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How to Get Sharpie Off Nails? – 3 Safe & Effective Methods

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

how to get sharpie off nails

Have you ever managed to get a permanent Sharpie on nail polish unintentionally and been stumped as to how to get Sharpie off nails? It happens to all of us, so do not be alarmed. The good news is that there are several efficient ways to remove permanent marker from nails.

To restore your fingers’ clean, sharp appearance, we will cover various methods and tips in this article. Using these techniques, you can get Sharpie off acrylic nails and natural nails as well.

Ways to Get Sharpie Off Nails

</p> <h3><strong>Method 1: Use a Nail Polish Remover, Rubbing Alcohol or Hand Sanitizer</strong></h3> <p>


Is nail polish remover permanent marker cleaners? Yes, it is! Since it contains a strong liquid solvent known as acetone, it can dissolve nail polish and other stubborn stains, including Sharpie or permanent markers.

Meanwhile, rubbing alcohol is one of the common household items for sanitizing and clearing out stains on various surface types. When used on smooth or non-porous surfaces like fingernails, alcohol can remove Sharpie from nails without a hitch.

What to Prepare:

  • Cotton balls, pads, or cotton buds
  • Any type of nail polish remover or acetone
  • Rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer


  1. Use a cotton ball or pad and pour some of whichever cleaner you choose. Simply rub it gently on your fingernails until the Sharpie stain disappears. Then, wash your hands afterward.
  2. When applying acetone to remove nail stains, you may apply lotion after washing since it tends to dry your fingertips.
</p> <h3><strong>Method 2: Using a Regular Eraser</strong></h3> <p>


As you rub a regular pencil eraser against your nail, it creates friction that can pick up stain particles. It will not erase the stain right away, but the ink will fade, allowing you to erase Sharpie stains without alcohol or any chemical products.

What to Prepare:

  • Pencil eraser or any regular eraser. You may use a soft or a slightly abrasive one.


Use the eraser and rub it slowly over the Sharpie stain on your nail until it fades. Repeat the process when necessary until the stain disappears. Wash your hands afterward to remove any eraser residues.

</p> <h3><strong>Method 3: Using Other Household Items</strong></h3> <p>


What to Prepare:

(You may choose from the following options)

  • Baking soda
  • Toothpaste (not gel)
  • Lemon juice (fresh)
  • Soft cloth, cotton ball or pad


  • Squeeze some toothpaste and apply it over the Sharpie stain with a cotton pad.
  • Alternatively, mix baking soda with a few drops of water to create a paste. Make sure it is not too runny or sticky. Take enough amount to cover the stain.
  • Another option is to use freshly squeezed lemon juice. The acid helps dissolve the stain on your nails. However, do not douse your fingers with too much juice to avoid irritation.

Using any of these products, rub it gently over the Sharpie stain. Wash off any residues with soapy water.

Is a Sharpie Safe for Nail Art?


Yes, it can be used safely on nail art. In fact, many nail artists incorporate Sharpie designs into their art. Our nail plates are made of keratin, which protects the nails and keeps them resilient.

However, although Sharpies are typically non-toxic, they are permanent markers that contain ink that is not intended to come into contact with skin or nails. Therefore, it is not recommended to use Sharpies as a long-term nail art solution as they may cause irritation or allergic reactions.

While Sharpies can be used to create fun and unique nail art designs, it is important to note that they are not specifically designed for use on nails.

Unless you apply base coat and top coat, Sharpie ink is not as durable as traditional nail polish and is prone to smudging and fading.

If you do decide to use Sharpies for nail art, it is best to use them as a temporary solution and remove them as soon as possible to avoid any potential skin irritation.

Other Helpful Tips

  • Let’s not try to pick or scrape the Sharpie off with a sharp object. This can damage your acrylics and potentially cause them to break or lift.
  • To get Sharpie off nail polish, you can try using a nail polish remover that contains acetone. Just be careful to use a little amount only.
  • While trying to get permanent marker off gel nails, it is best to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive methods.
  • If you are at school and need to remove Sharpie from your nails fast and easy, you may use an ordinary eraser or just a pencil eraser tip.
  • If these methods do not work, you can use a toothbrush or fine sandpaper to gently scrub the Sharpie off. A nail buffer can also help smooth out any roughness or unevenness left behind after the Sharpie has been removed.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can nail polish remover remove Sharpie from nails?

Yes, nail polish remover can be effective at erasing permanent marker stains from nails. It contains acetone, a liquid solvent that can eliminate tough stains besides erasing nail polish.

Is it possible to remove permanent markers from gel nails?

Yes, the methods outlined above should work to get permanent marker off gel nails as well. Just be gentle to avoid damaging the gel surface.

Is there a way to remove Sharpies from nails without using nail polish remover or alcohol?

Yes, there are several alternatives to nail polish remover and alcohol that you can use to remove Sharpie from your nails. Toothpaste and baking soda are both effective options that can help lift the stain and clean your nails even without nail polish remover.

Another way to remove sharpie without alcohol is to use a pencil eraser. The eraser can help scrub the Sharpie stain off your nails.


Overall, there are several methods on how to get Sharpie off nails, whether natural or artificial. It is important to be gentle when trying to remove the Sharpie, as vigorous rubbing can damage the nails.

Some effective options for removing Sharpie stains from natural nails include nail polish remover or acetone and rubbing alcohol. Basic household items like baking soda, lemon juice, and toothpaste work well.

By following these tips and using a little patience and elbow grease, you should be able to get Sharpie off nails and get permanent marker off nails quickly.

Furthermore, if you are finding related tips on removing markers, these articles are made for you:

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