Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Helpful Tip for Sharpie Junkies

Yesterday we got this email and we just had to share it with you, because we actually learned something. As you know, Kate is addicted to Sharpies, and apparently that addiction is contagious because now I am, too.  But the problem with having Sharpies and having kids is that they end up all over each other.  Now we know what to do about it. 

Hello beautifuls!


I just read your "Top 10 Things That Really Don't Go Together" post and I'm happy to say that I have an easy solution to problem #10 - Sharpie.

My son is a year round competitive swimmer, at age 9. Let's just say the time he spends in the pool helps me survive his ADHD, but I digress. At the meets we write his events on his hand with a Sharpie so that, in theory, he can keep track of when he needs to get ready to race. (A woman can dream, right?) Anyway, here in California there is no such thing as an indoor pool, so swim meets also equal large amounts of sun screen. If we're not careful, the sun screen, especially the creamy type, will wipe that list of events right off.


At first, this annoyed me. But then I realized I had a solution that many mothers would like to know, especially when their beau
tiful toddler puts Harry Potter glasses on herself, with Sharpie, the day before she's supposed to be a flower girl at your cousin's wedding. Creamy sunscreen removes Sharpie off in a second.


Keep making us laugh - it keeps me sane.

---Elizabeth in California

Thank YOU, Elizabeth. You're a bad ass.  If anyone else has any useful tips for us, please feel free to share. As you've probably figured out we could use all the help we can get.

xo, Kate & Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

56 comments:

  1. Also, baby wipes and mineral oil. Dab the wipe in the oil and it scrubs the marker right off the baby. The wall, however, is another story...hello new coat of paint.

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  2. THANK YOU!!! I discovered rubbing alcohol will get it off of plastic, glass, and metal. But THIS means I can do something I've always dreamed of... Remember that episode of Friends where Rachel and Ross drew on each others faces in black Sharpie? Well, let's just say I have a new consequence for the Mr. falling asleep during our date night movies. Mmmwaaaahhhaaahaaaa (evil laugh)

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  3. When I worked in a research lab, we would use 70% isopropyl alcohol [rubbing alcohol - don't drink!!] or 90% ethyl alcohol [you'd have to go with like Bicardi 151 to get high enough percentage at home] to get Sharpie labels off of plasticware in order to reuse it... also works well for getting dry erase marker off boards when it won't come all the way off. Both of these can be messy, though.

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  4. Lauri Ladd - Marketing MommyJuly 21, 2011 at 7:14 AM

    That is the best tip. I wonder if it works when you smear the sunscreen on walls too.....

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  5. I use baby oil to remove sharpie from skin. Works quite easily.

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  6. Not just sunscreen- this also works with lotion. . . SLATHER it on and let it sit for an hour or so then wash it off. It worked like a charm when my two year old decided dry erase markers made better face paint then anything else. . .

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  7. Ugh! I wish my Sharpie stayed permanent to the bottles/cups/bowls/clothes/etc the daycare requires to be labelled. I feel like 2 washes and I re-labeling everything!

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  8. My kids swim year round too. In MD though, we are mostly indoor pools with the exception of summer. Thank you 1000x over for this tip! They would still have their sharpie lists on their arms on Tuesdays!

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  9. My darling 2yo colored on her finished wooden table with a sharpie andyother in law told me to use a little bit of WD-40 and it will come right out!

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  10. I haven't tried it for sharpie yet, but I would think it would work as well, but those mr clean magic erasers will take dry erase marker right off the wall - and door, and kitchen floor, and baseboards- not the carpet and curtains though unfortunately. :)

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  11. Or furniture and carpet? My oldest would get her little grubby hands on the sharpie and go to town. I'm sure she will be a starving artist when she grows up.

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  12. Oh, I've found that my ADD girl loves swimming, too!

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  13. I love it! The Kidcot stations at Epcot are sponsored by Sharpie so guess what kind of pens they use? Yep... every parent's nightmare. I'm going to give this tip a try and then include the info in every client packet we send out!

