How to Get Sharpie Off Nails? – 6 Effective Methods

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

how to get sharpie off nails

Are you working and accidentally got Sharpie on your nails? Do not worry! It is erasable with simple home remedies. It might surprise you that hand sanitizer, hair spray, and toothpaste are effecive cleaners for marker stains.

Read on as we show you various ways on how to get Sharpie off nails, even if you do not have nail polish remover.

6 Ways to Get Sharpie Off Nails

Method 1. Using rubbing alcohol


What To Prepare:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton pads or Q-tips

What To Do:

You can get permanent marker off nails with some rubbing alcohol and several cotton pads. All you need to do is pour some of it onto a pad, then swipe the ink with it.

If the stain you are dealing with is very small, switch the cotton pad with a Q-tip. Use a new pad or tip each swipe, and continue until you are left with clean nails!

Note: If you are trying to get Sharpie off acrylic nails, make sure you do not apply a lot of force while swiping, as it can lift the polish. Keep this in mind for shellac nails and gel nails too.

Method 2. Using hand sanitizer


What To Prepare:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Cotton pads

What To Do:

If you do not have rubbing alcohol, you can use hand sanitizer that contains alcohol to remove Sharpie from nails.

The process is similar to the one above. Starting with one cotton pad, pour some hand sanitizer out and use the pad to wipe off the marker ink. Repeat the step with a new cotton pad and more hand sanitizer.

Method 3. Using hair spray


What To Prepare:

  • Hair spray
  • A cloth

What To Do:

Another way to erase Sharpie on nails is by using hair spray. You need the traditional type that contains alcohol to complete the task.

Spritz the hair sprablack sharpie nails onto a small clean cloth. There is no need to oversaturate it, but do not skimp on the amount either.

Use the doused cloth to clean your fingernails then work the permanent ink off gently.

You should be able to get pen off nail polish with this method as well.

Method 4. Using toothpaste



What To Prepare:

  • Toothpaste
  • A rag

What To Do:

Toothpaste is one of the safer methods to get rid of Sharpie on nails without nail polish remover.

You just need to put a dollop of toothpaste on your nails, then let it sit for a couple of minutes.

During the wait toms, the toothpaste will loosen up the Sharpie ink pigments. You can use a soft rag to wipe your nails clean. The marker should be lifted along with the toothpaste. Scrub gently if needed.

Method 5. Using white vinegar


What To Prepare:

  • White vinegar
  • A bowl or similar container
  • Q-tips

What To Do:

White vinegar is another ingredient that you can use to erase permanent marker from your nails. It is acidic but not too strong, so it can get the job done neatly.

Pour some white vinegar into a bowl or a similar container, then dip a Q-tip in it. Use the Q-tip to scrub the marker ink off your nails. You might have to repeat this a couple of times. If you do, be sure to use new Q-tips each time.

Note: If you have acrylic nails, do not keep the vinegar on for too long.

Method 6. Using lemon juice


What To Prepare:

  • Lemon juice
  • A cup or bowl
  • Q-tips

What To Do:

Lemon juice is also an acidic ingredient that cleans well. You can use it for Sharpie-stained nails.

The process is just like the one above. Squeeze some lemon juice into a cup or a bowl. Next, dunk a Q-tip into it.

You should use the saturated Q-tip against the permanent marker ink. The stain should come off with a few applications.

You might prefer this method over white vinegar because it will leave your nails smelling fresher.

Frequently Asked Questions


How can I remove Sharpie from toenails?

You can use the same cleaning methods above. They work for both fingernails and toenails. You just need to experiment and find the most appropriate method for yourself.

Is it possible to erase black Sharpie nails?

Of course! Although it might seem tough to handle, the Sharpie ink will not remain permanent on your nails. Try the methods we have described above, but expect some trial and error. Be patient and rest assured that the results will be worth it!

Can nail polish remover remove Sharpie?

Yes. This blog post focuses on methods you can try when you are in a bind and do not have access to nail polish remover. But if you have it handy, nail polish remover should be the first cleaning agent you try. After all, it is made specifically for nails.

Be sure to use one with acetone, though. Acetone is what dissolves the marker ink pigments.


Now, you are aware of how to get Sharpie off nails. There are at least six methods that you can try to complete the task. The best one depends on what materials you have available and the size and stubbornness of the permanent marker ink. In any case, be patient and trust the process.

If you have anything else you would like to ask or share about this topic, feel free to reach out to us in the comments down below. We are always super happy to hear from our readers.

Read more topics related to Sharpie markers:

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