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Cleaning Permanent (Sharpie) Marker from Leather Furniture

Category Leather
Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch
Unfortunately it is not uncommon to get Sharpie marks on your leather couch. This is a guide about cleaning permanent (Sharpie) marker from a leather couch.
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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
June 29, 2006

I got permanent marker on my new white leather chairs! There are two small dots around 1 cm x 1 cm. I tried cleaning them with detergent straight away and they've faded. I've tried hairspray as well. My parents are going to kill me. Please help!

Katie

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
August 21, 20073 found this helpful
Best Answer

I used rubbing alcohol on my brown leather couch for a purple permanent ink stain and it worked great!

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 30, 20081 found this helpful
Best Answer

I used nail polish remover, that was a big no no!! It took the color out of the leather chair and it looks terrible! So do not use nail polish remover on leather!

Reply Was this helpful? 1

By 0 found this helpful
December 5, 2010

How can I get Sharpie permanent marker off my cream leather sofa?

By Becky from Norfolk, Great Britain

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 30, 20030 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try a little nail polish remover on a Q-Tip in a place that won't be too noticeable. If it seems to be working, try it some more. The biggest risk is that it will also take off the leather dye.

I've also heard that Goo Gone and Ditto Fluid work.

Susan

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October 11, 20103 found this helpful
Best Answer

So, I finally found the cure to the silver Sharpie on the black leather sectional. It's called Leather CPR and you can get it at Bed Bath & Beyond for $12. You simply apply it with a clean sponge. I did have to scrub it with the coarse side "lightly" where the marker was. However, to do the entire 7 seat sectional, it took me about 45 min. to condition it. So not only did I get the marker out, but the couches look brand new! And unlike the other postings, I have posted the before picture (in the blog below this one) and an after picture here. I hope this has helped.

But word of advice before trying anything on your furniture, you should ALWAYS try it on a small piece of the couch, like the bottom or somewhere you wouldn't notice if it messes it up.

Reply Was this helpful? 3

October 11, 20030 found this helpful

My daughter recently marked on my friend's leather couch with a Sharpie permanent marker! How in the world can I get that out? Please help.

Barbara

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February 26, 20110 found this helpful

My kids had Sharpie marked a friend on a sleep over and it had gone onto my 15 month old ivory leather settee. I looked through this website and spray sunsceen seemed most popular to remove the stain. I tried Banana Boat spray factor 50 and it came off straight away. It really works. What a relief:) You have to use a spray (I tried a cream first and it didn't do much).

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Anonymous
March 24, 20160 found this helpful

Just a tip I wouldn't recommend using rubbing alcohol it makes it worse(I know from experience)

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April 17, 20160 found this helpful

I used a sunscreen followed by a pocketBac it worked really well(with the pocketBac rub it in first then put a layer on to soak). I suppose any rubbing alcohol would work as long as that is the active ingredient. Hope this helpsXx

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July 7, 20160 found this helpful

Sunscreen Really works, I got a Black Sharpie Marker out my BMW leather seats with Coppertone 50 kids, It works!

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August 23, 20160 found this helpful

This (sunscreen) took the finish off my leather sofa- dark brown, so did magic eraser and rubbing alcohol

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September 9, 20160 found this helpful

What kind of sunscreen please? I have tried nivea kids factor 30. Didn't work

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March 9, 20170 found this helpful

I wish I had read down further and found your advise before I took the advise of the previous comment saying alcohol works beautifully. No it doesn't IT MAKES IT WORSE I AM FURIOUS...

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By 0 found this helpful
April 7, 2012

My "artistic" 2 year old was on a Sharpie spree, blue on our light brown leather couch. I used the leather cleaner and it got lighter, but didn't come off. Then he used a silver metallic Sharpie on my laptop, not on the screen, but on the mouse pad. I will try the non acetone remover, but what about the leather couch? Is it a total loss?

By Debbie M.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 6, 20120 found this helpful

Have you tired using erasers? Gently rub away the marks. Probably it would help :)

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Anonymous
May 2, 20160 found this helpful

That is completely wrong.

