How to Remove Sharpie Markings From a Hardwood Floor

No matter how careful we are accidents are an unavoidable part of life – especially if you throw little ones into the mix. So whether you dropped your sharpie with the lid off or your two year old was getting creative, you don’t need to despair. Despite what the advertisements might declare, sharpies don’t write on everything forever. So how do you get stubborn sharpie off your beloved hardwood without damaging it? Try and of these methods:


This one might surprise you, but it works! Mix equal parts baking soda and toothpaste thoroughly then apply with a clean cloth to the stain; use a circular motion to scrub the marker gently. This may take a little while, so be patient. When the stain is removed clean the residue with soapy water and a clean cloth. You can use the original cloth to remove the toothpaste.

Dry Erase Maker

Another unexpected method, you can use a dry erase maker to get rid of permanent pen.  All you need to do is make sure the pen is dry erase and basically ‘color’ over the entirety of the stain. Leave for one minute then with a dry cloth or sponge wipe the marker – it should lift right up.

Magic Eraser

This is a more traditional choice – just wet the magic sponge then carefully scrub the stain in a circular motion (just as with the toothpaste). Continue until the stain is gone, then dry.

Nail Varnish Remover / Hairspray / Hand Sanitizer / WD40 / Isopropyl Alcohol

These options can work, but it’s important to test them in an inconspicuous area first as they can do damage to the wood. Place or spray your choice on a cloth and dab the area until the stain is lifted, rinse then pat dry. Whichever method you decide, you should try and do it as soon as possible. The longer you leave the pen, the more it will soak into the wood and the more likely it will be to stain long-term.