Removing permanent marker from your guitar

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Hippie Dribble

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A quick, cheap and easy way of getting rid of unwanted graffiti from the body and/or neck of your guitar. Because toothpaste isn't just for cleaning teeth anymore!

https://youtu.be/lt4VUXGehxo

 

caspet

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You can do it non-abrasively by using erasable whiteboard marker over the top. It acts as a solvent and you wipe it all off at once.
 

Pukulele Pete

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I'm thinking that Naptha might remove the marker without the abrasion , but I wouln't recommend brushing your teeth with it.
 
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Christon Abike

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Lighter fluid will work as long as the marker hasn't penetrated the wood itself and is only sitting on the finish.
 

Booli

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A quick, cheap and easy way of getting rid of unwanted graffiti from the body and/or neck of your guitar. Because toothpaste isn't just for cleaning teeth anymore!

https://youtu.be/lt4VUXGehxo

as an FYI:

White toothpaste works better for cleaning things other than teeth due to the higher concentration of the micro-abrasive granules (that are embedded within the paste) when compared to the 'colored-gel' toothpastes. I often use white toothpaste to remove scratches from my eyeglass lenses, as well as for CD and DVD scratch removal.

Most of the time, simple finger pressure to rub the paste is all that is needed, but if you use a toothbrush, you want to use a SOFT-BRISTLE brush and not a HARD or MEDIUM bristle, otherwise the bristles can actually cause additional scratches, which is NOT good on your eyeglasses or optical discs. :(

However, for a completely NON-abrasive removal of supposed permanent 'magic marker' of the likes of Sharpie and Marks-A-Lot brands, a perfect solvent is also isopropyl alcohol, aka, 'rubbing alcohol', and some cotton balls to apply/remove it. Works like a charm every time for me.

Having said all that, the micro-abrasives in the white toothpaste should only lift a minimal amount of the clear-coat on the guitar when used as Jon has done, minimal as in 'microns' unless you scrub like with gorilla strength. So the toothpaste should not really harm the finish or even be evident after the fact, unless you know to look for it.

I never thought to use toothpaste to remove marker ink, so good on you Jon and thanks for doing this demo and sharing this technique! :) :shaka:

Also, this almost makes me think of something that Dan Erlewine might show on one of the StewMac guitar shop repair videos.
 
H

Hippie Dribble

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Thanks for the tips, all! Much appreciated!

Actually, with all these excellent suggestions I wish I had posted a question rather than adopt the first solution I came across. I feel like an idiot actually! But then, I'm still learning. I appreciate the responses guys, very helpful. Still, I'm happy with the end result, though after reading this, wouldn't do it that way again. But I do have the best smelling hands in my street. :p
 

Booli

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I'm thinking that Naptha might remove the marker without the abrasion , but I wouln't recommend brushing your teeth with it.

Lighter fluid will work as long as the marker hasn't penetrated the wood itself and is only sitting on the finish.

You can do it non-abrasively by using erasable whiteboard marker over the top. It acts as a solvent and you wipe it all off at once.

I never thought to use toothpaste to remove marker ink, so good on you Jon and thanks for doing this demo and sharing this technique! :) :shaka:

Actually, with all these excellent suggestions I wish I had posted a question rather than adopt the first solution I came across. I feel like an idiot actually! But then, I'm still learning. I appreciate the responses guys, very helpful. Still, I'm happy with the end result, though after reading this, wouldn't do it that way again. But I do have the best smelling hands in my street. :p

Hey brother...please don't feel so bad, we all learned something, so it's a benefit and and asset that you posted this video, not a liability!
 
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Christon Abike

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Keep the faith man, we all balls up now and again and I wouldn't even class this as a goof to be honest.

I learnt something; I can take scratches off my glasses with toothpaste! All I've got to do then is put WD40 on them after and the rain will slide off too!
 

PhilUSAFRet

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I have learned that if you use something with just a tiny bit too much abrasive as a polishing agent/marker remover, you can end up with a spot or spots on your instrument that are glossier than the rest of the finish and may prove difficult to "even out."
 

Pueo

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I have a Lanikai ukulele that I now use primarily for collecting autographs. I noticed that some of the sharpie signatures had faded so I went to Home Depot to get some clearcoat to seal them in.
BIG mistake, that stuff ended up dissolving the signatures.
I have since started having the performers use a paint marker.
The sad thing is that two of the signers have passed away (Rev. Dennis Kamakahi was one of them) and I wish I had a reliable method for preserving what is still there.
 

noahenholm

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You can use hairspray or alcohol to get permanent markers off painted wood. Simply spray the afflicted areas and wait a few seconds before cleaning with a dry cloth. The next thing you know, the stain has faded completely.
 
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Poul Hansen

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I have a Lanikai ukulele that I now use primarily for collecting autographs. I noticed that some of the sharpie signatures had faded so I went to Home Depot to get some clearcoat to seal them in.
BIG mistake, that stuff ended up dissolving the signatures.
I have since started having the performers use a paint marker.
The sad thing is that two of the signers have passed away (Rev. Dennis Kamakahi was one of them) and I wish I had a reliable method for preserving what is still there.
Go to a store for artists supplies. They have lacquers made for protecting handdrawings. They might have something that is compatible with marker pens.