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Karen Answers:
How to remove Sharpie from white walls.

Question Submitted:

Hi Karen!

Long story short, a Sharpie went through the wash (my clothes were perfectly fine), however when I took the cap off the Sharpie to inspect it, liquefied Sharpie flung onto my wall (I rent). Now I have three large, drippy looking marks on the wall and I have no idea how to get them off. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
-brenna

Karen Answers:

Wrinkle Dog

Hi Brenna -

Well I can tell you right now, I wouldn’t worry about the walls so much as the dog.  Sharpies, otherwise known as “Wrinkle Dogs”, are excellent swimmers but don’t hold up well in washing machines I wouldn’t imagine.   The fact that you have described your dog as “liquefied” alarms me but,  I’ll attempt to answer your question.

Also, why was your Sharpie wearing a cap?

Brenna has a boo boo.

Enough with the ha has.  So Brenna has flung Sharpie magic marker all over her wall.  Since her initial email, Brenna was kind enough to send me a picture of her mishap.

Brenna's mishap.

Taking all Ask Karen questions seriously, I immediately notifed Brenna that the Sharpie marks on her wall look just like wiggling sperm.   In the interest of science and Brenna’s Sharpie sperm I conducted an experiment on my very own white walls.  This one’s for you Brenna …

Blue Sharpie I applied to my front hall wall. It was kindda scary but I was all hopped up on cherry juice so ...

I did my absolute best to replicate Brenna’s sperm marks.  And now … in a matter of 30 seconds my wall looked like this.

30 seconds is actually probably a stretch. More like 15.

Yes, Brenna, it was magic. In the form of an eraser. A Magic Eraser. That’s all you need to get the Sharpie off your walls.

And here … is video proof!

That is soooooo like my sister. She’s the one wearing the painting clothes, looking smug in the background extolling the virtues of Windex. She’s allowed to look smug, ’cause she’s the one who taught us about the paint stick.

Notice that I kept flipping the Magic Eraser around so I was always working with a clean part of the sponge.  Also, right after I finished cleaning the wall with the Magic Eraser, I rubbed over it with a damp sponge to clean up any residue.  And that’s it.  I am completely confident it’ll work for you!

And in case you’re wondering NO, I was not paid in any way by Magic Eraser to do this post. Although I wouldn’t pass it up if they offered. Oh God. I shouldn’t have used the word sperm so much.  Magic Eraser people would never want to sponsor someone who says sperm all the time.  I should have used the word “love wiggles”.

Good luck with your blue love wiggles Brenna!
- Karen


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37 Comments | Filed Under: DIY Home Decor & Design Videos, Everything Else | Tags: , , ,

37 Responses to Karen Answers:
How to remove Sharpie from white walls.

  1. jeanenne says:

    It’s true! The Magic Eraser is MAGIC. I’ve removed all kinds of mysterious things from all types of surfaces.

    But you know what works in the very, very, extremely unlikely event that the Magic Eraser doesn’t work it’s usual amazing magic? WD-40 on a Q-Tip. Swear.

    • Karen says:

      You know what? One of the m-a-n-y emails my mother has forwarded me is all about WD-40. I plan on testing out many of the things and posting about it. I’m very excited to do it. Which is dorky, I know.

  2. Tricia Rose says:

    Giant mutant Ninja sperm- and you erased them!? Not life enhancing Karen!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0kJHQpvgB8

  3. earthpuppy says:

    And you can get pseudo-magic-easers a whole lot cheaper at discount stores–they work just as well!

  4. Langela says:

    I’ve never tried the Magic Eraser, but will keep it in mind. I do have one tip though, that I read about it. Do NOT (I’m sure you are dying to) rub it on your face or allow children to rub it on their faces. It can cause severe chemical burns. So if you end up with sharpie love squiggles on your face, resist the urge to try the Magic Eraser and try something else! :0)

  5. The Magic Eraser is also my secret weapon when it comes to keeping my white trainers sparkly and bright summer long. It’s quite wonderful – and this is coming from someone who usually turns his nose at anything but basic cleaners.

    • Karen says:

      I believe the Magic Eraser is on its way to becoming a basic cleaner. A classic. Like a plain white tee!

  6. brenna says:

    OMG. thank you so much Karen!!! Also, this was HILARIOUS. My walls (love wiggles and all) thank you! I am going to stock up on magic erasers STAT.

  7. Jan says:

    Strangely enough, suntan lotion also works. It removed a Sharpie ‘message’ that had been on a refrigerator door for months (just don’t ask what my friend’s 14-year-old boy wrote on her frig; after all, this is not a x-rated blog!).

    • Karen says:

      Well now, I just don’t believe that for one second. I’ve yet to meet a 14 year old boy that didn’t act entirely appropriately at all times. Your friend is obviously a great big liar. It was probably her husband who wrote the message. :)

  8. Nicole says:

    When my son wrote (a lot) on his face with a Sharpie, I sort of shrugged and resigned myself to living with it for a few days until it wore off. Then I used a baby wipe to clean some foody bits off his face, and it took off ALL the marker, easily, no scrubbing.
    I think rubbing alcohol also works (perhaps those were not the alcohol-free wipes?), but I haven’t tried that.

    • Karen says:

      I should have thought of that. I know someone who deals with stains in their work and uses wipes all the time. I may do another go round on the Sharpie wall to see if it works! You know, just to satisfy my curiosity. ‘Cause I can’t help myself.

  9. BGrigg says:

    Yeah, I know I’m chiming in late, but I just discovered this website, so bear with me.

