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.
I am looking for information for removing permanent ink mark from wood/finish coffee table.
By Marlene from Kauai, HI
Try using a cheap hairspray, like Aquanet, works for getting ink out of clothes, might work on wood.
Baking soda! While I was on the phone with my sister reading to her the different responses, she was trying the baking soda and she interrupted me with, "Oh, M, this is amazing the ink came right up!"
Wow it worked! I was upset that my kids got marker on my wood (finished) dining room table and I tried the baking soda that was recommended. I made a paste and rubbed it on the areas and wiped with a paper towel and it came right up. Thank you for the suggestions.
Thank you for the suggestion everyone! The baking soda worked!! An ink pen exploded on our brand new wood table, it set overnight (the pen must've exploded in the middle of the night) and the baking soda paste took it right out! We just used our fingertip and rubbed with the grain of the wood, it got lighter and lighter and eventually came out!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Baking soda is amazing it totally works. I used it because someone spilled a drink on the table and then put a newspaper on it and it bled in to the table the ink. So I tried the alcohol and the the baking powder. Thank you.
My daughter and her friend stained my table with craft paints. I tried several things to remove. Baking soda did not work for me. However I tried an air freshener. Sprayed over the stain and rubbed and this actually removed the stain totally. Thanks all for your tips!
OMG! Hairspray, it works perfectly. I tried everything on this list and nothing worked except hairspray.
My 3 year old son recently found a permanent marker in our kitchen. To my surprise he had colored on our new, real wood table and hid his amazing master pieces under the place mats. I would love to get the marker off of the table with out taking off the varnish. I have tried hairspray and magic erasers with no luck. Please help!
By sskaufdog from Centerton, AR
I just found that my daughter about 2 hours ago had accidentally marked on our hard wood table! I used toothpaste with baking soda and in 2 minutes it was gone. I let the toothpaste set on it for about 10 seconds, then took a dry, clean rag and rubbed it in a circular motion.
To all: look no further, the easy solution is a bit of nail polish remover. Comes off in a second. Not too much will not harm the polish a bit.
I used a Magic Eraser and it worked well.
Amazing! Got black sharpie on my brand new hardwood floor and toothpaste removed it easily! Thank you!
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
My son took a permanent marker and drew all over my wood table. Any suggestions on how to remove the ink? Thanks.
By mimi from Chicago
I have used the Mr. Clean Eraser sponge on some hard plastics before, but I don't know what it would do to the wood finish on the table. Hope you can get it off of the table! (05/08/2009)
By Robyn Fed
I have had great luck with Amodex. It works on permanent markers (and more) on tons of surfaces. The key is not to wet the stain. Water sets the stain and Amodex doesn't work nearly as well. I bought my Amodex from an ebay seller. The last time I checked it was not yet for sale at Office Max. The website says you can buy it at Hobby Lobby and other locations.
P.S. I've used Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on very small spots and I can't see any damage to the wood finish. (05/16/2009)
Use the cheapest hairspray you can find, spray on marks and let sit till ink starts to run, then wipe off marks. You may want to test in an out of site area to make sure you do not ruin the finish. You might have to repeat a few times. (05/16/2009)
I just found that my daughter about 2 hours ago had accidentally marked on our hard wood table. I used toothpaste with baking soda and in 2 minutes it was gone. I let the toothpaste set on it for about 10 seconds, then took a dry, clean rag and rubbed it in a circular motion. It did not totally come off the first time, but it did come off little by little, and after the 3rd time it was gone! Hope this helps. I was so excited! :) (07/10/2009)
How can I remove permanent marker from a wooden table?
