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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Select from a list of frequently asked questions below.
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  • How do I remove a permanent marker stain?
    "The successful stain removal of ink stains differs from case to case because of the many types of fabrics, colors, inks and time elapsed before stain removal. We cannot guarantee stain removal since many variables can be involved. Testing first is always recommended as well as following both the stain remover and clothing manufacturer's instructions. Following these steps should result in partial or complete removal.

    General Rules:

    1) Treat stains as soon as possible. Fresh stains can be removed more easily than old ones.

    2) Check manufacturer's labels as to fabric content and any special instructions

    3) Always test stain removal solution first on a hidden part of the article or on swatch of fabric taken from seam allowance to insure no color loss or damage will occur.

    4) Where possible, lay stained article face down on paper towels or clean white cloth and apply stain removal solution to underside of stain so that stain can be removed from the surface instead of pushing it through the fabric. Replace towels or cloth as they absorb stain to prevent stain transfer.

    5) If enlisting the aid of a professional laundry or dry cleaner, be sure to indicate what the stain is and the type of fabric.

    6) Do not iron stained garments or put in dryer as this may set stain.

    * Also tryAMODEX STAIN REMOVER for permanent ink: Amodex Products, P.O. Box 3332, Bridgeport, CT 06605, Phone:(203) 335-1255 or go to
  • Why isn't the Sharpie marker available in white?
    A white marker requires a pigmented, rather than a dye base ink, to achieve the required opacity. With the ink technology available, we have been unable to manufacture a marker or pen that will uniformly lay down white ink. In the future, however, as new ink technology develops, it is quite possible we will be able to make a pigmented white ink marker. Until then we suggest trying Sanford's white Sharpie Paint or Poster-Paint marker. It is a valve action marker, which requires a pumping action.
  • There seems to be several different styles of Sharpie markers. Is the ink the same in each of the different styles?
    The black ink in the Fine, Twin Tip, Chisel and Super is permanent ink. The principle solvents are alcohols, but they also contain ethylene glycol monobutyl ether. All other Sharpie ink colors are Permchrome ink. For these the principle solvents are also alcohols, but no glycol ethers are used.
  • Why does the Sharpie packaging say it is not for letter writing or cloth?
    We do not recommend the Sharpie for letter writing as it is solvent base ink and will soak through paper. We also do not recommend the Sharpie for use on cloth as it may fade or bleed in the wash. Also, over time a yellow halo may appear around the marking.
  • Is the Sharpie marker safe for writing on CD's?
    Sanford has used Sharpie markers on CDs for years and we have never experienced a problem. We do not believe that the Sharpie ink can affect these CDs, however we have not performed any long-term laboratory testing to verify this. We have spoken to many major CD manufacturers about this issue. They use the Sharpie markers on CDs internally as well, and do not believe that the Sharpie ink will cause any harm to their products.

    Sharpie CD/DVD marker has a twin tip for added versatility in labeling CD and jewel cases.
  • What makes a marker permanent?
    A marker can be classified as a permanent marker if it:

    1. Adheres to most surfaces and/or is water resistant.

    2. Uses dyes or pigments

    The dyes or pigments used, which give the ink color (colorants), determine how well a marking will resist fading. Pigmented inks resist fading the best. The combination of ingredients used in the ink formulation gives the ink permanent properties. Each permanent marker that we manufacture may have one or both of the characteristics mentioned above.
  • How long does a permanent marker last?
    We do not have a mathematical formula to figure how long a permanent marker will "last." With outdoor exposure on a nonporous surface, the marks from a dye base marker will be gone in perhaps three to four months. With indoor exposure on a porous surface, like artist canvas or paper, we would expect marks from a dye base marker to last several years.

    Resins or surfactants give the ink the ability to adhere to various surfaces. Thus, we have markers for non-porous and glossy surfaces, markers for oily or wet surfaces and markers that can withstand extreme heat.

    The solvents that are used mix all of the ingredients together, or dissolve them to form the ink. The solvents used also determine the solvent resistance of the markings. Various solvents used in inks are alcohol, ketone, xylene and glycol ethers.
  • I purchased a marker that stated it was waterproof, but when water came in contact with the writing, the ink smeared. Why is this?
    Within the writing industry, a marker is defined as waterproof if the writing is still legible after it comes in contact with water.