    Another method to remove Sharpies are the Expo Erasable markers used for white boards. Just draw over top of your mutant sperm drawings and use the erasing fluid that comes in the kit. It works for fridges, stainless steel, laminate counter tops, though I haven’t used it on a paint wall. Don’t see any reason it wouldn’t work.

    Windex is awesome, by the way, but ZEP with Ammonia is just as good and half the cost. Look for it at Home Depot and other places. A gallon jug cost me less than $10. Windex is mostly water, with Isopropyl Alcohol and Ammonia, so it will sterilize pretty good. Your sister ain’t no dummy!

  10. karen says:

    windex is so awesome even if u see it on the tv its not lying it does i tryed it before and it work really really good

  11. Ana says:

    Duuuuuuude. OMG. I just witnessed the awesome power of the Magic Eraser.

    I’m at work, and one of the VPs’ kids was in the office one weekend about a month ago, got a hold of a Sharpie and drew circles and squiggles all over his dry-erase board.

    We tried everything we had in the office – all-purpose cleaner, scrubby wipes for dry-erase boards – then I called in our cleaning dept. They got a little of the other (non-Sharpie) marks off, but not the black Sharpie.

    Yesterday, I was in the cleaning product aisle at the store and Magic Eraser caught my eye. I remembered this exact post I read months ago. I bought it, brought it into work, wet it and, followed by a throng of on-lookers, wiped (not scrubbed) the Sharpie off the board as if it was nothing.

    AMAZING!

    The VP said “I bet now you have to throw that one away and buy a new one, right?” NO, Mr. Boss Man, you use it again and again until it’s GONE! WOW!!

  12. Marissa says:

    I second the sunscreen. I used to work at a summer camp and we labeled the children’s plastic toys with sharpies, only to have the names eventually rubbed away by the children’s sun protected hands.
    Now, I haven’t tried this on walls, but it definitely works on all types of plastics.

  13. Anna says:

    OK, I NEED one of these. The other day I was amazed to get crayon off the wall with a baby wipe (seriously, I thought those things were meant to be gentle?!) but think I’d be pushing my luck when it comes to a sharpie!

  14. Amanda says:

    Magic Eraser saved my butt…while capping off the ends of the non-used backyard sprinkler lines (as we had to dig up a few yards of it bc we were having a patio poured the next day) it began to do what it does best in the summer afternoon’s in Florida: RAIN. Hubby hunkered down and held fast to the last cap on the pipe, covering it with his body so it could have time to dry and I grabbed the supplies and ran into the house. whew, avoided the water. I’m made of sugar you know (I melt). I placed the jars of chemicals we had used on my kitchen counter, not even THINKING for a second what these things were…One was pipe thread sealant. It was purple. My counter tops are Corian, and tan…and impossible to replace. Like literally, IMPOSSIBLE. I freaked out, he yelled, I emptied all the cleaners out from under the sink…even tried the old tried-n-true Skin So Soft from Avon(great mosquito repellant!), with no luck. Finally FINALLY I remembered the MrClean Magic Eraser. Magic indeed. He saved my butt BIG TIME!!! Completely erased the purple ring of sealant on my tan counter tops and saved me from disgusted looks the rest of our married lives(which may have been significantly shortened if not for Mr C!)

  15. Nicholle says:

    I have used spray and wash to remove sharpie marker from a couch, worked great. Just sprayed the area, let it sit for a second, scrubbed the area with a rag, then rinsed with water on a clean rag and it was good as new.

  16. Kristin says:

    Oh, Karen; this post just saved the life of a 12-year-old! Said child decided to do her homework, with a Sharpie, on my BRAND-NEW–just installed last month–counter top, and of course it bled through! EGADS!! But, I remained (mostly) calm–no curses or death threats were uttered (aloud)–remembered that you had done a post on this topic, searched your blog, found my Magic Eraser and saved the day. We were super careful not to scrub too hard, and we washed off any solvent residue with soap & water so *hopefully* the finish won’t be damaged. Thank you, Karen! (my daughter thanks you, too!

    • Karen says:

      Yay! That’s great. Not the whole Sharpie incident of course, but the fact that the tip was able to help. I find for the most part, 12 year olds need all the help they can get. As do mothers. ~ karen!

  17. Amy says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE The Best Cleaner Ever (by ScraPerfect). Takes off Bandaid residue from my kid’s bodies, takes off Sharpie from clothes, walls, etc–cleaned up a BBG after my hubby spray painted it (but got some on the dials.) Amazing stuff–and safe for people and the earth. Found it at my Scrapbooking store but they sell it online, too.

  18. Crayziladybug says:

    There are times (and surfaces) when using a dry erase marker on top of the sharpie mark will clean it up. You just cover it with the dry erase marker (the ones for dry erase boards) and then wipe it off with a paper towel or dry erase eraser (giggle). I’ve used this on 1) dry erase boards and 2) counter tops and 3) refrigerators. It’s a pretty sweet trick! Not tried it on walls…..

  19. Janice Mortimer says:

    Hey Karen
    I am getting into your stuff…love it. Came across this one and really, I am too lazy to read all this comments but my sister told me to remove sharpie all you have to do is go over the mark with a sharpie again then while it is wet, wipe it off. Seems easier and free. Plus the magic eraser is not biodegradable or “eco-friendly”. Just my 2¢. Thanks for the cheap entertainment. You amuse me.

  20. Lexie says:

    If you dont have an magic eraser, Windex and a paper towel will work just as well, but it takes a lot longer and more effort! Thank you for this tip I am going to buy a magic eraser soon!

  21. Kelli says:

    Yay Magic Eraser! Even bigger YAY as I can find them at my local dollar store! It’s the only thing that can clean my white fridge handles; until then, nothing had worked.

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