How to Remove Permanent Marker from Hard Plastics

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How to Remove Permanent Marker from Hard Plastics. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Don't let a few permanent marker scribblings stand between you and your next second-hand bargain. Here's how to remove permanent marker from hard plastic items like lunch boxes and storage totes.

What You Need:

  • A dry erase marker
  • A cleaning rag

Here's How:

  1. Color over the permanent marker you wish to remove with a dry eraser marker.
  2. Then, wipe over the area with a rag, and the permanent marker should come right off along with the dry erase marker.
  1. Repeat if any permanent marker remains.

Why This Works:

The rubbing alcohol in the dry erase marker eats through the permanent marker, while the tip of the marker acts as a little scrub brush, lifting and removing the marks.

More Ways with Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is an excellent solvent, capable of dissolving all sorts of tough stains and residues -- even many that pricey, store-bought cleaners won't touch. It'll remove ink and paint from clothing, carpet and upholstery, adhesive residue, kitchen grease, water spots, bad odors and even the fingerprints on your stainless steel appliances.

And it's a highly-effective sanitizer to boot. Add a bottle to your cleaning arsenal. Then, check out all of these other uses for rubbing alcohol, so you can start putting it through its paces.

Other Household Products You Can Clean With

Rubbing alcohol isn't the only household product that can be used to clean your home.

Before you race to the store to restock your cleaning caddy, see if you have something on hand that you can use to tackle your next cleaning task. Once you test a few of these ideas out, you may just be surprised by how unnecessary many of those commercial products you've been buying really are.

Here's a good place to start your education on homemade cleaners:

More Help with Stains

And if you're just trying to become a better stain fighter, check out these resources. They'll help you get stubborn stains out of all sorts of things, without a call to the pros, and without a bunch of trial and error: