Cath asked: How do I remove permanent marker from a doll’s face? The head of the doll is hard, and the body is soft. The marker is just on the head.
When permanent marker lands on unwanted surfaces, it can be tricky to remove. Fortunately, this is not a new problem and there a host of options to choose from. Use the items and steps below to remove the unwanted marks.
You Will Need:
- Cotton swabs or cotton balls
- A remover (choose one)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Nail polish remover (with acetone)
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
- Soft cloths
- Mild soap
Steps to Remove the Marker:
For the purposes of this guide, we will work our way through the products above, however, if you don’t have one of them on hand, feel free to skip a step and move onto the item that is available.
- Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are great for removing all kinds of stains. Simply moisten the sponge and rub it over the marker. If it doesn’t remove all of the marks, continue on with the next step.
- Moisten a cotton swab or cotton ball with rubbing alcohol. Rub the alcohol over the marked surface. If the doll has other paints and colorings on the surface, use the cotton swab for better accuracy.
- Nail polish remover is another great at-home product for removing permanent marker. Again, moisten the cotton ball or swab with the remover and rub it over the affected area.
- Once the stain is removed, clean the surface with soap and water to remove any residue from the cleaning products.
Additional Tips and Advice
- While these methods will remove the marker, they can also remove the coloration that is used to add details to a doll’s face. If there is other paints/marking on the doll that you don’t removed, use the cotton swabs and watch closely as you are cleaning to ensure they are not being rubbed away with the marker.
- If the above methods don’t work, another trick is to write over the permanent marker with a dry erase marker. Doing this should hopefully make the permanent marker wipe off along with the dry erase marker.
My friend and I were making clothes for our Ever After High dolls and my friend accidentally got Sharpie on her doll. We tried all of these and they didn’t work. The last thing we tried was nail polish remover and it took paint off her lips and smeared her eyeball. So these things do not work; do not follow these tricks.
This was so useful for me 🙂
Lynn H says
None of these worked for us. I got Sharpie on my daughter’s Monster High doll and none of these worked. Prior to reading these tips, I tried a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and I also tried the nail polish remover… no luck 🙁
Aubrey W says
I tried a combination of deodorant, toothpaste, perfume, Windex and clay, and that helped the marker come off.
Never thought of clay. What kind?
Fluoride toothpaste with any special ingredients or brand?
Lily Lucy says
Nail polish remover can take off a Barbie’s makeup and eyes.
Don P says
None of these work on the face of a Barbie. I also tried acetone and a citrus-based paint remover, all with no effect. As a last resort, I tried sanding the face with sandpaper with no luck. My solution…$15 for a new doll.
Do generic Magic Erasers work on Monster High dolls?
I have a doll with a beautiful face that is rubber. My grandaughter wrote with purple permanent marker on the face. I just hate to throw it away. I have tried Goof Off, alcohol, Purell hand sanitizer and Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Nothing worked. Is there anything else I can try? Is there a paint for rubber surfaces that I could use? I could paint the hair and maybe touch-up the face with a flesh color as long as it wouldn’t peel off.
There are many solvents that could possibly remove the marker. You can try nail polish remover, baking soda toothpaste (or just baking soda mixed with water), hairspray, baby wipes, sunscreen, WD-40, insect repellent or even dish liquid. You may want to test each one on a hidden spot first to check for any adverse reaction.
There are a variety of paints that can be used on dolls. If you need to repaint the doll’s face, you could take the doll to a craft store for help determining the exact paint that would be best for your doll. Different types of paint may also be better for different aspects of the painting. Another option is to have the doll professionally restored.
Source: HowToCleanStuff.net – How to Clean Permanent Marker
Source: Prilly Charmin Dolls – Coloring Vinyl: Overview
Source: Mandaline Artful Living – A Classic Baby: Repainting a Rubber Doll
I tried nail polish remover and my MH doll has no eyes now.
To anyone reading this: try an acne cream that has 10% benzyl peroxide. Leave it on for a few hours under a lamp and it will fade it away! Got that tip from No Nap Time!
I use this method… It really does work, but some dolls take weeks of applying the acne cream and laying in the sun.
Note: cover the doll with a towel to protect the areas not being treated. The sun can discolor the dolls.
Don’t get discouraged. 🙂
We are using nail polish remover because my little girl’s Barbie dolls have marker all over!!! You need to try that y’all!! IT REALLY WORKS! And people are going to be like “they lie,” BUT I DON”T!!
Didn’t work for me. Going to try acne cream. My four-year-old made her doll into a kitty.
I tried all these methods except the acne cream & did not work on removing ink from a rubber doll. What I did get to work was a pumice that you use on your feet for callouses. My ink was on the foot of the doll. It took it off with lots of scrubbing. However, some of the color of the skin came with it. In my case, it did not matter; the doll skin was very light. I just took the pumice to the good foot a little to match the color of the two feet better. Worked for me.
I tried it and it did not work, but then I made a mixture of peroxide and baking soda, and it worked.
I have used dry erase marker to dissolve permanent marker. Green works the best, seeming to leave little or no stain. Do not use blue or red dry erase markers. They leave a stain. This works especially well to get permanent marker off CHILDREN!
My MH doll got sharpie on her face and I used the steps, but it didn’t help; it made it worse and turned her lips and eyes crappy and messed up, so I looked up a method and it said deodorant, and it worked.
If you have tried all of the cleaning methods with no success, use the Oxy 10 cream. I have used it on everything from Barbies to Dollfie Dreams with wonderful results.
You need acne cream that is 10% benzyl peroxide and a good light source. My personal preference is an adjustable desk lamp, as it can be concentrated over an affected area. It may take several treatments, but it is less likely to damage the painted face of your doll.
I just add a fake Band-Aid for it.
Dolly Lady says
I’m in the UK and we can only get 10% on prescription and my blemish-free 57-year-old skin won’t convince any doctor to prescribe it for me, and all my children have blemish free skin too. 🙁
I buy a lot of dolls at second hand stores and garage sales and cleaning them with acetone nail polish remover has always worked for me (just make sure not to smear any on the cheeks, eyes and eye brows or lips) and if they have cloth bodies I put them in the washer and they come out looking clean and brand new! This time I put the cabbage patch dolls in the washer first, washed them in cold water with detergent and tried to use the nail polish after and IT DIDN’T WORK! I think I’ll do what one reader did on here and put a band-aid on it telling the girls they have an owie! Hahaha.
OXY10 Acne Pimple Treatment 10% Benzoyl Peroxide is available from several ebay sites. Just order it online.
Totally successful in removing ink from dolls arms and legs. No color discoloration.
hello for me nail polish did work but don’t get it on the doll’s eyes because it WILL take their eyes and makeup off so be careful.