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  14. I once let the girls go to town with Sharpies making 'tattoos' on Mommy. They had a blast, and a little Soft Scrub with bleach took everything right off. Though the baby oil would probably have been better for my skin!

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  15. Hairsparay. For sharpie or even pen ink. On walls, skin, plastic or FABRIC!!!! My kid jammed a pen
    Into a stove burner while I was cooking. My white kitchen turned white with blue splotches. I was a smurf! Hairspray saved my sanity and my kids life ;)

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  16. I shouldn't laugh at yumEmumE but I snorted coffee out my nose at the visual of that whole scenario. Sorry....

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  17. My darling boy took a Sharpie to his bedroom walls/furniture/carpet one afternoon (which incidentally, made me realize he had outgrown his afternoon naptime), and the household item that worked best for me was hand sanitizer. The alcohol in the sanitizer is what did the trick, and the gel kept it in place so it could do its work. Didn't work as well on red Sharpie as black, but I guess you have to take what you can get.

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  18. I agree with YumEmumE. My lovely twin boys felt that our NEWLY painted walls needed some pen. LOTS Of pen. Hair spray worked, just don't rub too hard. I used the really expensive stuff Got2b glued and it worked better than the tresume hair spray. Magic Eraser will work on counter tops for sharpies- but on the walls it can take the paint off. I have also found that the Mega Death Stare works WONDERS for it not happening again.
    CC

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  19. This post and subsequent comments make me want to conduct a test to see what best takes off sharpie and on what surfaces. You know, draw sharpie lines on my kids' arm, the wall (somewhere I obviously want to paint soon, just in case), and tupperware...then rub each line with rubbing alcohol, sunscreen, or baby oil to see what works best and easiest. LOL, of course this would be when I have the free time to do so!!!

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  20. Dry erase markers help remove sharpie. I write on our kitchen dry-erase board with sharpie and then when I need to erase that- just write over it with dry erase and wipe off. This also works on the table, and countertop. (Don't ask. Grrr.)

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  21. When I was a sign artist for Trader Joe's, we used to use alcohol-based disinfecting wipes to get the Sharpie prices off our signs. When I taught preschool, we discovered that on nonporous surfaces like glass and plastic, you can go over permanent marker with a dry erase marker, and then wipe it all off. And as Anonymous said, Mr. Clean has truly changed EVERYTHING with those Magic Erasers!

    Regarding the hairspray-- I wonder if the varying amounts of alcohol would account for the differences in effectiveness? Last summer, we got these horrible drain flies in our kitchen, and the Hubs discovered that the "best" way to "swat" them (and also the best way to drive me crazy), was to use a lighter and a can of my GOOD hairspray as a tiny flame thrower. Of course, it only worked with my $12 hairspray. Not the $2 can of Rave I bought to replace it. Grrrrrrrr. I'm betting that more expensive brands have higher levels of flammable spirits, which work as a solvent on the Sharpie ink.

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  22. One night we were staying at my mother in laws, after everyone had gone to sleep my 3 yr old took a sharpie and colored both of the lenses on my new eye glasses solid black, I was worried for a few minutes but I got it off with rubbing alcohol........

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    Replies
    1. I know you probably won't ever see this, but I came across this site after googling "how to get sharpie off eye glasses" because my 4-year old drew all over my glasses while he was supposed to be napping earlier. Oh, I hope this works!!

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  23. If you have Sharpie on a solid surface like counter tops, sometimes hardwoods...anything not too porous, you can squeeze a little Windex on the mark and the use a pink pearl eraser to get it off.

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  24. A friend recommended this product and said it got Sharpie out of her microsuede couch: http://www.amodexink.com/ Not that I've needed it myself...yet... but it's in my back pocket. Just.in.case.

