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The Magic of Hairspray!

I am so excited to share this tip with you!! 
You can get permanent marker off of almost any smooth surface with one simple ingredient.


We are redoing our floors and we use permanent marker to mark our cuts. The boards have a smooth surface and I know that with dry erase boards you can color over the permanent marker with a dry erase marker and it will wipe off so I wasn't too worried about making a mistake. Of course, it wasn't too long after we started that I was able to test my theory.  We ended up marking the wrong end of a board. I quickly grabbed a green (the only color I could find) dry erase marker, colored over the permanent marker and wiped it off.  Well the permanent marker faded but was still visible, and the dry erase marker left some nasty green smudges that would not come off.

I thought back to a recent post I wrote on how to remove permanent marker from almost anythingI remembered that hairspray was one of the items that popped up a lot in the post. I ran to the bathroom, grabbed the hairspray and gave the are a few sprays. Like magic, the marker (dry erase and permanent) started to liquify and dissolve before my eyes. With one quick wipe of the paper towel, it was gone. I was simply amazed!!

Then the wheels started turning. I wonder what else this would work on?
Then I went crazy!!
No, I'm not kidding! Just check out all of the things I tested it on. 

Remove kids scribbles.
Write notes to your husband on the bathroom mirror.
Write "Do not dry ____" on your washing machine so you don't ruin your favorite blouse.
Label jars and food containers.
Write on your planner tabs.

  • This will work on most smooth, glossy surfaces. Do not try on rough non-glossy surfaces.
  • The hairspray did leave a sticky film on some of the surfaces (such as the mirror) this can be easily cleaned off with Windex.
  • Please be sure to test in an unnoticeable area before going crazy with the permanent marker. I found that I had to scrub a little to get it off of the dishwasher and washing machine.
  • The hairspray I used was TRESemme strong hold. I would think most (or all) other hairsprays would work just as well however, I can not guarantee that. 

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    1. Plain ol' rubbing alcohol works, too. That's why the hairspray works... it has a high alcohol content. ;)

    2. Cool! My mom always used hairspray (she said the cheaper the better) to get ball point ink out of clothes. Maybe, as Katie B said, it's alcohol content related--cheaper hairspray, higher alcohol content?

    3. The cheaper the hairspray the higher the alcohol content! That's also why the hairspray works so well. I had a huge can of hairspray that I paid $1 for and yes it lightened my hair quite significantly.

      Aquanet works really well on white boards that you've used brand new "dry erase" markers on and on windows!

    4. I'm an art teacher and have sprayed hairspray on a cotton swab and cleaned permanent marker off of little ones' noses, cheeks, hands, feet (yep, feet) and all of my tables. My friend accidently put a Sharpie through the dryer and it got everywhere and on high heat. She used hair spray and all but a faded line came off. She cleaned the rest off with nail polish remover

    5. Did u know that when u paint with chalk on paper, that if u use hair spray, its the same as the expensive fixative, from the art store. K

    6. Some one wote on my mirror with a red sharpie. I looked fo ideas on how to remove it days later. All i used was an "clorox disinfectant wipe" days later it came off like magic! Give it a tey people, it works!


    I read and appreciate each and every comment from my sincere readers, however, DIYHSH is a place for inspiration not drama. Any comments that I believe to be inappropriate, malicious or spam like will be deleted.

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