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Friends of mine became grandparents early last year. Last weekend they looked after their granddaughter, who, it seems, has learned the art of graffiti. With Sharpies. On the walls in the dining room. And bedroom. And lounge. It’s an excuse to redecorate, I suppose. Except they only recently had the whole home repainted.

Now, I’m all for a little art to adorn the walls. What better than a child’s first attempt at painting, for example? Either neatly framed or stuck to a fridge door, it really is a fantastic reminder of your pride and joy. But wall art doesn’t have quite the same effect when it’s squiggled directly on a wall.

So, what is the most effective way to get Sharpie off walls?

Soap and water… great on skin, not so good on Sharpie marks

The first choice for most people is to try soap and water. However, you’ll have to scrub real hard. So hard, in fact, that you’ll probably take the paint away as well as the Sharpie stain. Hand sanitizer gel is a little better, because it has a magic quality – it’s a solvent.

And this is the secret to removing stubborn Sharpie stains from walls – use a solvent.

Household items that remove Sharpie from walls

There are three household items that are effective Sharpie removers: nail polish remover, hairspray, and rubbing alcohol. The faster you act, the easier it will be to remove the mark (I mean work of art!).

Using rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover

Pour some rubbing alcohol on a washcloth and scrub the Sharpie mark gently. You’ll find the color bleeds across the wall, though lessens in intensity. Rather than a mark, you will now have a stain.

Fill a bowl with water, and use the abrasive side of a sponge to scrub the color away. You may need to repeat this process a few times.

A tip when using rubbing alcohol is to try the process on a hidden area of the wall first. You’ll want to be sure that it won’t remove the paint before you start.

Use the same method if you are using nail polish remover.

Using hairspray to remove Sharpie marks

Perhaps the easiest way to get rid of Sharpie from walls is by using a hairspray. It takes a little patience, but doesn’t require much scrubbing.

  • Spray the affected wall with hairspray, a few inches at a time.
  • Using a Q-tip, gently rub the mark away.
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe clean.
  • Repeat as necessary, until the Sharpie marks have disappeared and your wall is clean.

This really is the easiest and most effective cleaning method I’ve seen. You can see it in action in this video clip.

Of course, not all walls are painted equally. Some paints are less robust than others, and no matter what cleaning solution you use, you risk taking the paint away with the Sharpie. If you’ve got a little one who thinks they are the next Banksy, the chances are they will have been practicing on your walls. Try the above method to remove Sharpie from walls. If you have no luck, feel free to get in touch with Porter’s Cleaning today. When it comes to cleaning, mold removal and restoration work, or even removing that Sharpie art, we’re the experts.

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