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  25. eye makeup remover takes Sharpie marks off skin also, smooth as silk

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  26. Also, if you get sharpie on a hard surface, you can color over it with an expo marker and then wipe it right away. Someone at my hubby's school wrote down the side of his car with sharpie (he works at a high school), and he tried the above trick that we'd heard of before. Worked in a snap! No negative side affects!

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  27. My oldest son went thru a Sharpie phase twice ... right after each of the other two Ringling Brothers were born. I have learned a ot about Sharpie removal from those days and I literally keep them under lock and key now.

    Sunblock IS the best thisn for removing marker from skin, but DO NOT use it anywhere else. It will remove paint from walls, take the finish off your wood furniture, completely F up any porus tile (limestone, travertine, slate, etc.), de-laminate pergo floors, ruin wood cabinets .. should I go on?

    How do I know this information? Was I having such a 'pretty' moment that I kept repeatedly destroying itmes in my home trying to remove Sharpie? Oooohhh NO. #1 Ringling Brother came upon a Sharpie in Daddy's briefcase and redecorated most of the downstairs. He knew that Sunscreen removes Sharpie and there was a brand new 3 pack of sunscreen sitting right there on the counter. So ... instead of getting murdered for redecorating once again, he armed himself and the other brothers with a can of aresol sunscreen.

    Those 3 had a grand old time spraying and cleaning all over the downstairs. There wsn't much Sharpie left, but you cannot imagine the damage that sunscreen did to the rest of my house. It literally ATE my coffee table. And we spray that schmidt all over our kids? Now the sunscreen is locked up too.

    For those of you wondering what I was doing ALL this time ... showering. That's how quickly this happened! About 20 minutes. (I know! What mom in her right mind spends 20 minutes in the shower!)

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  28. To the 7th poster, Anonymous, who had to label everything for daycare: I had that problem, too, but a friend told me about Mabel's Labels. And I *love* them. They're really thin labels that you can get in different sizes (I got the smallest) and they last through the dishwasher, microwave, whatever. They're practically magic. They've been on some of my kids things for more than two years and they're still going strong - no lie.

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  29. Nail polish remover also gets Sharpie off.

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  30. Fabulous tips!
    Now if anyone has tip for removing the red dye left over on carpet after the little foxlets spilled play makeup then ground it in 'cleaning up' with baby wipes.....

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  31. Magic eraser will take sharpie art off of walls! Just don't scrub too hard...

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  32. Toothpaste, but not the gel kind, takes sharpie off of wood and plaster. Hand sanitizer takes it off of microfibre.

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  33. If anyone can tell me how to get Sharpie off of leather I will build a shrine in your honor!

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  34. Goo Gone takes Sharpie off wood as well. :-)

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  35. Oh, I thought Sharpies were like Diamonds.... Forever!
    And I live with far too many Sharpies and bit bear enough diamonds!

    Off to find the Coppertone. Parental Unit #2 would be thrilled to not have to replace a bathroom door...

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  36. Sunscreen cream works for leather, too. My little's friend drew all over our recliner with a black sharpie, and the sunscreen took it right off.

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  37. Hello, ladies! Just wanted to share this little gem with you:

    http://www.weather.com/maps/news/epacstorm4/epac4stormtrack_large.html

    Actually, we (as mommies) have known about Hurricane Dora for quite some time. The rest of the world is finally recognizing her destructive powers. The irony that she is targeting Mexico is not lost on me, either.

    Thank you for yet another thoroughly amusing blog! Please keep them coming!

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  38. Lis, I'd try the eye make up remover on leather...

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  39. Absolutely nothing to do with Sharpies, but I thought I'd let you gals know about a tip that saved my 20 month old's bacon when she put a big scratch down the LED TV screen swinging a toy around in the loungeroom.... rubbing with a plain white eraser. Yep, really... somehow an eraser completely removed what was quite a significant scratch in our TV screen. Put that one in your back pocket.
    Sharon

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  40. Oh yeah, and I also love to use Sharpies to write the date on baby food jars and plastic wrap before I put things in the fridge. That way I don't have to guess when I'm going through it all a month later. ;)

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  41. WD-40 gets melted crayons out of fabric. Red crayon + load of whites + medium heat dryer cycle = one pissed off mommy. WD-40 saved the day though. Thank you WD-40, thank you.