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Anonymous
June 3, 20160 found this helpful

Put sunscreen on a towel then wipe the spot I have had previous success with this method

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Anonymous
September 19, 20160 found this helpful

Hand sanitizer worked for my wife.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 20, 2016

My daughter used a black Sharpie marker on my white leather sofa. I used baking soda, vinegar, baking soda with toothpaste, acetone which wasn't a really good idea, and alcohol; nothing worked! I don't know what else to try. I also used Off bug spray. It gave me a good result, but not all of it came off, just the darkest ink. So now I have scribbles all over, but light lines. Please help me!

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
February 27, 20170 found this helpful

It sounds like you have tried a lot of things, and also white leather has got to be the most unforgiving thing out there!

I honestly would just try everything many many times and see if any of it improves over time.

Here are additional tips: https://www.ont … ns-from-leather/

" No luck, until the thought hits me  if sunscreen makes the marker go from skin to the car seat then maybe

Solution  spray on sunscreen!!! Remove ink stains from leather car seats like MAGIC!"

so you might try that.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 28, 20170 found this helpful

Try WD-40

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November 11, 20110 found this helpful

How do I remove black permanent magic marker from leather furniture?

By J. Murray from Myrtle Beach, SC

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
November 12, 20110 found this helpful

Do a small test patch out of sight. Nail polish remover might do it, either with a cue tip or a kid's watercolor paint brush. If the leather discolors matching shoe polish might blend it. Allow it to dry then buff with a soft cloth.

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Archives

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March 29, 20100 found this helpful

How do I remove marker from a leather couch?

By agpoon from Wichita, KS

Answers:

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

Shaving cream, without menthol. I've used it on old saddles, ball gloves, and belts. It's simply wonderful. If the leather is old and stiff put it on, let set over night, then add some fresh while rubbing it all off. Feels like new. (08/14/2009)

By pjcustar

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

Lighter fluid will remove markers. I have used it on leather shoes and clothes. Keep FLAMES AWAY TILL DRY. Put some on a paper towel and blot the marker off. (08/14/2009)

By rosbucs

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

The Casite Company has a line of QuickWorks products; that is only available online; but they have a leather cleaning product that works pretty well for these stains. I've also heard that they are working on a new product called Ink Gone or something like that; designed specifically to remove Sharpie/permanent marker, it's supposed to be available by the end of October. They also have a Satisfaction Guarantee. Which in these situations is really helpful. (10/02/2009)

By zwendyjo

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

I have had a dark brown leather (untreated) living room set for just under a week and my daughter got at the Chesterfield with a dark blue Sharpie. After reading many posts on this forum I decided to try Off Kids Skintastic bug spray. After trying it on the bottom of the couch I was satisfied that it would not ruin the leather. Immediately after spraying it on the effected area I could see the difference. The color started to wash away easily. For larger marks I had to spray twice, but it all came off. It's amazing, I can't even tell it was there.

Before you try any home remedies, always test in an inconspicuous area. You never know what could happen. Most things can be washed out even though it says permanent. (11/04/2009)

By Xyko

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

August 12, 20090 found this helpful

My 18 month old daughter recently got a hold of a brown Sharpie permanent marker. She wrote all over our new Italian leather couch. The couch is a sandy color, and leather cleaner hasn't worked. Any answers would be appreciated.

schamberg14

Answers:

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

Try a little nail polish remover on a Q-Tip in a place that won't be too noticeable. If it seems to be working, try it some more. The biggest risk is that it will also take off the leather dye.

I've also heard that Goo Gone and Ditto Fluid work.

Susan (12/30/2003)

By ThriftyFun

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

I had the same problem. Do not use any cleaners or solvents on your leather. It'll ruin it by drying out the leather and "setting" the marker. You need to take it to a professional leather restorer. No lie. The ink in the permanent marker is so close to the dye in your leather that they sort of mix together, making it extremely difficult to "clean off".

Depending on how deeply the marker soaked into the leather, they may have to strip all the color out of the leather and then redye it. If you are really lucky, they may not have to go to that extreme, but they will only know by looking at it. They use special chemicals for mixing the color of the dye (which is a bit of an art), as well as for sealing and curing the dye, which is why you can't do this at home.

