How to Remove Permanent Marker from Metal

If you have had the experience of writing with permanent markers on metal surfaces, then you know how tough it can be to remove that stain. Because it’s not like water-based marker ink that wet wipes will be enough.

Whether it is a fridge door, a file cabinet, or even your car – removing permanent marker from metal requires some more work than just using an eraser.

Luckily, you can follow some common methods like dry erase markers, rubbing alcohol, toothpaste, lemon juice, WD-40, and hairspray to get marker off metal. These are some prominent tools that will remove the Sharpie stain.

So, in this article, we are going to provide quick steps and tips about removing permanent marker stains from metal so that in the future, this doesn’t bother you again!

Remove Permanent Marker from Metal
Effective Methods to Remove Permanent Marker from Metal | All You Need to Know

Important ✓

Permanent markers contain permanent ink that is tough for you to remove, not impossible. But how fast you’ll be able to erase it depends on the surface.

The time it will take to clean from a non-porous surface will not be the same as a porous surface. In fact, it’ll take less time to remove from non-porous surfaces like metal. But sometimes, it may vary depending on how old the stain is.

Among the types of surfaces, porous ones absorb the ink, so it becomes difficult to remove. On the other hand, a non-porous surface doesn’t absorb the ink (or absorbs a little), making it easier to clean.

Since it’s not like temporary markings, while removing permanent marker stains from metal, you need to choose the methods accordingly depending on the types of metal surfaces.

Ways to Remove Permanent Marker from Metal

Using permanent markers can be great when you really want to keep the ink permanently on the surface. But there may come times when you need to clean that ink, especially when you accidentally put it on a surface. Likewise, for erasing permanent ink stains from metal items, you’ll need a little more effort.

Fortunately, there are different types of methods available to help you in this regard. As there are a variety of surfaces among metals, choose the process carefully. It’ll help you to get rid of the stain in no time.

If your permanent ink stain is not too bad and has been exposed to air for some time, or if they are fresh but still wet, it will take less time and effort. But for old stains, it’ll take more time.

Since it is meant to be long lasting color, perseverance is a must. So, let’s not waste any time and move forward with the methods.

Using Household Items to Remove Marker

For removing the tough stains of Sharpie from metal, some household items near your hands work like magic. And these items are also available in almost every house and works on fresh stains fast.

Method1: Dry-Erase Markers

We use dry erase markers mainly in the classrooms, either on the whiteboard or on laminated paper to take notes and sometimes in offices. But have you ever used dry-erase markers to erase ink from metal?

Maybe it’s not an uncommon method to you as it’s the most popular for getting rid of Sharpie from whiteboards. Since dry-erase markers contain non-polar solvents, it helps in this process effectively. And it also cleans the ink stain from metals in the same way.

So, first, take a whiteboard marker in hand and write over the stain correctly. You must need to take the same color of the marker as the stains. For example – if you got a black marker stain, then use a black dry erase pen. It’ll make the process faster.

After covering the whole area with dry erase ink, let the ink sit for a while and then wipe it out with a clean damp cloth. You can wet the cloth with water or use makeup remover wipes instead.

This dry erase marker trick will work great when you use it on a smoother metal surface like a car body or metal cabinet. And you may need to repeat the process several times depending on the ink nature.

But after some wipes, you’ll definitely be able to get rid of permanent ink. In this way, you can also remove permanent ink from glass items.

Method 2: Using Toothpaste

Hey, do you brush regularly? Just kidding!

In fact, if you brush regularly, you must have toothpaste in your house, at least inside your washroom. And you may have known that if you want to get permanent ink off skin, white toothpaste is just a blessing.

So, find it out and take a generous amount of regular toothpaste, the white one. Apply the paste over the stain and rub it in a circular motion using a soft cloth. You can also use a brush for scrubbing and rubbing. If it’s an unsmooth surface with designs on it, then using a brush will be great.

After rubbing for a while, you’ll notice that the ink has vanished. Then use a clean towel to remove all the toothpaste residues. Finally, use a wet cloth to clean the surface.

You can also make an ideal amount of toothpaste in a bowl and mix some baking soda in it. Then mix these two ingredients well and apply them over the stain. It is one of the best methods for erasing permanent markers from plastic surface surface. That’s why it also works well on metal ones.

However, depending on the metal type, you can also use lemon juice with toothpaste. However, it seems somewhat odd but works really well. It’s also a popular method for removing markers from walls.

Note: In terms of using toothpaste, you can’t use gel toothpaste. This is because gel pastes are less powerful and have not the ability to dissolve permanent ink.

Method 4: Using Hand Sanitizer

At this time, hand sanitizer is a must-have item for every household. And in terms of erasing permanent ink, it does a great job. The alcohol inside it performs the main task.

Usually, we use hand sanitizer to make our hands clean and free from germs. In spite of having alcohol in it, all the bacteria and germs are killed as soon as we rub our hands with it.

In the same way, the alcohol interacts with the permanent solvent. It helps to remove permanent marker from metal surfaces like a door handle. You just need to put an ideal amount of sanitizer over the stain and rub it with a clean cloth.

After massaging for some time, the stain will be gone. Then wipe it out and make the area like new. Using hand sanitizers are also an excellent tool for removing crayola marker off kids skin. It not only removes the stain easily but also safe for the kid’s skin as well.

Using Alcohol Methods to Remove Marker

We all know that diamond cuts diamond. But do you know that alcohol cuts mean breaks down the chemical in Sharpie ink? Yes, you have heard it right.

Wherever you got a permanent ink stain, alcohol can remove it. Though it may take time, it’ll do the job perfectly. But it doesn’t mean you’ll use vodka over the ink. That’s why I’m giving some suggestions that you can use for this purpose.

