How To Remove Sharpie Marker from Plastic

Don't let a few permanent marker scribblings stand between you and your next second-hand bargain. Here's how to remove permanent marker from hard plastic items like SNES controllers, video games and consoles.

Here is a perfect example of permanent marker on vintage items.  Every kid in the 1980-90s loved writing their names on gaming gear.  This can seriously hurt the value of collectables (or help you score a better deal!)

My Tool List is Super Simple:

  • Water
  • Magic Eraser (found in every grocery store in America)
  • Optional 90% Rubbing Alcohol for stubborn stains.
  • Elbow grease 

I like cutting my magic erasers down to small pieces.  It's easier to work with and the Box will last much longer.  Dip the magic eraser in water and start scrubbing the plastic in a circular motion.

Depending on the darkness of the ink this process may take 5-10min.  Using rubbing alcohol will speed up the process.
Done! Super Simple process but I wanted to share this with everyone. This will also work with Consoles and video games.  When using magic erasers beware of delicate labels or silkscreened logos. They will come off!


  1. I have always heard this will cause a texture difference. Is this your experience? Can you tell which controllers you've done this to, either by sight or feeling?

    1. Depends on how aggressive you are with the scrubbing. 99% of the time the Sharpie Marker is removed before the plastic.

  2. Simple Green cleaner will do the job easier and it won't smooth the texture of the plastic. It breaks down permanent marker ink better than anything else. Just spray it on the cloth, NOT the plastic and rub gently.

    1. Cool I will try that out. I will update the article if it works. Thanks for the feedback!


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