November 15, 2012

how to remove sharpie marker from anything

“Mommy, I need to tell you something.”  Does anything good start that way?  I’m guessing not much!

My twin boys have these super cute West Elm  Parsons Mini Desks tucked into two corners of their playroom.  Now that they have a little bit of kindergarten “homework,” it’s especially nice for them to have a desk to call their own … even if homework usually happens at the kitchen table.

I’ve previously shared my thoughts on markers and crayons for my kiddos.  If they aren’t washable, they don’t come in my house!  Seriously, why would you need them?  There is nothing my kindergarteners need to work on that requires a non-washable coloring instrument — paint, marker, crayon, whatever.

Unfortunately, I don’t apply that same standard to myself … because this girl loves a Sharpie.  And occasionally my boys will use my markers, because — let’s be honest — I have way better colors.  Would you believe me if I told you I needed them for renderings?    I also don’t mind that they use my markers occasionally, because my kiddos know better than to color anything besides paper.  Before they were old enough to understand this, I kept all markers and crayons out of reach … to be used only when supervised.  Unfortunately times two, a Sharpie bleeds through regular paper.  That means, even though Twin B was doing everything right, he still marked up his desk.

Hilariously, before they came to get me, the boys tried to clean this up with wipes.  Wipes take care of many, many, many things … but Sharpie is not one of them!

You can make memories with washable markers.

I wasn’t at all mad — not even for a moment.  Accidents happen, and there was no reason to “blame” Twin B.  Gracious, this is the reason for my entire design philosophy — that chic and sophisticated can withstand twin boys!  What I did do, however, was to research how to remove permanent marker.  Lacquer is readily wipeable, which is great for most messes, but not so much for an ink stain.  And my trusty Mr. Clean Magic Eraser failed me.

Enter non-toxic Amodex Ink and Stain Remover.   After several treatments, which — per the directions — including leaving the solution on overnight, here’s what Twin B’s desk looks like now!

One small spot has the tiniest bit of gray shadow remaining, but — as you can see from the photo — it is not at all noticeable.  I’m guessing that spot would have gone away as well if I had not previously tried the Magic Eraser … and may still go away if I repeat the Amodex treatment again.  If that isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is.

Yep, I have a new love.  MOMs, I’d buy some to keep on hand.  My bottle is at the ready!

What’s the toughest stain you’ve ever gotten out?

“Please excuse the mess; the children are making memories” sign by Slight Imperfections on Etsy.  Photos of Bic Mark-It Color Collection markers and Seventh Generation wipes via  Amodex photo via The   Crayola products via    


  • LB
    Nov. 15, 2012
    Hairspray is great to remove sharpie from hard surfaces....found that out the hard way while babysitting :)
  • Things That Inspire
    Nov. 15, 2012
    Toothpaste is my go-to for removing sharpie from hard surfaces. Try it on the small remnants that remain on your desk! I learned this years ago when my middle child got sharpie on the coffee table, and was happy to learn that it even works on marble ( my middle child got sharpie smudges from labeling plastic bags on my white marble)! Holly
  • Maria Killam
    Nov. 16, 2012
    I love your 'traci approved' stamp, that is awesome!! Great story Traci, I have a white desk, never know I might need it! x maria
  • Annie
    Nov. 17, 2012
    I love that this came out! Good to know!
  • AJ Rogers
    Nov. 17, 2012
    Added this to my Pinterest board - Thank you!
  • Melissa
    Nov. 18, 2012
    You have no idea how many times in my life I could of used this product! Thank you for the tip!
  • Joan Waddell
    Nov. 18, 2012
    Traci - not just for kids....I'll be getting my "emergency" eraser soon! Thanks for the research.
  • Karen Davis (@markergirlhome)
    Nov. 19, 2012
    Off bug spray will do it. It removes it from them and furniture!
  • Donna Frasca
    Nov. 19, 2012
    So good to know but for me, about 8 years too late :-)
  • Holly
    Nov. 19, 2012
    I'm sure I will need this in the near future. Those washable Crayola markers are the best! thanks for the tip.
  • Amodex
    Nov. 21, 2012
    We are all so glad to read this! Everyone we hear about who has great success makes it all worthwhile!

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