a search on-line found you first, and to my suprise the toothpaste worked, i’m amazed, and am so glad that he’ll never know. thanks, you saved my life!!!
Thanks so much! Toothpaste actually worked! I accidentally got blue Sharpie on our good new dining table, and I tried EVERYTHING – white sprits, hairspray, bug spray…nothing worked. It’s been two months and I was getting ready to call a furniture restorer for a quote on fixing it when I saw this thread and figured why not? A few dabs of White Glo and 60 seconds of scrubbing with a soft scrub and it was gone! The finish isn’t even dulled! You’re awesome!!! =p
toothpaste doesnt take off SHARPIE off PAINTED WALLS! haha but, i found out that LOITION TISSUES takes SHARPIE off of sunglasses!
because my little cousin messed up my whole room with sharpie && i found some weird ways to get it off
SHARPIE CAN COME OFF OF:
sunglasses by LOTION TISSUES
TV screen by a dry eraser (like on a pencil) !
does anyone have any tips on how to get permanent marker (sharpie) off of the top of laptops?
not the screen, but like when it’s closed. it’s a dell finish, not like the apples.
it would be much appreciated!!!
I had Sharpie writing on my Vaio laptop next to the touch pad (DON’T ASK) – I tried nail polish remover, it just faded it but didn’t take it off. After reading here, I got my Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock SPF 70 out and sprayed it on – came off COMPLETELY with ONE WIPE OF A PAPER TOWEL. You can’t tell it was ever there.
Of course, now I have to figure out how to get sunblock off my keyboard…
THIS WORKS FOR PERMANENT MARKERS, SHARPIES,..ALL OVER MY COMPUTER SCREEN WAS A CUTE DRAWING BUT I WROTE OVER IT DRY ERASE MARKER AND THIS WORKS ON TVS TOO!!!!!
ps tried toothpaste, WD-40, rubbing alchohol, hairspray — no luck.
Hi Lauren, try:
– Rubbing Alcohol
– Color over marker with dry erase marker, wait a few seconds then wipe away (the permanent marker might come off with the dry erase)
– Artgum eraser – try rubbing the stain away
See more ideas here: Remove crayon from walls
Bug spray has pesticides in it – very harmful to human health and should never be used more than necessary (the sunscreen mentioned may be one containing bug repellant) wouldn’t use it – try toothpaste or hairspray instead
Had a run in with the Sharpie fairy(cough) 3y/o (cough) he decided Mommy’s antique oak bar needed a contemporary touch… tooth paste to the rescue… dabbed it on and wiped right off.. fantabulous! Any ideas of how to stop drooling??
Thanks for the ideas!
HELP!! My 2 year old daughter got permanent marker all over my new microfiber recliner!! please help, my husband is gonna freak!! do u think i could use rubbing alcohol??
p.s. it’s dark purple and i have been scrubbing for an hour with a stain remover for fabric. notta!
KayKay, did you ever have success? Our toddler drew lines all over our microfiber couch and light tan throw pillows. Hand Sanitizer didn’t seem to work, but I only squirted it on and then immediately tried to blot it up . . . should I have let it sit for a while?
kaykay try a small spot in a hidden corner of the couch before you use a stain removal method to make sure it doesn’t stain or affect the microfibre. I think rubbing alcohol would be safe, but I’d check first before using.
OMG!!!THIS IS LIKE TOTALLY A LIFESAVER!!!IT TOOK THE STAIN OFF OF MY LIKE TOTALLY NEW DIGITAL CAMERA!!!!!!4 EALZ
Does anyone know what I could use to get mosquito repellent off a table? There is a finish on it. Got all off but where my son blasted it in one spot. I used the Mr Clean Magic Eraser on the rest of table- which also works well with markers, crayons, just about everything!!
this did not work 4 me!!!! i tried it 3 times and of coarse it isn’t as noticeable, but you can still see it :(:(:(:(:(:(:(
How about taking permanent maker off of concrete or cement? My 4yo decided to color on the porch ledges and I can’t get it off. Have tried toothpaste, nothing. The insect repellent started to take off some but left most of it. please help.
I wrote on my mirror with marker before realizing that was a totally stupid idea. I sprayed it with deodorant and it wipe straight off!! It works with metal and concrete too!!
