Are Sharpies Dry Erase?

Last updated on September 14th, 2022 at 09:55 pm

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Last updated on September 14th, 2022 at 09:55 pm

Sharpies are an incredibly popular market brand that have been used by the majority of people at one time or another. If you love your dry erase board but are tired of those markers going bad you might wonder if you can use Sharpies instead. 

Sharpies are not dry erase and will require using additional chemicals or solvents to remove them. 

That means they should not be used on dry erase boards or in place of dry erase markers. Sharpies are designed to be more permanent while dry erase markers are designed to easily be wiped off. 

How To Remove Sharpie

If you own a Sharpie you may wonder how it can be removed from a surface if you need to make a correction or used it by mistake. Hand sanitizer and acetone based nail polish remover are going to be the most effective in removing the ink of permanent markers. 

The Sharpie official site suggests trying a product called Amodex stain remover to remove Sharpie from something. 

Though Sharpie ink will become mostly permanent after setting, it can be erased but not with a traditional eraser. To get Sharpie off you actually need to use a dry erase marker as that is usually the most successful in removing Sharpie ink. 

You just have to cover the Sharpie ink using three to four pen strokes. Then use the dry eraser, and both sets of ink should disappear.

Sharpie ink that has dried for more than several hours can be removed with acetone and other ketones and esters, such as ethyl acetate, but acetone and other organic solvents may damage the surface of the material that was written on. 

Isopropyl alcohol also works well and is less damaging to some surfaces; rubbing alcohol is the diluted form, so it works more slowly.

On some surfaces, the ink can be removed by coloring over the ink with a dry erase marker (since this marker’s ink contains organic solvents) and then removing the Sharpie ink and dry erase marker ink with a dry cloth. 

Steam cleaning has also proved to be effective, as have rubber erasers. 

Magic Erasers have also proven somewhat effective on hard surfaces such as brick and very effective on wood furniture. 

On non-porous surfaces, denatured alcohol is the most effective solvent for the removal of Sharpie ink, and it is safe for use on most plastics. 

Certain brands of water resistant spray on sunscreen have proven very effective at breaking the ink bond with the substrate, plastic or painted surfaces, allowing full removal without damaging the surface itself.

Sharpies are considered non-toxic for “normal uses”, meaning writing on posters, soccer balls and such. Sharpie is not meant for the skin but is not dangerous with incidental exposure.

Sharpies are the writing utensil of choice by astronauts aboard the International Space Station because of their usability in zero gravity. According to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who commanded the International Space Station in 2012–2013, “you can hold it any which way and it still works”.

Why Is It Called A Sharpie?

In the beginning of marker manufacturing, while the competition seemed content to compete for the standard felt tip marker market, there seemed to be a different market for a different marker. This new product developed by Sanford Ink Company was called the Sharpie.

When Charlie Lofgren became president of Sanford Ink Company, the company was known mostly for its Fountain Pen Ink. By 1964 Sanford Ink Company was having considerable success with their felt tip marker. 

Charlie Lofgren had quickly recognized the potential of a clever new marking product that was called the Magic Marker. This crudely packaged product was the original felt tip marker. 

It featured an absorbent material known as the reservoir saturated with a solvent based ink that was formulated to write on most surfaces. 

A wool felt tip contacted the reservoir and therefore itself became saturated with the ink. When striking a surface like wood, glass, corrugated, etc. the ink flowed by capillary action from the reservoir through the tip and onto the surface being marked. 

Charlie took one look at this product and decided to work on developing a similar product for Sanford. Rather than crude, cheap packaging, however, Charlie wanted a rugged aluminum shell for his marker.

Sanford’s felt tip markers came in three sizes, and they were an immediate success. But they had competition. 

A number of Sanford competitors also developed quality felt tip markers. But while the competition seemed content to compete for the standard felt tip marker market, Charlie had the idea that there was a different market for a marker that was shaped like and the size of a traditional fountain pen. 

It functioned technically like the felt tip markers. It had a reservoir and dispensed ink by capillary action through a tip. To protect this product from competition, he filed for and received a patent for his idea of a Sharpie.

The Sharpie tip, however, needed to be made of something rigid. Charlie was not completely happy with the first plastic foam tip that was developed, but he was eager to get his product on the market.

There is an advantage to being first, and he wanted that advantage. So in 1964 the Sharpie was introduced with the same ink as the felt tip marker ink and with a plastic form tip while product improvement of the product continued.

The original Sharpie was replaced with a product that looked exactly the same, but was made with entirely different materials. The product has been manufactured ever since such as it was designed at that point, making only those changes that come about as old materials are discontinued and new ones are developed.

A Brief Sharpie History 

Sharpie is a brand of writing implements (mainly permanent markers) manufactured by Newell Brands, a public company, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Originally designated as a single permanent marker, the Sharpie brand has been widely expanded and can now be found on a variety of previously unrelated permanent and non-permanent pens and markers formerly marketed under other brands. 

Sharpie markers are made with several tips. The most common and popular is the Fine tip. Other tips include Ultra Fine Point, Extra Fine Point, Brush tip, Chisel tip, and Retractable tip. 

Apart from markers and highlighters, Sharpie products also include gel and rollerball pens.

“Sharpie” was originally a name designating a permanent marker launched in 1964 by the Sanford Ink Company (established in 1857). The Sharpie also became the first pen-style permanent marker.

In 1990, Sharpie was acquired by The Newell Companies (later named Newell Rubbermaid) as part of Sanford, a leading manufacturer and marketer of writing instruments.

In 2005, the Sharpie company’s popular Accent highlighter brand was repositioned under the Sharpie brand name. A new version of Sharpie called Sharpie Mini was launched, which are markers half the size of a normal Sharpie and feature a clip to attach the Sharpie to a keychain or lanyard. 

In 2006, Sharpie released a new line of markers that had a button-activated retractable tip rather than a cap. Sharpie Paint markers were also introduced.

As of 2011, 200 million Sharpies had been sold worldwide. Sharpie markers are manufactured in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico and Maryville, TN, and with numerous off-shore partners globally.

Last updated on September 14th, 2022 at 09:55 pm

Matthew R

Hi, My name is Matt and I am all about toys! When trying to find accurate information online about toys I was finding it difficult so I decided to make this site.

Recent Posts