How To Get Sharpie Off Plastic Without Damaging it

Sharpies can get away from anyone, including children old enough to use one. As a parent, you need to know how to get Sharpie off plastic without damaging it. Anyone can make a mistake, and that’s okay.

The problem is how to get rid of new stains without causing more damage.

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We’ve come up with ideas to give you an option that works for you and your family. Whether you’re efficient, chemical-free, or vegan, there is a way for you to get sharpie off plastic today.

Best Way To Get Sharpie Off Plastic

This is the most surefire way to remove Sharpie from plastic. It is a common and effective method that most people can do. The materials are common household items so it shouldn’t be a problem finding them. 

However, if you don’t have all of them, you can use substitutes, which we will talk about later. For now, let’s discuss the best way to remove Sharpie ink stains from plastic. This method is easy.

Materials Needed:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton ball
  • Damp cloth
  • Dry cloth
  • Liquid soap

Directions To Get Sharpie Off Plastic:

Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol. Then, gently rub the surface of the plastic with it. The alcohol will break down the marks and return them to their liquid state. When this happens, the marker will lift away.

Make sure to keep the lid on the rubbing alcohol when you’re not using it. Spilling it can be disastrous. It can break down materials, stink up a house, and waste a great bottle of stain remover.

When you see the marks liquefying, you can wipe them off with a damp cloth. They should come right off. Then, use the cotton ball again as an added measure. Finally, wash the plastic with soapy water then dry it with a cloth. 

How to Remove Sharpie Off Plastic With Another Marker

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Another great way to remove Sharpie from plastic is to use another marker. This works because the dry-erase marker also has alcohol in it. But it also has friction from the marker. You erase it by marking over it. 

The first thing you do is color over every inch of the marker, making sure to cover it well. Then, wipe it off with a cloth or dry eraser, just like you were using a dry-erase marker. If this doesn’t work, use other methods. 

Non-Toxic Ways To Get Sharpie Off Plastic

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Most of us want to keep our homes natural and chemical-free. That’s why trying to remove stains the natural way first is always a good idea. There are plenty of household products that can remove Sharpie stains. 

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser 

Though Mr. Clean Magic Eraser does contain unnatural substances, it is non-toxic. You can use it to remove most surface stains. Home keepers swear by Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Use it as instructed to wipe away Sharpie stains. 

The best part about a magic eraser is you don’t need anything else. No other substances or cloths. Just use the magic eraser the same way that you always do.

Toothpaste (Or Baking Soda)

Toothpaste and baking soda can remove Sharpie stains on most substances. Use it like you use rubbing alcohol only make sure you scrub the stain with baking soda or toothpaste. Then wash it well so there won’t be any residue left on the plastic. 


Vinegar is a natural stain remover and cleaner. You can use it on tough stains, either alone or with baking soda. Use it like you would rubbing alcohol. It’s not quite as strong, so may need to sit on the stain for a while. 


Peroxide is toxic if consumed in large amounts. Keep it away from kids and you won’t have problems. It works like a weaker rubbing alcohol. 

How to Get Sharpie Off Plastic With Chemicals 

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When it comes down to it, removing a stain is more important than staying away from chemicals. You can go right back to your natural, chemical-free life in thirty seconds. Just get rid of the stain first. 


Acetone isn’t safe if you have pets and children. It removes fingernail polish, and almost anything. It’s stronger than rubbing alcohol, so it’s useful for stubborn stains. 


Hairspray is a great option. The fumes are toxic, so don’t spray near your face. When using hairspray, the marker streaks stick to the hairspray and can lift away when washed. 


WD-40 can grease a Sharpie stain away. When you grease the stain, it may wipe away. You will be left with another mess to clean, but WD-40 won’t stain plastic, so it’s a bit of oil. 

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Other Solutions

There are many solutions for removing permanent ink stains from plastic. Some require a new way of cleaning and others take a lot of stress out of the equation. Here are other solutions that may fit your lifestyle. 

Throwing The Item Out

If you have to buy new solutions or chemicals to remove the ink stain, it may be cheaper to buy a new item. If you value your time and money, this could be the best option if the item is replaceable. 


If the plastic is paintable, sometimes re-painting it is better than removing the stain. This is true of the plastic needs a new paint job anyway. Most paints will cover permanent markers, with white being the least effective. 

Strange Household “Cleaners”

Anything with an alcohol base can work to remove sharpie stains. Hand sanitizer is one of the best ways to do this. The gel in it can also be easier to work with than a liquid base like basic rubbing alcohol. 

Lotions, especially sunscreens, can also work wonders. Bug sprays are another option to try if you don’t have anything else on hand. It’s safe to use on skin, just like sunscreen, so both are very safe options. 

