How to Get Sharpie Off a Desk? – 8 Effective Methods

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how to get sharpie off a desk

Your day could be going right but upon seeing a random mark on your favorite desk, a frown invades your face. And then you think to yourself, removing marker from wood can be quite troublesome.

But fret not! In this guide on how to get sharpie off a desk, you will learn how to get sharpie off a wooden table through easy ways so you could go along your day uninterrupted!

Ways to Get Sharpie Off a Desk

There are eight possible ways to get sharpie marks off a desk. Listed below are the methods with their needed materials:

1. Use rubbing alcohol to get permanent marker off wood and plastic table


Materials needed: rubbing alcohol, cotton cloth

Known to all, the easiest way to take sharpie off wood is by rubbing alcohol. Aside from removing marks on wood, this can also be used to remove marks on a plastic table.

The chemicals in permanent inks are easily broken down by rubbing alcohol, often known as ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. Fun fact, if a bottle of alcoholic beverage has an alcohol content greater than 40%, you may even use it.

To get permanent marker off a desk, start by applying a little amount of rubbing alcohol to a cotton cloth. Lightly dab the area to moisten it, and then wipe the residue away with a wet towel and if a little mark is still visible, just repeat the process.

2. Peanut butter can also clean sharpie off wood


Materials needed: peanut butter, moist cotton cloth

I know! Shocking, right?

If you are without alcohol at home, the peanut butter in your pantry might just save the day! Given that peanut butter contains fat, which helps dissolve inks, its remarkable characteristic is that it is efficient in getting rid of ink and pen stains. Just apply a little amount of peanut butter to the stain and let it sit for at least five minutes. To remove the peanut butter and ink that has dissolved, dab the surface with a moist microfiber towel, then repeat if necessary.

3. Use a magic eraser to get rid of sharpie marks off painted wood


Materials needed: magic eraser (melamine foam)

Does a magic eraser ring a bell? If not, read below!

A magic eraser is a sponge marketed as a universal cleaning product that can remove anything from permanent markers, soap scum, and beet juices. The sponge is what we call melamine foam which contains a cleaning agent inside.

The package should list the surfaces that it is safe to use on, but magic erasers are mainly used on polished or painted wood. All you have to do to remove the permanent marker stain off the surface is gently dampen the magic eraser.

4. Acetone-based nail polish remover gets rid of sharpie on wood


Materials needed: acetone-based nail polish remover, cotton cloth

Just like alcohol, an acetone-based nail polish remover is but a common yet very helpful tool found in our homes. Acetone is known for its excellent cleaning prowess, which is especially helpful in removing permanent marks on wooden furniture like a school desk.

To use this, simply use a clean cloth that has been dampened with a small amount of the nail polish remover to scrub the permanent marker stain away. If traces of the stain remain, just repeat the process.

However, given how strong fingernail polish is, it can also ruin the coating of finished wood. When using this, make sure that you apply this on the surface gently, moderately, and with caution.

5. Baking soda is an effective tool to remove sharpie from wood


Materials needed: baking soda, water, cotton cloth

Home essentials are saving the day, yet again! Tons of households surely have their own stash of baking soda for different kinds of usage, but it can also be used to get permanent marker off a desk.

With a soft cloth, apply a paste made of baking soda and water and gently wipe it into the permanent marker stain. Using baking soda as a gentle agitator, you may remove stains from wood without damaging it.

6. Dry-erase markers work like magic in removing stains from various surfaces


Materials needed: dry-erase markers, moist cotton cloth

If your wood surface is painted or stained with an opaque stain, try erasing the permanent marker using a dry-erase marker. Keep reading even though it might seem counterproductive to add additional marker ink to a sharpie stain.

Stains on a variety of surfaces, including whiteboards and white tables, can be eliminated with a dry-erase marker. In doing so, use the dry-erase marker to cover the existing marker stain and then remove it with a moist towel.

7. Hairsprays get sharpie off the table


Materials needed: hairspray, cotton cloth

Aside from hairspray’s main job of fixing your hair, it can also be maximized in removing sharpie from wood. In fact, hairspray is renowned for its ability to eliminate any stains, even ink from pens on textiles and permanent marker marks on wood.

Because hairspray includes alcohol, it removes permanent markers, but alcohol also destroys varnish and lacquer. Thus it should only be used on painted wood.

Just spray on the surface where the permanent marks are, and then watch as they disappear in front of your eyes. After, just wipe the area with a cloth and repeat the process if some stains remain.

8. Hand sanitizer also removes permanent marks off a wood


Materials needed: hand sanitizer, cotton cloth

The solution to your problem might just be inside your pocket! Because hand sanitizer gels are primarily alcohol-based, they may be used to erase permanent marker stains from painted wood in the same way that rubbing alcohol can.

Before using it on the stain, don’t forget to read the label and try it on a tiny area first. Simply spritz some over the afflicted area, then massage the stain away with a clean cloth.

Gels include glycerine as an emollient, which can stain and discolor raw, unfinished wood, so refrain from applying them on that type of wood.

Helpful Tips

  • You need to inspect if your wooden tables and furniture have permanent marker damage if the affected wood has been polished or sealed with any coating material. This will assist you in deciding the materials to employ to remove the markings.
  • Permanent marker stains on wood furniture shouldn’t be scrubbed or rubbed off vigorously since doing so might damage the wood’s texture. Use soft towels or sponges and gentle movements.
  • Before removing the stain, test each method in a discrete region of the wood for the best results.


Frown no more, as we got you in this how to get sharpie off a desk guide. If you ever encounter household or office problems like this again, let this guide be a reminder that the solution might just be within the reach of your fingertips – it might be in your cabinet, pantry, beauty kit, or even in your medicine kit.

I hope that this has shed light on the things you wanted to know. Thanks for reading until the end and I’ll see you at the next one!

3.7/5 - (3 votes)

Magazine Posts

How to Hold a Fountain Pen Correctly

How to Hold a Fountain Pen Correctly for Beginners?

Laura Walker

The fountain pen, an elegant writing instrument, continues to captivate those who ...

best furniture touch up markers

8 Best Furniture Touch-up Markers to Fix Any Scratch in Minutes

Laura Walker

Despite your best efforts to protect your chairs, tables, and other wooden ...

how to remove permanent marker from stone

How to Remove Permanent Marker from Stone? – 7 Methods

Laura Walker

Stone surfaces bring an elegant beauty to our homes and public spaces. ...

best alcohol based markers

8 Best Alcohol Based Markers for Artists and Crafters

Laura Walker

Popular among cartoonists, animators, architects, and designers, blendable alcohol markers enable users ...