Also, there are different qualities of leather and different dying techniques. If you can, look at the underside of the leather. Does the color go all the way through, or is it white? If the color goes all the way through, it is easier for them to fix. Also, call around. I only had a small spot on one pillow, but was quoted $300 by one place and $75 by another. Turns out the $75 guy was a retiree who still did a few jobs, and who had trained in the $300 guy a few years earlier. Good luck and let me know how it goes. (01/05/2004)

By 3grlmom

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

Do not use hair spray it takes the dye out of the product you are trying to repair. (05/02/2004)

By Buck

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

I had dark blue hearts on my cream leather couch. I found the best thing that worked was feminine deodorant spray and it didn't damage the leather, as far as I can see. (06/22/2004)

By zoenikkole

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

Axe Body Spray and Q-Tips Worked amazingly well, when nothing else seemed to work. It even leaves the couch smelling nice. haha (04/04/2005)

By Mike

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

Whatever you do, do not use nail polish remover on soft leather couches as it will remove the top layer of the leather. (05/24/2005)

By Lindsey

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

You should really try the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Sponges. You can get them at almost any store now. They work great and cost about $1 each. I don't know how they work, but they work. That's all that counts. I now keep a bunch of them on hand at all time. (07/12/2005)

By KR4357

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

I have seen a lot of ideas, but isn't leather "sensitive"? You could try baby wipes or Armour All wipes (orange I think). Good Luck. (08/01/2005)

By shesbertsernie

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

I tried a little acetone (nail polish remover) with a Q-tip. And after I cleaned the sofa with leather cleaner and then protected with leather protector. So it brought back the original luster of the leather. (08/20/2005)

By Jennifer

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

My 2 yr old wrote with black sharpie marker on our lazy boy leather couch and I tried everything to get it out. Finally I used Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and it took it right off. Test on small area before using on a large area. (01/09/2006)

By Brandi, AL

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

You all rule. Thank you for the great info. I used Coppertone spray sunscreen (mostly alcohol) and it came right off. Thank you, thank you. (04/25/2006)

By coopnduncsmom

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

I just have a little warning about Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, they take the dye out of the leather. I have the same sharpie issue and that's what happened to my couch when I tried it. Cool insight on the axe body spray, I'm going to head out now to buy some and try it out.
If the Axe body spray can remove sharpie marker out of leather, what effect can it have on our skin and internal organs (especially our glands, etc.) with such powerful penetration power. It's just something that makes you say hmm. (05/20/2006)

By Natalie

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

My 2 year old colored on my new black leather couch and love seat with a black sharpie marker. I used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and it pretty much took it all off. A word of advice though do not clean the marks with water first, because I did that on our couch and the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser did not work very well on those spots. (08/23/2006)

By Stephanie S.

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

Alcohol did not work. Nail polish did not work. Neutrogena sun block did work. Good luck to everyone. (11/05/2006)

By Lisa

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

My 3 yr old got a hold of a black sharpie and drew a circle on my brown dark leather couch. I tried the Magic Eraser, but that is more for light colored couches. I tried the Coppertone 30spf and it worked great. I had to rub it in and massage it into the couch, but it is very faint now and my husband did not even notice until I pointed it out. Good Luck. (03/18/2007)

By Colleen

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

Wish I never visited this website and read these postings. I just tried polish remover and rubbing alcohol and both severely took off the finish of my leather couch and the marker is still there. Now it's ruined for sure, beware of advice over the internet.

