If you every need to get permanent marker off of a hard surface (folder, notebook, counter, floor, etc.), use bug spray.
Never, ever use bug spray for anything if possible, or if you must, only for bugs! (though that's what's ruining the echosystem). Bug spray has neurotoxins in it, and it can put you in the hospital, even kill you.
Little kids and animals suffer worse because they're small and can't take much, but adults can be affected quite thoroughly, as well. Never breath it or get it on your skin (it absorbs it). a sign of poisoning is tingling/buzzing feeling in extremities and skin, especially around the nose and mouth if you've really been hit by it. lethargy is another warning sign. don't let it get any further than the tingling, tissue starts to die. This is serious stuff, and can build up over time if you keep using even just a little of it at a time.
(Submitted via email)
Hi from WA (Western Australia)
I don't know about insect repellent in the USA but here in Australia out insect repellent MELTS plastic. I would not be using it on anything to remove marker ink. It would totally ruin the item.
Thanks for your fabulous site!
Never use alcohol or nail polish remover on light wood items. I did and it left blue smudges that I still can't remove. Decided to use a Mr Clean eraser pad and it removed every bit of the marker and didn't harm the wood. I had purchased 6 used chairs and I now have 5 that are nice and clean
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The credit for this tip goes to my 16 year old son, Marc. We gave him a used cell phone and on the face of this cell phone was another person name in black permanent marker (made it hard to see who was calling.) One day while camping, he had applied Deep Woods OFF on his arms, and then his cell phone rang, he wipe off the screen to try to see who was calling and OFF came the name! Please test any area first and wash hands after using.
By joycen from Lockbourne, Ohio
WOW! ...Isn't it crazy how we discover things like this! I always knew that stuff was toxic, but now I'm absolutely sure! *grin*
Anyway, thanks for the tip! (08/21/2008)
Just be careful with strong concentrations of DEET. 7 years ago on a trip to Alask,a I used one of the really strong DEET repellents and it 'ate' the cover on the face of my SWATCH watch. The stuff can ruin plastic. I'd check the display of that cell phone to make sure it's still intact. In short - be careful of the surfaces you use OFF on. (08/21/2008)
Something else to try (in a small area first) is waterless hand cleaner. I tried it to get permanent marker off of a white board, and it worked without leaving any damage. Maybe it would also work on cell phone screens? (08/23/2008)
That is so cool! They say things happen for a reason. I'm a firm believer this is true. (09/07/2008)