How to Remove Sharpie Ink from a CD

A Sharpie permanent marker is useful for labelling things in bold, clear writing, and is the writing tool of choice when CDs need to be labelled. However, the very thing that makes it good for labelling CDs – its longevity – can become troublesome if you decide that you want to remove the sharpie ink from the CD.

Since the surfaces of CDs are exceptionally delicate, and need to be handled with extreme care in order to keep the CD from getting damaged, any harsh or abrasive chemicals and cleaners cannot be used in order to remove Sharpie ink from a CD – instead, delicate and subtle methods need to be adopted for the purpose.

Things Required:

– Cotton swabs
– Rubbing alcohol
– Dry erase marker
– Cleaning rags


  • 1

    To begin, you will need some rubbing alcohol – this is the type that is generally found in most medicine cabinets. Unscrew the bottle, tilt it a little to bring the alcohol closer to the mouth of the bottle, and dip in a cotton swab.

  • 2

    Now, hold the cotton swab between your fingers, and gently move it over small sections of the Sharpie ink on the CD. Move the swab in small circular motions, and work gently and thoroughly on each section, to dissolve and dislodge the ink.

  • 3

    Keep moving across the entire CD, lifting up any Sharpie ink – keep dipping the cotton swab back into the alcohol as and when necessary, and when the swab is completely saturated in Sharpie ink, flip it over to use the other end. Use fresh swabs if necessary, but do not continue rubbing at the ink if the swab is filled with ink – this will hardly be effective, as by this point you will only be rubbing the ink around on the surface of the CD.

  • 4

    Once all the ink has been removed from the surface, use a soft, clean cloth to wipe down the surface of the CD, and remove any Sharpie ink residue. Then, put the CD aside to allow it to air dry.

  • 5

    Another method for removing Sharpie ink from a CD is to use a dry erase marker. These are generally used on whiteboards and can easily be wiped off any surface. Use a dry erase marker to copy over the Sharpie ink label on the CD, rubbing on layers of the dry erase marker ink.

  • 6

    Then, use a soft clean cloth to wipe it off – in addition to the dry erase ink, most of the Sharpie ink will come off too. Repeat this procedure a couple of times, until all the Sharpie ink is gone. Finally, wipe the CD a final time, to get rid of any remaining ink.

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