Amy I would hose down the ledges really well then try scrubbing in a very generous amount of fingernail polish remover (soaked in for a few minutes).
If that doesn’t work, the outdoor elements might just take care of it for you (will take some time though).
thanx ssssssssoooooooooooooooo much my new nintendo got marked on and if my mom would have seen i would have been grounded for the rest of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ok…PEASE help! I’ve tried everything listed above to remove my kids supposedly washable marker off my BRAND NEW HOUSE!! In less than 10 minutes, my 3 kids took a red marker and colored three bedrooms, and all-white bedroom doors, cabinets, closet doors, a crib and an armoire!! Hair spray did clean up the crib and armoire. Everything else seems to remove a little bit of the red marker from the painted white doors, cabinets, etc., but leaves a red residue. NOTHING has worked on the painted walls.
I accidentally got sharpie on the inside of the fridge on the white plastic walls so I tried colgate toothpaste after researching it on my iPod (thank god for technology nowadays :D) and after alot of hard hard hard scrubbing and rubbing with my fingers I finally got it off. I can’t believe my mom didn’t notice it before i removed it! So if you have any nonporous plastic-like materials in your home that got coloured on you should try this it really wOrked for me 🙂 tip: it might be a better idea to use a rag or a toothbrush or something because y fingers were a bit sore afterwards 😛
I need some major help here! One of my twins threw a green marker (not a crayola washable) into the dryer. I dried all of my clothes and now there are streaks of green all over my entire load of laundry, including my daughters jersey for ball. I don’t know what to do b/c they were dried with the marker……..HELP!!!!!!!
ink can be removed from clothing very easily by putting 3/4 cup of ammonia to 1 quart of water and letting it sit for 24 hours. You need to get a bucket and line it with a garbage bag and then add the ammonia and water solution. Submerge the clothing into the solution and tie up the bag for 24 hours and it will take out ink.
You can try these tips Brigitte:
Ink Stain Removers
wow dis really works ,my 2year old nephew wrote all over my computer moniter and i got it off with the tootpaste trick
MY GRANDDAUGHTER DREW ON MANY THINGS WITH BLACK MARKER, BUT ON A WHITE PAINTED WALL. I TRIED THE TOOTHPASTE AND SUNBLOCK, STILL HAVE THE MARK. DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY OTHER IDEAS? THE LANDLORD IS COMING IN A COUPLE OF DAYS.
I WENT BACK AND TRIED A THIRD TIME. THANKS FOR THE TIP, IT WORKED! I CAN STILL SEE IT BUT IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO SEE IT. PROPS TO WHOEVER FOUND THIS TIP.
What was the third thing you used? My 3 children used colored sharpie markers and decided to change the color of my fireplace room. Walls are not white but they are a pinkish color and NOTHING is working.
I need a quick fix. some of you may have read that my three children got different color marker all over my painted walls, well here is the not so fun part. The house is sold now and we have 10 days to get everything of ours out and get the perm. marker off the walls. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!! Toothpaste, sunscreen, rubbing alocohol they DIDNT work.
WOW TOOTH PASTE, THANK YOU THANK YOU DID I SAY THANK YOU!!!!!! My 3 year old colored on my flat screen monitor, my desk and my dresser with green sharpie. It is all gone thanks to your tooth paste hint.
I have heard this works haven’t tried it yet…but my daughter used Permanent purple marker basically all over the walls in my house, been using Bleach, but i think im gonna try this but i cant take the fumes from the bleach anymore..its horrible
I got home from work to find my husband had let our daughters color wearing their fanciest pastel dresses with bright a RED marker. He had a stain removal secret I didn’t know about. Much to my surprise and delight the marker came right out by rubbing each stain with baby wipes and placing a paper towel under the stain. The marker went right into the paper towel. Worked impressively well.
Well my wonderful 2 1/2 year old son decided it would be cool to try and draw on my man’s overly sized computer monitor…it’s a Mitshubishi Diamond Pro 2040u…anyways…i tried the toothpaste idea and all it did for me was leave a pleasant smell on the screen and nothing more…but then i used Cutter’s Skintastic and it came right off!!! he even got it aournd the screen on the plastic part and it had the same affect. i would deff. recommend this idea. 😀
spray on sunscreen works like a miracle
My lovely children opened my work bag in my truck and proceeded to color all over my back seat. What would be the best thing on all the vinyl??