Essential Oils

Some essential oils, like tea tree oil, can remove stains. Use a small amount in a cotton swab and rub the stain away. This is a great way to keep strong, unpleasant smells at bay because tea tree oil smells great. 


If the plastic is dishwasher-safe, washing it in the dishwasher may work. However, it may take multiple rounds to rub off. It’s suggested to try to remove it with a substance before running it through a dishwasher. 


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As with any cleaning method, getting rid of Sharpie ink stains on plastic comes with a list of warnings. Take heed and read the warnings before trying to remove a stain for the best results. You can never be too safe.

Using Harmful Chemicals

Any time you use harmful chemicals, be careful. Wear gloves, a mask, and keep your eye on the bottle. Don’t spill or inhale more than necessary. Stay safe and stay smart. 

Messing Up A Paint Job

With painted plastic, then stay away from things like rubbing alcohol, acetone, and peroxide. These can damage the paint. Stick to milder methods, perhaps a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or vinegar. As long as the vinegar doesn’t stay on the stain for too long. 

Children’s Toys

When cleaning items that children use, be careful not to use chemicals. If you need to, clean them well with soap and warm water. Let it stay put up for a day after cleaning it before letting them sue it again. 

Wear Gloves 

Even if you’re not using chemicals, it’s good practice to clean while wearing gloves. You will prevent body oils from getting on the stain and making it worse. You will also prevent getting anything on your skin, even if it’s more Sharpie.

How To Get Sharpie Off Wood

Removing Sharpie from wood is like removing Sharpie from plastic. Use greater care since wood is more affected than plastic. Most of the same mixes will work but in different ways. 

Wood is touchy, but you can sand it, unlike plastic. Wood is natural and easier to mold and change. Plastic is set when purchased. It also depends if you’re working with unfinished wood.

Unfinished wood will absorb anything. Finished wood won’t, but you can damage the varnish or paint with stronger substances. For a full guide on how to get Sharpie off wood, follow these instructions. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Is Sharpie Safe For Skin?

It’s guaranteed that if you have a Sharpie at home, someone will write on their skin. When this happens, don’t panic. The solvents in a Sharpie pen to worry about are more than the pigments.

The pigment will penetrate the skin’s top layer. Once the ink has dried, there’s no health risk. When buying a Sharpie pen, check the label and make sure it says “ACMI” non-toxic.

Most Sharpie Fine Point markers are non-toxic and xylene-free. To be safe, you shouldn’t write on your face with a Sharpie. Your mouth and eyes are most vulnerable.

Sharpie pens contain xylene which is why the pens smell. Although most pens are non-toxic, it’s best not to draw on yourself.

How To Remove Sharpie From Leather?

Permanent marker can be removed from leather with distilled white vinegar. First, apply the vinegar to the stain and let it sit for two minutes. This will allow enough time for vinegar to penetrate the ink stain.  

Use a 1:2 white vinegar and water ratio. After it sits for a few minutes, wipe the mixture away with a damp cloth.

If you can’t remove the ink, it’s because there’s an underlying finish on the leather. As a backup remedy, try oil-free hairspray, nail polish remover, baking soda, or toothpaste. The following should do the trick.

How To Remove Sharpie Stains From Leather Shoes?

There are five easy steps you can use to remove sharpie ink stains you’re your leather shoes. Put acetone nail polish remover on a cotton swab and blot the ink stain. Make sure you use acetone nail polish remover because acetone removes stains.

Rub the stain with a clean cloth. Next, use a wet clean rag to remove the nail polish remover. You’ll notice the stain will fade and then disappear.

Spray a clean rag with cooking spray and wipe the stain from the shoe. Afterward, use a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol and blot the ink stain.  

After you’ve completed the steps, rinse the chemicals from the shoe and let it dry. Depending on the stain, you might have to repeat this process two or three times.

How Can You Remove Sharpie From Rubber?

When removing Sharpie ink stains from rubber, you’ll need rubbing alcohol and a paper towel. For smaller stains, use a cotton swab.

Do not over-saturate the stain. Apply the rubbing alcohol in small dabs and rub it in a circular motion.

How To Get Sharpie Off Plastic Without Damaging It Conclusion

The good news is that Sharpie ink stains can be removed from plastic. Home remedies are the best and require little effort.

Whatever you choose, the most important thing is not to oversaturate the stained surface. If you can’t remove the stain on your first attempt, then do it again. Some ink stains require three or four attempts before they’re removed.

It’s best to remove Sharpie ink stains as soon as you spot them. The longer an ink stain stays on a surface, the harder it will be to remove it.