Method 4: Rubbing Alcohol

It was expected, right? Why not!

Whenever it comes to ink stain, rubbing alcohol is a must-have tool. It’s like the potato that suits every curry.

However, rubbing alcohol is not only removes ink from metal, it also removes permanent marker from wood. How?

The process is the same for both surfaces.

First of all, pour an ideal amount of 91% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol into a bowl. Then soak a soft clean cloth into it. When the fabric absorbs the alcohol properly, take it out and rub over the stain. Rubbing for some time, first, the ink will fade and vanish after a while.

Whether you want to remove the ink of acrylic paint markers, oil-based paint markers, or white paint markers, it can clean all of them.

In fact, this ingredient also helps to revive dried-out markers. So, from now on, you don’t have to use it only as a stain remover. You can fix your permanent pen with this magical item. You’ll also get a complete guideline of removing highlighter markers from clothes using rubbing alcohol on our website.

Method 5: Using Hairspray

We all know that how important is a hairspray for you to style your hair. But it’s not bounded to the styling part anymore. You can easily use it as a stain remover.

Since metal is a non-porous surface, you’ll be able to clean it without any mess. Just spray over the stain, and you are done!

So, for doing the whole process, you need an aerosol hairspray. Remember that aerosol hairsprays also work on the leather item.

First of all, you need to shake the spray bottle vigorously. Then spray on the stained area properly so that no single part is left and let it sit for a while. The alcohol in the spray will help to dissolve the ink that will make it easier to remove.

Now, take a clean cloth or use a cotton ball instead and rub over the stain. You have to rub it until the stain is gone. Spray again if needed and repeat the rubbing process. Eventually, the stain will go away.

In the same way, you can easily remove marker stains from carpet. But in this process, you have to blot the ink out with the cloth instead of rubbing. Ink stain will be vanished after repeating the process 2-3 times.

Method 6: Nail Polish Remover

Whether you are trying to revive a dried-out highlighter or erasing dry erase marker from laminated paper, nail polish remover can be your best friend.

And if you are a fan of doing nail art or wearing nail polishes, you must have a fingernail polish remover at your home. To remove marker from metal, it must need to be an acetone-based nail polish remover as alcohol will do the job mainly.

So, take a small bowl and pour some nail polish remover into it. Then take a cotton pad or soft cloth and soak it into the alcohol-based remover. After soaking properly, take it out and rub over the stain like the other processes mentioned above.

The molecules inside the remover interact with the ink molecules to create a bond that forces them to turn into liquid form. As a result, the acetone-based remover doesn’t need to sit like other alcohol methods as it almost works instantly. It’s not like that acetone-based nail polish remover works well on every stain.

For example, suppose you want to remove highlighter mark from paper. In that case, you must need to use a non-acetone nail polish remover. If you use alcohol-based ones for this purpose, it will damage the paper surface.

Note: Rubbing alcohol and acetone-based nail polish is not recommended in that type of metal surfaces, where there is a chance of discoloration like – car body or metal colored doors. In the same way, WD-40 can cause discoloration due to its strong chemical effect.

Using Cleaning Products to Remove Marker

There are particularly some cleaning products available in the market that are specially made for removing tough stains. Among them, WD-40 and Magic Eraser are the most common name.

Just think of a stain name, and I guarantee that these two can remove that within minutes. Though the nature of these two products is different, even the looks but they work in the same manner.

Method 7: Using ‘WD-40’

It’s basically a spray and is extensively used for industrial purposes. The reason is, this spray can remove all types of dirt, grease, ink stain, glue, gum, and other sticky stains.

It’s a very powerful spray cleaner that helps to remove permanent marker stain from metal in seconds. How high-quality permanent markers you use, this spray can erase all of the ink. It also protects metal from rust and corrosion.

For using it, take the bottle, shake it lightly and spray over the stain. Now take a cotton pad or clean cloth to wipe off the ink stain. And yes! All the stains are gone.

In the same way, you can use a WD-40 spray cleaner to get crayons off walls. It also doesn’t do any harm to the paint. So, no worry about your favorite wall color.

Method 8: Magic Eraser

There is none who isn’t heard the name of Magic Eraser. It’s a household cleaning product, mainly used to remove tough stains. How tough your stain is, Magic Eraser can remove that in seconds and from every surface.

It may look like a regular sponge but works magically, as the name suggests. You’ll find it in your nearer store or online.

So, just grab one and wet it up with water properly. When thoroughly soaked with water, rub it over the area you want to remove Sharpie stain. It may take some time to remove the ink from metal but will go away eventually.

Soak it with water as much time as needed and continue rubbing gently. It will make the surface like before. You can also use it on stainless steel, aluminum, and iron-like hard surfaces.

Interestingly, Magic Eraser not only erases permanent stains it also erases chalk marker stains from chalkboard. In that case, use it in the same way mentioned above. You may need to repeat the rubbing process several times, but it will definitely work.

Note: Magic eraser is also not recommended to use on every metal surface. It not only removes stains, sometimes it makes the smooth surface scratchy by leaving scratch marks behind.

Wrap Up

In this whole article, We’ve tried to come up with the most effective cleaning methods of permanent stains from metal. I have also explained some important things you need to look after before starting cleaning.

And lastly, mentioned some precautions that you need to follow as all the surfaces are not the same.

Hopefully, you have got enough knowledge on how you can erase the tough stains of permanent ink by coming to this stage. So, follow the methods that suit your surface and remove the stain easily.

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Maria Tanish

Hello World! Tanish here, a student of Fine Arts. Drawing was my passion from an early age but I also love to do some DIY projects to spend my leisure. Even I work as a writer, to share my knowledge about the ins and outs of drawing and the art industry itself. As an artist, I always wanna share my experiences with you all.

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