Dmsommer from Cleveland
GooGone will work, too. (09/24/2008)
Forget all the scrubbing with everyone's personal toothpaste! Use a little rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth and dab over the marker spots. It will dissolve any permanent marker. Keep dabbing until the cloth or towel takes on the marker. Replace the towel as needed until the marker is gone. It should only take a few seconds at most. (09/25/2008)
By NY Mom
Was taking a nap, daughters woke me up and said, "Uh mom, Keira was coloring on gramma's comp desk". We came to this site. Used toothpaste and a toothbrush wet, and miraculously it all came off! Thanks! (09/29/2008)
By Keira's Gramma
Be very wary of this advice. I tried the toothpaste trick and it ruined the finish on my table top. Sure, it removed the marker stain but made our matte finish shiny and left me in the dog house! (01/04/2009)
Underpressure682 from Cleveland, Ohio
Office white board was written on with a permanent marker. Now with Sensodyne toothpaste all is white again and the office smells nice and fresh too! (02/07/2006)
Absolutely amazing! Took just a couple of minutes rubbing with the toothbrush and toothpaste on my kitchen oak table, my 18 month old granddaughter had scribbled on. Thank you for this advice. I am saving this site for other future mishaps and info. (02/09/2006)
By Susan (Guest Post
Yes after my fingers nearly fell off from rubbing the desk. Toothpaste did do the job. Thanks to everyone who posted. (06/02/2006)
By Kimberly T
I followed the suggestion to use Mr.Clean Magic Eraser on my new Thomasville cherry wood end table. It has a shiny finish. I did it in an inconspicuous spot. Glad I did, because with just a gentle rub of the eraser, the marker came right off and took the finish with it. So previous advice is true, it doesn't work on every type furniture. I'm going to try the toothpaste trick, sounds good! (06/10/2006)
Basic H by shaklee is a cleaner concentrate (organic/linear alcohol based) Full strength will remove paint, adhesive and permanent marker.....but if you use a dilution of 1-2 tablespoons per gallon (or even 1/2 teaspoon per 16 oz water) it will take it off the wood without damage. This only works if you have a varnish or treated wood! It is great for windows, dusting, bug repellent, dishes, delicate fabrics, floors (removes latex like NOTHING), and too many other uses to list. You can order it at www.shaklee.net/healthy_home101 located under Home Care/Cleaning (06/10/2006)
Thank you so much! My 3 year old literally covered my maple dining room table with black permanent marker. Toothpaste worked a miracle for the marker. (07/09/2006)
I was using a permanent marker on one sheet of paper and it went through on my computer desk. I used arm and hammer toothpaste and it worked perfectly, and smells good too. Thank you so much for saving me. (07/11/2006)
Oh my goodness! Tooth paste really does work! A pen I was using leaked all over my moms kitchen table and it's a really light color. I put tooth paste on it, let it sit for about 2 minutes, then scrubbed it off. I repeated that 2 more times and the stain was totally gone! Thank you to whoever put that tip on here, you saved my life! (08/01/2006)
The toothpaste did the job, lots of rubbing but it works. The finish is shinier, maybe I will rub the whole desk with toothpaste. (09/15/2006)
My 5 year old says "thanks". The toothpaste worked wonders on the permanent marker stain he left on my wooden kitchen table. Afterward though, he exclaimed about the toothpaste, "you really use this on your teeth!" (09/17/2006)
By Gabe's Mom
My daughter got her hands on a black Sharpie and decided to practice her writing on a piece of paper placed directly over our brand new dining table. Of course, the marker bled through onto the table. I nearly had a coronary when I saw it, as I thought a Sharpie would NEVER EVER come off. I went online and found this site. I applied toothpaste (Crest Whitening), let it sit for 10 min. or so and then gently scrubbed with a sponge. I had to do some spots a couple of times, but it did the trick and everything came off. I was thrilled, amazed, grateful! (09/30/2006)
By Patty H.
Mr. Clean worked on fresh Sharpie! THANKS! (10/03/2006)
Thank you for having this site. You are right, toothpaste will get permanent markers off wood. My granddaughter was writing on my desk and the marker went through the paper, I know there was two hundred blue dots on my desk top. Thanks again. (10/21/2006)
By Peggy Becker
Having just read through this post, it reminded me of the Magic Eraser that we had stored in the cupboard. It worked really well in removing the Black Permanent Marker from our computer TFT screen, which my 3 year old son had just decided to draw his latest masterpiece over.
My 3 year old wrote in a Gold Sharpie permanent marker all over our wood table and chairs, our plasma tv, our regular tv and his toys! I came to this site and found that toothpaste was the answer! I used Mentadent whitening and it came right off! He even wrote on the metallic frame of the plasma and the toothpaste worked great without a lot of scrubbing. Thank you so much for this site! (11/22/2006)
Toothpaste and elbow grease! Worked on new and set permanent marker stains. (12/06/2006)
By Caper Girl
While drawing a picture for our dog, my 9 year old daughter colored her picture filling in every space and bleeding through to my dream table that I just got not too long ago. As I browsed through websites, I found some similar stories to mine and in every one they used toothpaste and so I tried it. Just as sure, it worked. Thank god for the internet, toothpaste, and your similar experiences. (01/03/2007)
By jael ward
My two daughters were drawing pictures using blue permanent marker on my wooden bone colored dining room table. I looked on the net to see how I could get the stain out. Thank GOD someone said use toothpaste and to my surprise it all came off. (01/15/2007)
By Happy Lady
I read practically every post on this toothpaste removing permanent marker on wood tables, and, I've tried it and it's not working! I'm trying hair spray, and that's not working either. Someone said to try Basic H, but I don't have that kind of thing handy.
