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Thread: Can you remove a Sharpie marker?

  1. #1
    Junior Member eeraemore's Avatar
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    Does anyone have any tips on removing a sharpie marker? For lots of gifts that my inlaws give my daughter, they insist on writing her name on it and writing the date and who gave it to them "To Anna, from Grandma and Grandpa ____, August, 2010." It really bothers me. My MIL is very possessive and has her own issues, and this is just a tiny illustration about her personality.

    Currently, my daughter is the only child. If we have two children, are they not going to be allowed to play with each other's toys? My daughter has toddler OCD and I just know that if we have a second child and it has the other kid's name on it, by daughter will not touch it because she won't think it's hers to play with - and she likely wouldn't let the other child play with the books because, after all, they have HER name on it. HA. They will need to learn to share, and I don't like their names on their toys and who they came from.

    FYI - I perfectly understand writing names and dates on "special books" but not EVERY book.

    Other than advice to talk to my MIL about it (she won't listen), is there any way to remove sharpie markers (other than write over them!)????

  2. #2
    Senior Member Woodster's Avatar
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    Maybe you could supply MIL with some removable stickers/labels that she can write on instead of the item? Maybe even print some up with a blank for the date. Then you can remove the labels/sticker.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Have you tried hairspray? Sometimes it will work.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    A couple more I found by googling are toothpaste, alcohol, and writing over it with dry erase marker(wipe after dry with lint free towel-not paper towels). It may take several tries. I have never tried these, I just read them on line.

  5. #5
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Nope, not that I have found anyway. They are permanent, period!!

  6. #6
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    It depends on the surface they are on and how determined you are. I guess I don't see anything wrong with book inscriptions. Do they do this to a doll? A truck?

    I can get sharpie off/out of many things but it doesn't mean the stuff I got it off is the same after it is done. My process is usually for proving which pen made what mark and when. The original material is usually destroyed in the process (or you can really tell that I removed it).

    I would advise to not try to remove the marks and treat the underlying issue. Get help for the OCD instead. What seems like a little quirk now can be very devastating later in life.

  7. #7
    Super Member great aunt jacqui's Avatar
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    I would just put a sticker over it. If she asks why tell her you put it on because your DH said to, lol. Tell her that when your daughter outgrows toys books etc you are going to donate them and would like them unmarked. and wouldn't it be great to give to the less fortunate.

    you wouldn't object to her writing in special items that she will treasure forever. or at least into college.

  8. #8
    Senior Member momymom's Avatar
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    try gojo on the plastic items, no help with the books, sorry

    gojo is the hand cleaner your auto repair man uses, wal mart carries it

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mrs. Mel's Avatar
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    Mr. Clean Magic Eraser worked for me. It is amazing.

  10. #10
    Junior Member eeraemore's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the help. I'll see what I can do.

    My daughter is just under 3 but her language skills are far above that. She's very particular - everything had a place and a purpose. She even voluntarily cleans up her toys (for the most part) before starting a new activity. OCD cannot be diagnosed until kids are much older - I just call it "toddler OCD." She just pays attention and is organized. Multiple pediatricians have assured me that she is "within the range of normal." :) It's just something to be observed for now. She's the "Teacher's helper" at preschool. She's a girly-girl, likes taking care of her baby dolls, and likes to "play teacher." Some of her dolls get put in time out for biting each other and not following other rules. :)

    Anyway, thanks everyone. Most of the books MIL has written on are children's board books. Nothing special that deserves to be written on (Like a special copy of the "Night before Christmas" we had when we were kids, given to use by a special family friend who signed it.) And, yes, some plastic toys, and the tags of some clothes (ink ran once and marked up part of the shirt).

    But yes, we will eventually donate these books and don't want my daughter's name on them! Good point! That's a safety issue! Thanks for the sticker idea, it may work in some of the books -- but at times MIL writes in all caps in blank ink diagonially across the whole inside front page! (or the back page, depending on the book).

    It is completely aggravating to me. But lots of things about MIL are like that. Sigh, that's another saga...

    Thanks, everyone!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Lizzytish's Avatar
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    If and when you take your daughters name off. what are you going to tell your MIL about the missing names. She will ask.

    Is this issue worth a life time of grief? What does her dad say about this? Maybe he could talk to his mom.

  12. #12
    Junior Member eeraemore's Avatar
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    MIL may just have to ask what happens with the names, if I can even get them off. My husband as well as his brother have both asked her to stop doing this, and she won't listen.