Editors Note: I'm sorry to hear about your couch, but you make a good point. You should try any stain removing fix in an inconspicuous area of your couch first to make sure that you are not compounding the problem. (04/02/2007)

By upset

Sharpie Pen and Leather Couches

My grand-daughter had a sleepover and the girls wrote all over their arms with sharpies. My grand-daughter fell asleep on the white leather couch with purple sharpie pen marks on her arms. The couch was covered with "SKATER CHICK" and happy faces. Before I freaked, I looked here and sifting thru the miracles and decided to try Professional Shaping Hair Spray. I tried it in an inconspicuous spot first and after witnessing the miracle continued on and in 10 minutes it was all gone. No stripping. Gone. Thanks. (06/02/2007)

By Terri

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

My daughter just wrote all over our leather couch with a marker. We used everything we could find, but the thing that worked the best and actually got it off was my aftershave (not cream).
We used the nail polish remover, but it started to damage the leather and didn't remove much of it.
The color dulled some with the aftershave, but we put on leather proctector cream and it's shine came right back. (10/11/2007)

By Adam

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

FYI our daughter has virtually marked up everything in our house with a sharpie at one time or another. Rather than using body sprays as some have suggested in this forum, try alcohol it works the best. Markers have alcohol in them to keep the ink from drying. The higher the alcohol content, the more the marker comes out. (12/24/2007)

By Jeremy

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

We used Off Skintastic bug spray and rinsed. Every thing is like new. It saved a new couch. (06/23/2008)

By Armida

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

Hand sanitizer also worked on my leather couch, but be sure it has alcohol in it. (07/20/2008)

By vvss123

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

I tried the alcohol on my leather sofa. It worked, but it took the color off, also. Now it is worse than ever. (07/29/2008)

By Rita

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

OK. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is the devil. I had a 2 inch Sharpie mark on my tan leather sofa. The eraser left the marker an just stripped the tan color and finish. Tried hair spray and body spray (didn't work) and finally hand sanitizer took it out. However there is a large light spot on my sofa. (08/10/2008)

By Andrea

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

My dog got hold of a Sharpie and went straight to the couch. Great. Thankfully, there wasn't more than a short streak (glad I got to to him fast enough). I used Axe aerosol body spray and its totally gone.

Be careful with this. I have a small spot (1 inch by 1/2 inch or so) of leather that the dye seems to have been lifted. It's small white spots dotting the texture of the leather. Its much less noticeable than a black streak on a tan couch, but please, be careful. (09/27/2008)

By Brandon

RE: Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

I tried the hand sanitizer, it worked pretty good, you can still see a little bit of the marker, but it looks so much better. Make sure you use a Q-tip when applying the sanitizer because it does take the color away a little bit. Good Luck. (12/09/2008)

By Nikki Marie

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

Do not use the Axe body spray. I sprayed it on a towel and wiped the leather down. It took the color right off of my couch in 2 seconds. Beware. (01/04/2009)

By Josh B.

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

My 2 yr. old son wrote all over my yellow leather sofas with red permanent marker. We didn't see it for several hours. I tried: baby wipes, sunscreen, magic eraser, saddle soap, and WD40. None of them worked. The eraser was taking the color off along with the marker. The others did nothing. So, I used Avon's Skin So Soft body spray. I put it on a cloth and rubbed lightly until it all came off. It was like magic. I thought these sofa's were ruined. Now, they are as good as new. You can't tell the red marker was ever there. (01/14/2009)

By Shannel

RE: Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

I had a very large blue sharpie stain on my tan leather couch. I tried leather cleaner spray cleaners and everything I could think of. I finally used Hawaiian Tropic sunblock spf 45 and it finally came off with no discoloration. Do not use alcohol based products will cause discoloration. (01/26/2009)

By Beth

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

I just used Chrome by Azzaro men's aftershave. Sprayed it on a little, lightly rubbed it off, then spayed again. Then used leather conditioner. (02/23/2009)

By Tobias

Sharpie Marker on Leather Couch

I also used Coppertone Water Babies spf 40 to remove black sharpie marks on my dark brown leather chair. Thank goodness. Anything with alcohol would take the color right out. (02/25/2009)

By Tracy

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

February 7, 20110 found this helpful

My daughter recently marked on my friends leather couch with a sharpie permanent marker! How in the world can I get that out? Please help!

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December 5, 20100 found this helpful

I was watching my boyfriend's two kids and they got green coloring permanent marker on his brother's beige leather couch cushions. I'd like to help remove the stain. What will remove it safely?

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