I suppose, it could be the desk. It's not *real* wood. I suppose it's more along the lines of a plastic wood? I'm thinking Goo Be Gone, but I doubt we have any.
So, if you have suggestions.
I took a picture of my desk. I washed off most of the marker with my mom's Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, but the rest is being quite stubborn.
(b)Editor's Note:(/b) You could try some soft scrub, comet, baking soda or another bathroom cleaner. Try a little on a small place. (02/05/2007)
Wonderful website. My two year old colored on my wood table and with a little bit of toothpaste and scrubbing, it came out. (02/23/2007)
My 2 year old son colored on his new wood table with permanent marker, I read everyone's comments and tried hair spray (the easiest to get to). It worked! Thank you. (03/11/2007)
By Teri in MD
My three year old was tracing letters with an "industrial strength" Sharpie. Of course, it went through onto our dining room table. I sat there and thought, surely this has happened to someone else! Thank goodness for internet. I tried hairspray first, and it didn't work, but the toothpaste worked great! We had to do it twice, but it's off now! YEA! THANK YOU! (04/14/2007)
I've heard that Coca-Cola will help take it off. I haven't tried it, but it's worth giving a try. (04/20/2007)
My daughter was drawing with black permanent marker on my modern wood coffee table and of course it bled through the paper. I tried tooth paste "crest baking soda & peroxide" rubbed it in and wiped and it was gone-Awesome!!! (04/21/2007)
By van rae
My 2 year old decided to be an artist on my kitchen chairs and table with black permanent marker. I used the crest whitening toothpaste trick to get the permanent marker off of my kitchen chairs and stainless steel table top. Works great my husband was shocked at the results and so was I. (04/22/2007)
The toothpaste trick TOTALLY worked! I'm thinking ANY whitening toothpaste would work. Thanks a million! (06/10/2007)
Hot pink sharpie on my parents custom made office desks (a lot of it), I used whitening toothpaste and it came off in seconds. Thank you! (06/17/2007)
My daughter accidentally colored with permanent marker on my brand new breakfast room table. I used a regular pencil eraser and it came right up! Thanks so much! (07/13/2007)
The eraser trick worked like a charm, thanks. My daughter drew a flower on the wood coffee table, and my sister freaked til I read these. Thanks a million. (08/04/2007)
Ok, this one definitely works! I tried a regular pencil eraser. NO LUCK AT ALL. Try Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Sponge. I just wet it and with a little pressure, the permanent marker came right off.
By Jenny D
My daughter got dry erase marker all over our beautiful new cherry wood table and the pencil eraser trick worked great! (09/22/2007)
We got it out with a magic eraser. It was a mess. (10/13/2007)
I used the toothpaste trick on my solid wood (light wood) at that and it worked! I just smeared it on for a second and then used a silicone safe sponge and scrubbed on it. It came off! I have even tried bleach and it didn't work! Thank god for the internet! I used Crest whitening with baking soda. Thanks for everyone's tips! (10/15/2007)
By Krista Rochester WA
The toothpaste worked great. Watch out for the Magic Eraser, we used that one time and it took the finish off our table. But the toothpaste worked wonders! (10/21/2007)
I accidentally got permanent marker on my uncle's table from not being careful enough, while writing on paper and it went through. Luckily enough the toothpaste trick worked with a scrubber brush and I was so relieved. (10/27/2007)
My daughter was drawing with permanent marker on paper on the wood dining room table and it bled through. Tried the eraser trick and it worked great! (10/27/2007)
Wow, I even used Tom's homeopathic whitening toothpaste and it took the sharpie right off my table. Thanks everyone! (11/04/2007)
I had no idea what was on my less than a year old table! It looked like something had sprayed on it and discolored it with green spots. Mild soap and water did nothing. The toothpaste did the trick! I later figured out it was paint from my child's plastic recorder that they had blown over the table, probably lead paint too! Thank you, thank you, it worked. (11/07/2007)
With a lot of effort toothpaste took black sharpie marker off my Grandmother's wood chairs! Thanks for the suggestion. (11/25/2007)
FANTASTIC! We have a beautiful bamboo table that my husband was writing on with permanent marker. (Duh!) Of course it bled through. I used Rembrandt toothpaste and the marker came right off with out damaging the finish!! I am sooooo happy.
Thank you all!
