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Sharpie Permanent Marker Stain Removal Guide: how to remove ink stains from leather.

Posted by Frankye at On Time Supplies | Posted in Helpful Hints | Posted on July 8, 2011


How to Remove Sharpie Marker Stains from Leather Car Seats

Shari from OnTimeSupplies.com passes on a great tip to Office Ink on removing Sharpie permanent marker stains:

Summer is upon us, as is swim team season. Right before swim team events, I use a Sharpie permanent marker to write my kids names on their backs and arms  — as well as the obligatory “eat my bubbles.”   Then one last spray with sunscreen to protect my kids delicate skin from the harsh rays!!

We get to the swim meet and I notice my once near new leather car seats are now marked with Sharpie permanent marker ink – “eat my bubbles” permanently stamped on my nice leather seats.

I tried a baby wipes, soap and water, leather cleaner, some other miscellaneous stain removers and even one of those magic sponges. No luck, until the thought hits me – if sunscreen makes the marker go from skin to the car seat… then maybe…

Solution – spray on sunscreen!!! Remove ink stains from leather car seats like MAGIC!

Thanks Shari! I’m thinking sunscreen will work to remove ink stains from plastic and vinyl too. The next time you need to remove an ink stain, remember our Stain Removal Guide and use sunscreen!

Comments posted (26)

I had some sharpie written on my hand that got transferred to our semi-new white leather couch. After reading the article by Frankye I tried it. I used Banana Boat spray sunscreen on a paper towel and then lightly rubbed the sharpie out of the couch. At first I thought it was starting to bleach out the couch where I was rubbing but them realized it was just that the couch was just dirty from us coming straight off the beach from playing volleyball and sitting on the couch. So great idea Frankye!!!

Glad it worked out for you!

How long should you scrub? I just tried for about 5 minutes…while it definitely faded some, it’s still really noticeable on our leather car seats (same thing…swim meet, name on back, now on car seat…). Don’t want to hurt the leather by scrubbing too much???

I just had a very similar situation with sharpie on my daughters back being transferred to my leather car seat after a swim meet. I tried an expensive leather cleaner, baby oil, soap and water but it wouldn’t come out. I was searching through all of the forums to read what others had tried when I came across this one. Thinking I would try just about anything, I tried the sunscreen and a terry cloth washcloth. To my amazement, the sunscreen took the blue sharpie right out! I had to write in and let everyone know!

I wanted to post an update to mine…I haven’t touched the “stain” since I rubbed it with sunscreen that first night…again, it originally faded the stain, but it was still very noticeable. I’ve made my daughter sit with a towel behind her whenever she’s been in the car after swimming to prevent any more potential stains, and I just looked — the black sharpie marker stain is GONE. I can’t believe it’s not there anymore. I’m so relieved! I know I left some sunscreen residue on the stain and it must have rubbed off over the last 2 weeks! Thanks for posting this advice!

I have 2 daughters ages 3 and 1.5 they got ahold of a black sharpie and drew on my red leather sofa after reading this I tried out using sunscreen on it. It worked great! no damage to the sofa or the color and no sign of the sharpie. Thank you so much for posting this idea!

crazyly insightful post. If only it was as easy to implement some of the solutions as it was to read and nod my head at each of your points

six months ago my two year old daughter was played , the shrfie marker(black) was in my purse. i didn’t realize that when she picked from my purse so many lines on it . Please anyone could help me out .

Sun screen spray

My son wrote all over the front seat of my BMW with a blue permanent marker. I wanted …well you know…! I read this article in desperation and low and behold it worked. I had to do it several times, but there is only a faint shadow of the marker left on the seat! This is an awesome trick!

I tried it on my leather car seat and it didn’t work. Not sure what to do now!!! HELP!!! I tried the sunscreen and it smeared it and faded a little but not enough. Black marker on my cream colored seat. HELP!!!!

You are a life saver with this tip. My husband just spent two weekends cleaning and polishing are car, from the wheels to the roof, inside and out. The interior has light beige leather seats. My daughter had a permanent marker in her back pocket of her jeans that came open while she was driving. It left a big stripe and two dark spots on the seat. I read your post and went out and bought the spray sunscreen and it worked like a charm. Thank you for sharing.

i wrote on my bus seat with blue sharpie how do i get it off!

CAUTION spray sunscreen It took the finish off of our lazyboy leather chair! Test in a hidden spot first. May work best if sprayed and immediately wiped. I did that first and got most off then sprayed again and let it sit for 20 seconds to soak and it ruined the chair. :(

My granddaughter got blue sharpie on my gray leather seats and i tried this trick. It worked at first then it was still there so we scrubbed it a bit and it ruined the spot we scrubbed

Sharpie marker on new tan leather jeep seat. I tried…
hairspray – nothing
goo gone – nothing
sunscreen – lightened it but did not remove it

Product called Goof Off – Worked like magic!

I am a real estate agent and had left a directional sign on my back tan leather seat. It melted the vinyl off onto my back seat. After reading a few posts about what to do, I decided to try the MOMS….who always know what to do…and used the sunscreen…which my husband said would never work! Guess what?? It took the red vinyl off and also tried it on a ink mark on my door! It worked…Mothers know best!!
Thank you!!!

I have used hair spray and although the mark is still slightly visible it was the only produce that eventually worked .
The active ingredient that is doing the work, is the alcohol in the can and has nothing to do with either sun tan or hair spray .

My 2y/o wrote with sharpie all over my leather backseat. The spray sunscreen worked easily with no effort! Soooo glad this worked! I used Neutrogena brand. Thankssss a TON!

Grey leather in my Honda Pilot. Blue sharpie. Still there but a lot faded. Still rubbing. Hoping it disappears completely but it’s 90 percent gone. Thank you

This was a lifesaver!!! After applying an extra big sharpie tattoo, and then playing soccer, my sweaty legs spread the whole tattoo onto my parent’s new leather seats. I was totally hopeless until l found this. But if you do use this method, wipe the sunscreen away immediately after, and use spray sun screen. There was literally the FAINTEST thing left but I promise it works

Thank you!!!! I have light cream leather seats in my car. Purple marker sat on it for a few days (didn’t notice it under a paper bag) and we live in Florida. Sprayed sun tan lotion on it and let it sit and yay it lifted the marker out!!!!! Nothing else would do it. God bless for posting this and anyone reading this it works!!! I did have to spray and wait numerous times but it works!!!

My 2 year old decided to use my white leather couches as her coloring book using a black sharpie. My couch is relatively new, I’ve had it for less than 6months and I hate to have permanent marker all over it. HELP! What can I use that will be gentle on leather but strong enough to get out the stain? Desperately need this stain gone!
Thanks in advanced.

Youngest son decided leather seat in the car was a coloring book and scribbled all over it with a red sharpie! Googled, came across this site and happened to have spray sunscreen in the car. Sprayed washcloth (like get it good and wet) and rubbed and it came off like magic!! Tried it on an older stain and it faded it but didn’t take it off like the fresh writing! Thank you SO MUCH! You just ensured he’ll live another day! 😁

My console in my car got black tar like substance on my new bone colored leather purse! I tried dawn and water and a little scrubbing with a sponge, but it made it lighter but didn’t take it off. Any suggestions?

I just had my sweet 2 year old dd draw all over her and my brown leather couch with a black sharpie AAAGH!! This was the first search that came up and after reading so many successes, I tried it for myself.
I used Coppertone kids 50 spf spray because that is what i had. I could see the ink starting to drip as I let it sit for a moment.

Thanks for the tip! And as a bonus, I know my couch wont get sunburned :)

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