Removing Dry Erase Marker from Piano Keys

One day I was showing my cousin how to play the piano and I used a dry erase marker to write the notes on the keys. Now it won't come off! I tried rubbing alcohol, water, and Windex. Please help!

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By Sami from Twin Bridges, MT

April 4, 20110 found this helpful

Wow, don't have any advice but wondered why you would do such a thing!

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April 4, 20110 found this helpful

I hope you named the keys correctly! Good for you for passing on your music training.

Go to an office supply store. They have a solution you can buy just for that. Unfortunately, I don't know what it is called.

Or you could try a little hairspray (but that's mostly alcohol).

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April 4, 20110 found this helpful

When this happens on a dry erase board, I just run the marker over the spot again. It seems to wet it enough, where it comes off. Good luck.

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April 4, 20110 found this helpful

As a teacher this is something common that happens in a class room. Get a rubber eraser and rub hard and it will erase it. Sometimes following this up with hairspray or alcohol also helps.

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April 5, 20110 found this helpful

OFF bug spray. Crazy but it works. Took permanent marker off of the wood part of the piano and did not bother the finish whatsoever. Amazing! Let us know what works.

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April 5, 20110 found this helpful

Hello Sami. Yikes! I'm sure you are regretting writing on the keys, but please don't rely on "home remedies" to solve this problem. Please contact the manufacturer of your piano for the ultimate results.

While some of the suggestions listed here might work for some piano keys, your particular solution will depend on the materials used to make your particular piano: Very old piano keys were actually made of wood and ivory. Newer pianos are made of different materials and composites and finishes that I believe have changed over the decades, and since you didn't mention the age or manufacturer of your piano, the generalized suggestions listed here might not be the best for your particular piano and keys.

If you can't contact the manufacturer, please find a reputable piano sales store to ask for more advice. What works to clean a whiteboard was probably not designed to work on your piano keys so don't count on an office supply store or a well intended share site like this to give you "things to try". Please go to a more primary source, for the ultimate solution.

A piano is a huge investment. To protect your investment, again, please go to the most primary source you can find before "experimenting" with unproven solutions for your particular piano.

And Sami, good for you to share your knowledge of music (what a gift) . . . just don't write on piano keys again, okay? :) Good luck and best wishes!

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April 5, 20110 found this helpful

I think that's a great idea. I would just leave them there.

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April 5, 20110 found this helpful

Ok, thanks everyone! The rubber eracer actually worked. And it isnt a piano piano, it is just a keyboard. I would never write on a real piano!!

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April 6, 20110 found this helpful

I'm grinning, grinning, grinning, Sami! So glad you found a solution to erase your "keyboard" labeling vs. a full sized, very expensive, real piano "key" labeling with a dry eraser pen!

But seriously (LOL) consider using post-it notes above the keys next time! :) (You can buy the skinny ones very inexpensively that are designed to merely mark pages)

So very happy all worked out well for your dilemma and keep passing on your music abilities as you can! Best wishes!

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July 23, 20160 found this helpful

I live in the UK and we have a disinfectant called Zoflora that I used to do this

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September 20, 20160 found this helpful

First you need to determine whether they are covered with ivory or plastic. It is easy to tell; if each white key is topped with two pieces - a larger, rectangle piece (the end that you press) and a separate, skinnier piece that goes between the black keys, noted by a seam in between, they are probably ivory. If it is one piece, generally it is topped with plastic. You cannot tell by age as I have a Hamilton / Balwin studio model that was built in the 1950s & they are plastic. I've successfully removed dry ink markings on the plastic, capped keys as well as much of the yellow nicotine stain using a 3/8" - 1/2" block wrapped with a rag lightly soaked with 90% Isopropanol, (Rubbing alcohol), & a little elbow grease. The keys are acceptable but not perfect. I have yet to find a product that removes the remaining 62 years of yellow stain, however, short of replacing the tops, this may be as good as it gets. Somewhere I read to use Hydrogen peroxide. I would not recommend it as it seemed to melt the keys so I stopped.

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