Used toothpaste (CREST whitening) for the same problem, Sharpie on my relatively new dining table. It came right off, but does leave it dull. I used furniture polish to make the table shine again. (12/19/2007)
My 2 year old drew with fluorescent pink highlighter all over himself and the top of his dresser. I was very nervous about damaging the finish on the dresser while trying to get the highlighter off. But I was very surprised and pleased at how great just using regular Colgate toothpaste worked. All the highlighter came off as well as other scuffs and paint scuffs from his toys that had hit the dresser. It did not damage the finish at all. The dresser looks great! I would have never even thought of using toothpaste. Thanks for the advice! (01/01/2008)
Blue Permanent Paint Marker on wood table, in the shape of large smiley faces (2 little girls), and left there for about a year. Using a bit from everyone, the crest toothpaste with some baking soda and a green scrub pad did the trick. I let it sit for about an hour then scrubbed, and once it became a "grit paste", it came off nicely. Two coats of Pledge brought the shine back. This was for an oak table, and not sure how it would work on a dark wood. (01/08/2008)
My 5 yr old son used black and red permanent markers to color a small paper cut out on our dining room wooden table. Of course the table got "colored" as well. I was going to use toothpaste to try to remove it but was a bit leery (afraid it might damage our wood finish), so instead I thought to try gum eraser first. It did the trick! It was amazing! (02/01/2008)
I would never have believed that toothpaste (orange Crest, better used for removing marker than brushing ones teeth) would work, but it did and beautifully! Removed black marker from an oak coffee table, put there by my three year old, without damaging the finish (which my husband was sure would happen). Really incredible! (02/07/2008)
I used Dettol disinfectant spray, and the marker came right off.
By Man 1
I am totally shocked, but with my fingertip and Crest Total Health toothpaste, red permanent marker (drawn all over my wood floors by my 3 year old) came right up! Thanks everyone! I tried eraser first and that did work, but not all the way. It faded the spot and the toothpaste took the rest right up. (02/19/2008)
Thanks so much! Toothpaste actually worked! I accidentally got blue Sharpie on our good new dining table, and I tried EVERYTHING - white sprits, hairspray, bug spray...nothing worked. It's been two months and I was getting ready to call a furniture restorer for a quote on fixing it when I saw this thread and figured why not? A few dabs of White Glo and 60 seconds of scrubbing with a soft scrub and it was gone! The finish isn't even dulled!! (02/22/2008)
Toothpaste works (fast too!) and the varnish did NOT come off! My son traced a picture he drew with a permanent marker and decided to color in parts of it. Of course, it soaked through and I had a fit! After hairspray didn't work, I ran to the internet, found this sight and used Colgate Total Advanced Care toothpaste. Yay! THANK YOU! (02/23/2008)
Had the same thing happen as most. My son decided to write a note with a blue sharpie on my oak table and let the marker stay on one spot so it was able to soak into the table really nicely...Sent him to his room & then used some colgate & a scrubbie pad and within a minute or two of scrubbing it was gone completely. Great tip! (02/26/2008)
I first used toothpaste, and it worked a little but not as fast as I wanted, so I tried an SOS pad, with just a little scrubbing. The blank permanent marker came right off my wood table. (03/26/2008)
Yay, toothpaste worked for me! (04/12/2008)
My two kids were drawing on my kitchen table and the marker went through the paper and onto the table. Who makes marker nowadays that doesn't just wipe off, sheeesh! Thank you all for posting the tooth paste thing, cause baby it worked. Thank you! (05/07/2008)
Amazing! This REALLY works! (05/26/2008)
I can't believe something that is common to have in a household took permanent marker right off! I almost freaked out when my 2 yr old decided to grab a blue marker and started drawing on my brand new wood table! I had food in my mouth when I saw it and almost choked! I found this thread and tried whatever toothpaste with a Doobie and Voila! It worked!! Thank you all so much! I was thinking that I was going to have to go place mat shopping soon! HAHA
Paula from Roselle, IL (06/05/2008)
I got red marker off my computer desk, and I tried toothpaste and it worked. There are little white spots everywhere, but it worked. Thanks so much. (07/01/2008)
Thanks for tip! I tried everything to get pen off my solid wood table and nothing worked, until I tried toothpaste and it works, nice one thanks! (07/15/2008)
Yes it works nicely. Who'd have thought Colgate (whitening) was good for more than plugging holes. Not to repeat what has been said, but after a few repeats, all blue permanent marker ink was removed from white birch kitchen table. Did make surface a little dull. (07/21/2008)
I used Colgate on a wood toy chest that was covered with red and pink sharpie marker! It came out. My cousin referred me to research Google. GLAD I DID! (09/14/2008)
By worried mom from somers, ny
I used toothpaste, at 1st nothing happened. I got a little frustrated, tried again and used a lot of pushing and after about 10 seconds it was gone! Just remember for this to work you have to use some elbow power. :) Our kitchen table is a very pricey one and it still looks as good as new, no one would ever believe there used to be tons of tiny blue dots there. Yay for toothpaste. (09/21/2008)
Does anyone know a safe way to remove permanent black marker (sharpie) from a wooden dining room table?