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Make a mark with permanent markers

Where are permanent markers used for?

Permanent markers are designed to, well, permanently mark a surface, whether you're writing a label or making crafts. They can write on typically hard-to-mark surfaces and are appealing because they are fade-, water-, and smudge-resistant.

Common uses for permanent markers include, as noted, labeling items like CD/DVDs, sporting gear, electronics equipment, clothes, and more. You can also use them while making crafts at home or flip charts in the office. They can come in handy in boardrooms and classrooms, alike.

Note that there are oil-based and alcohol-based permanent markers, the former of which is ideal for plastic; while alcohol-based permanent markers are fine for most surfaces, they will smear and fade over time on plastic. Oil-based permanent markers can mark on virtually any surface, like metal, pottery, wood, rubber, glass, stone, and, as noted, plastic.

What types of permanent markers are available?

Permanent markers come in different sizes, from chisel, fine, or ultra-fine tips to jumbo size. Most commonly black, you can also find them in other colors like blue, green, and yellow, as well as neon or even metallic shades.

Buy them individually, in pairs, or in packs, all of a single colour or a set of multiple colours. There are ones designed to look like pens, some of which are even retractable. In most cases, permanent markers are AP certified to be non-toxic, and many are quick drying so lefties need not worry about smudging as they write. Some even include Microban antimicrobial protection. Ideally, you want one that won't bleed through paper should you be writing on standard sheets and is odourless.

While you'd most likely just buy a new marker when a permanent marker runs out, you can actually buy ink refills for permanent markets if they one you have is expensive and/or you really like it.

Can you remove permanent marker?

Despite the name, it is actually possible to remove permanent marker from different surfaces. The most common way is by rubbing the area with rubbing alcohol. Alternatively, you can also try hand sanitizer, aerosol hairspray, nail polish remover (only acetone-based), WD-40, white vinegar, cream of tartar, or lemon juice. Keep in mind that depending on the substance you use it could damage the surface you're trying to remove the marker from. So test a tiny spot before going all in, just to be safe.

Some permanent markers contain semi-permanent ink that can be removed from certain surfaces like plastic, polypropylene, and Teflon, by simply rubbing on it with a bit of pressure.

There is also a special kind of peel-off permanent marker for plastic, ceramics, and glass that can mark any porous or non-porous surface and be removed easily with a damp cloth.