Good to Know: How to Remove Permanent Marker from Glass

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A month or so before Layah was born, I stumbled upon a really cute matted frame that would be perfect for a little girl’s nursery, or in this case, the proud daddy of a new baby. It was a great price at $2.00 (from my favorite local thrift store).

I brought it home and put one of Layah’s newborn photo shoot pics in the frame. It looked fantastic, with one exception. It had “$2.0o” written on the glass IN PERMANENT MARKER!

how to remove permanent marker from glass

Since my store routinely writes directly on the glass of products, I made the assumption when I bought it that there was a way to get it off. It was a leap of faith, but I’m glad I took the risk, because now I know how to get permanent marker off of glass. And in about 1 minute, you will too!

First, the good news: it only takes a few seconds to get it off. It’s so simple!

Now for the bad news (at least for us crunchy folks): the chemical that takes it off is nail polish remover WITH acetone.

remove marker from glass with nail polish remover with acetone

Look on the back of your remover to see if it contains acetone (should be the first ingredient). I usually avoid this stuff because it is terrible for the environment and not good for your nails, either. But I happened to have this bottle on hand because I hadn’t successfully found a way to dispose of it. Good thing, because now it has a purpose!

So at this point, you simply need to apply the remover to a cotton ball, just as if you were going to take polish off your nails. Apply to the area with the marker.

use nail polish to remove permanent marker from glass

See how easy it is coming off?! Just a few seconds later I had this final result:

how to get marker off glass

Spotless! Now I won’t ever hesitate again to pick up something with permanent marker on the glass. For so long I left that stuff at the thrift store because I wasn’t sure if it would come off. Now I know!

Please note that this DIY advice is ONLY for removing permanent marker from glass. I can’t comment on how to get permanent marker off any other surface, except for how to remove permanent marker from skin!

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  1. Matthew patterson says

    This worked I was drawing on a piece of paper and my phone was underneath and it went through and I done all that and it worked

    Thank you for this xx


  2. Carol Hughes says

    Thanks for the tip. However, I also wanted to let you know that not all acetone is bad. For example there is medical grade acetone that they use prior to giving you a needle. Also breast milk contains acetone.

  3. Melissa in NorCal says

    I had bought a brand new acrylic fish tank for my kids and I went out to get milk and dad was watching them. Not! They drew all over it with permanent marker. I was so mad. You couldn’t see the fish or plants, etc. I thought it would just be a disaster since I can’t just toss it. Where would the fish go? I didn’t want to buy a new one. The nail polish remover worked like a charm. YAY!!!!!

  4. says

    FYI I tried this trick with nail polish remover that contained NO acetone and it still worked. Just thought I’d throw it out there before you go and buy another harmful chemical. Thanks for the tip

    • Anonymous says

      Thanks for the tip, I like you bought a great frame from my local thrift store & they too write EVERYTHING in permanent marker!, lol I’ve been searching hi & lo for a frame for this certain picture, now thanks to my thrift store and you I can finally hang my beautiful picture

  5. Courtney says

    So pulling up this site I was looking to find how to remove the permanent marker because my daughter recieved a my first christmas ornament and her name was spelled wrong but her name is also Layah!!

    • says

      That is AWESOME!!!!! It’s such an unusual spelling! Does she get called Layla all the time? That’s what everyone seems to hear when we tell folks her name! And then we you add the unusual spelling on top…people’s minds just explode! 😉

      • Joy says

        Tiffany & Courtney, I absolutely LOVE your baby girls’ name! I’ve always loved the name Layla, but Layah is even more beautiful! I’m going to suggest it to my daughter. Her son’s name Luca, and Layah for a daughter would be awesome! Grandma Joy!

  6. says

    This totally worked! My 4yo put 2 dots on our tv in sharpie. Came off with this and a q-tip! It woild have driven us crazy. Thank you again! I will share this!

  7. Momma Kirk says

    I found out through a friend and my own experience that bug spray will take it off of slick surfaces as well. I’ve used it on my wood floors, fish tank, and other spots my 2 year-old decided to decorate. :/

  8. Loretta says

    Being at work and not having nail polish remover, I tried what I did have Lysol Dual Action Wipes. It worked great!!

  9. kim says

    Thanks for the tip. Out of sheer laziness to avoid shopping for acetone based remover, I tried “non-acetone” polish remover and it worked!

  10. says

    Thank you so much, my 2 year old got a hold of a black permenant marker and drew all over our plasma tv. My husband called me saying our tv was ruined, and your advise not only saved the day it saved our pockets.


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