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  42. I have a leather couch, and used an alcohol swab from my first aid kit, followed by a leather conditioning wipe just as a precaution on the surface. Any alcohol/oil-based solvent (like sunscreen, aerosol propellant, hand sanitizer, WD-40, etc...) will remove sharpie and even most ball point inks off of any surface I've found, including some glossy papers. On the bright side, unless the fabric is hand-dyed or super special in some way, it won't be damaged by plain rubbing alcohol. So I just kept the ginormous stash of wipes the doctor gave us at our last ER visit (gashed scalp...funnnn) and I'm still working through it two years later.

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  43. If you want to keep sharpie *on* cups and plastic items at daycare/school, I've found that a good plain white masking tape label will stick forever and it's one of the few things from which the marker won't just rub off. Plus, if you want to get it off, it doesn't leave a sticky residue.

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  44. Here is a great link on how to remove ink from clothes. My husband is always getting ball point pin ink on his white dress shirts. So sometimes we can't blame our craziness on the kids. There are times it is the husbands fault.

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  45. She's totally right. In triathlon (even the short, slow fat chick ones I do), they write race numbers on our arms with Sharpies, which immediately disappear as soon as we put on sunscreen. You can always tell a triathlete by the sunburned rectangle with untanned number on their upper arm. : )

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  46. Liquid laundry detergent takes Sharpie ink off of skin. Just a small dab to make a thin layer on your skin.

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  47. Magic Clean Eraser does get sharpie off of walls! I have such faith in it that last year I let my kids color pumpkins with Sharpie. As you can imagine, it was everywhere! But you'd never know it now. Getting it off skin is a different story so this sunscreen tip is FABULOUS! Thanks! Hairspray will get ball point pen out of leather furniture, but only once. If the same spot gets colored on again, the alcohol will actually "set" in the ink. Sadly, I know this from personal experience! 2 leather couches in under 3 months...

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  48. And yet people still think it's safe to use this toxic crap to prevent sun damage with the result of being Vit D deficient and ending up with skin cancer caused by the sunscreen!

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  49. Too late to the post, but omg -- DO NOT USE MR. CLEAN MAGIC ERASER ON SKIN.

    Punkin ended up with road rash on her arm & forehead -- which meant that for nearly a week, people kept asking me (and her) if she had taken a tumble --- to which she always replied "No, that's where my mommy scrubbed my skin off!" GAH!

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  50. On plastic, it's easier to put hand sanitizer (which is alcohol,, bascially) on the sharpie mess and then let it soak in, and then wipe it all off. Almost all of the, for example, plastic clear shoebox bins will clean off this way. The sunscreen tip is AWESOME SAUCE in Pizza!!! (btw, I have a recipe that integrates awesome sauce. Perhaps I should send it to you. much adoring for making me laugh so much I snort.

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  51. This is a super, super late comment, but liquid dish soap will clean almost anything out and off of anything. Seriously.

    It's especially good at getting blood out of clothing. Rub it on with your finger or a rag, let it sit a bit, rinse out. Wash.

    It also gets gum out of fabric and carpet.

    Whenever I have something I need to clean that doesn't seem like anything is doing the trick, I turn to dish soap. You won't regret it.

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  52. Rubbing alcohol works wonders on getting sharpie (or even latex paint!) off of clothes. My daughter has gotten both on her good clothes, and I just keep pouring on the alcohol and gently agitating with an old toothbrush and it came right off. :)

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  53. Thanks for the awesome post that helped me to choose my triathlon shorts and wetsuit that is really amazing.

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