    The Sharpie issue is not worth a lifetime of grief, no - just wanted to know if anybody had any quick solutions, as I've spent a large part of the day reading books with my daughter.

    Her relationship with her kids is has been strained for years on all fronts, and this is a very small part of a much, much larger problem. I try to stay out of it as much as possible and limit my interactions with her. There are some very serious issues, unfortunately, and I leave the dealings with her to my husband and his brother.

  13. #13
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    I really like Woodster's idea with the sticker/label. I used to have the same problem and ended up just covering it with another mark but that can ruin the item also.

  14. #14
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    I use sharpie on plastic all the time (in my classroom and at home!)and remove it all the time. I've even removed it from the glossy paper folders I use for my students. I use dry-erase cleaner and off it comes. If it is on fabric, I don't have a clue. Sorry.

  15. #15

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    Depends on the surface whether you can remove it. If the Sharpie has been used to write on paper, you are out of luck. But on a non-porous surface like plastic, white board, glass or sealed wood, just write over the Sharpie ink with a dry-erase marker. Let it dry completely and wipe off with a cloth or tissue. Usually works for me. Good luck. Inside a book you might just simply cover the entire area with adhesive-backed paper, hopefully not see through. Could also spray with photo adhesive and cover with opaque paper. All the best with this problem. and with MIL!

  16. #16
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    Sorry that the signing of the gift books is a problem.

    It is 'Tradition". I buy lots of old books on different subjects and sewing. Almost all of them are signed as you describe. i.e. To (somebody) from (somebody) Christmas 1918. Or what ever the occasion was ? graduation etc.
    People have borrowed so many books from me and not returned them that I put an address label in my books now. Or I put my signature on pg. 50 or 500.

    I have also decided to not lend any more books. Too much loss!

  17. #17
    ilovequilts's Avatar
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    Acetone Nail Polish remover should do the trick! Also, I second the dry erase marker trick.

  18. #18
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your MIL problem but you're right that it is up to your husband to deal with (or try to). This site might help you if you don't know about it already. www.motherinlawstories.com

  19. #19
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    OH NO I just did this today! I bought My granddaughter a beautiful doll crib that i hope is taken care of so she will have it for her children some day and in sharpie I wrote happy 9th Birthday , the date and signed it love grandma and grandpa. I have the doll crib that was my moms when she was a little girl and I wish it was dated. I know it was bought used when she got it and she is 80 so it is nearly 100 years old.

  20. #20
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I used to run the chemical warehouse for a major university so I know this works. Alcohol will work but it has to be very strong, not the kind you can purchase at Walmart. Usually a 95% (which is 190 proof) but it can also take out any other color and isn't the safest thing to work with. Test it first and do it in a well ventilated area. Actually I wouldn't want to use it on anything that a child would be handling. 409 will usually take it off non-porous surfaces, sometimes hairspray and constant blotting with fresh paper towels will take it out of fabric. Nothing will get Sharpie ink off paper. On books, I'd just get some pretty PERMANENT stickers to put over the writing. And I'd get the aggravating MIL a very fine point Sharpie.

  21. #21

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    If the Sharpie is on plastic and some other "hard" surfaces, just erase using the Sharpie over the original lines followed closely by a tissue or paper towel.

  22. #22
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    On plastic I use Mr Clean Magic Eraser. It worked for me.

  23. #23
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    Older son taught me to use rubbing alcohol to take off Sharpie identification written on plastic refrigerator/freezer containers. I am sure this depends upon the type of plastic. Please refer to previous reply from raptureready. Thank you

  24. #24
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    Sounds like Grandma just needs/wants to make sure that GD grows up knowing that she did give her gifts and loved her. Something sad about that. I think we grandparents that are in our golden years worry that those dear ones won't remember how much they were loved by us, so we try to give them special things that we think they will keep and treasure, and remember.Haven"t we all done that? I know that I have, and I know that my Mom did. But then, it wasn"T on everything! On the other hand, my MIL never gave my kids anything that lasted more than a week, and that was only twice a year. I do know that her daughters kids had keepsakes, things that were hush hush at the time. LOL

  25. #25
    Senior Member rismstress's Avatar
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    The newest issue of Martha Stewart Living has a huge article on stain removal and sharpies were included. I don't remember the directions but she gave instructions on removal of sharpies from different types of materials.
    Cheryl

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