Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Useful Tips : How to Remove Permanent Marker from a Smooth Surface

All you need to remove most Sharpie-like marks from that dry erase board, refrigerator door, computer screen, or any other non-porous surface, is a few seconds and dry erase marker!

Method One

1. Get ahold of any normal dry erase marker.
2. Test the dry erase marker on an inconspicuous area of the surface you want cleaned to see if it wipes off cleanly (but only after 1 minute or so, so that the ink can dry).
3. Draw over the entire dried sharpie mark with the dry erase marker. Give it 5+ seconds for the marker to dry completely, otherwise it will smear.
4. Wipe both marks away with a lent free cloth or micro fiber. Never use paper towels.
5. If the mark has been dried on for several days, repeat steps 3 and 4 more than once and perhaps with more pressure to wipe it off.

Method Two

1. Take a normal pencil eraser.
2. Try erasing the surface to make sure that the eraser will not damage the surface.
3. Erase the permanent marker area.
4. (This may not get permanent marker completely off, and only works for really smooth surfaces. Walls, unpolished wood, printing paper, and such, will not work.)

+ - Always test each method in an inconspicuous place first if possible.

+ - Always start with the least invasive solvent/cleaner first. Some of the solvents/chemicals below will destroy certain surfaces. Others may even allow the ink to go deeper into the surface-making it more difficult to remove later. Anything that deals with dry powders, toothpaste, or abrasive cleaners may permanently scratch the surface. Some solvents listed will "melt" certain plastics.

* A useful alternative is Lysol(R) disinfectant spray. Spray a liberal amount on the marker, allow to set for a few seconds and wipe clean. Repeat if necessary to remove any remaining marks. Also try removing any excess marker with steel wool with the Lysol but remember not to rob too hard and scratched the surface.
* For unpainted wood, sprinkle some baking soda over the area and then wipe it off with a paper towel soaked in isopropyl alcohol.
* Try using sunscreen.
* Toothpaste with baking soda in it, just rub it over with an old toothbrush and then wipe the toothpaste off. Leaves you with a nice clean surface, smells nice too.
* Rub it in circles till the marker was gone then moved on to the next spot.
* Try using a rag with a touch of gasoline works wonderfully!
* White Board Cleaner Spray works.
* Use Carburator Cleaner, but be careful, this is toxic. You can buy it in any auto supply store, just spray it on the marked surface and it will wipe off clean. It will "eat" some surfaces.
* You could also try plain hand sanitizer such as germ-ex - not the creamy hand lotion types. Simply squirt it on, let it sit for a few seconds, and wipe it off.
* Another useful alternative is rubbing alcohol. Get a bottle of rubbing alcohol (~70% Isopropanol), apply it to a paper towel, tissue, etc. and wipe. May take a few tries, depending on how long the permanent marker has been there.
* One other thing that works is a simple eraser. Use a pencil eraser to rub off most of the marker and then use rubbing alcohol to scrub away the rest with a rag or paper towel.
* Nail Polish Remover (preferably with acetone) is another way to remove many permanent inks, but it might damage your surface so test a small spot.
* Another good one is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, although depending on how dark the stain is you might need to do another step after you use the eraser.
* 409 and other kitchen cleaners are good too, but only for certain surfaces(example: video game cartridge surfaces)
* Dow scrubbing bubbles also works, yet depending on the surface, it might damage the finish if left too long.
* Another sure fire method is to spray on bug repellant with a 20% deet or more concentration, dissolves easily, be sure to clean the surface with soap after.
* you know what really works? it even comes off linoleum, GOOF OFF. It works just like a charm.

* Acetone: you can buy nearly pure acetone in any hardware store where paint solvents are sold. Works WONDERS on permanent marker stains. Nail polish remover is usually diluted with water, so it doesn't work as well. WARNING: AS WITH MOST OF THESE, ALWAYS TEST THIS IN AN INCONSPICUOUS PLACE FIRST!

Hoppes Number 9 gun cleaning solvent is also a great solvent for such tasks. Can be found in any store that sells cleaning kits for guns. (Wal-mart, hardware stores, etc.) WARNING: AS WITH MOST OF THESE, ALWAYS TEST THIS IN AN INCONSPICUOUS PLACE FIRST!

* Do not attempt on porous surfaces including unfinished or lightly finished wood, any fabric, unpolished stone, paper, plaster walls, leather, unfinished ceramics,rough paint, etc. etc.
* Do not leave the dry erase marker on the surface for an extended period of time, otherwise that might stain too!

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