How to Get Sharpie Off Shoes: Leather, Rubber, or Converse?

Sharpies are a staple in any office or classroom. They’re a great tool when you need to boldly decorate a surface or display a poster for a presentation. Usually, the last place you’d want Sharpie ink to end up is on your most beloved shoes.

If you accidentally mark your shoes with Sharpie, you’ll have to worry about the damage done. Thankfully, there are several ways on how to get sharpie off shoes. It’s time to glance through the most effective methods for removing Sharpie ink from your various types of shoes.


How to Remove Sharpie From Shoes

Sharpie ink is rather tricky to remove from shoes of all kinds. However, removing Sharpie ink from even your favorite pair is not impossible. Before you attempt to clean your shoes on your own, let’s review crucial information to consider so you don’t waste your Sunday steppers.


Does Permanent Marker Stay On Shoes?

Sharpies are the most common and popular form of permanent marker available. Its primary purpose is to challenge erasability, so permanent marker stains will stay on your shoes if you never go the extra mile to remove them. 

Some people will even intentionally write or doodle on their shoes using a permanent marker, knowing that it won’t simply wash off. 

Although Sharpie does naturally stay on shoes, the word “permanent” isn’t always a guarantee. If you try hard enough, you can make efforts to get as many Sharpie stains off of your shoes as possible. 

So how you do remove dried Sharpie? Let’s consider some quick methods you could use to remove permanent marker flecks from your shoes.


get sharpie off converse shoes

What Removes Sharpie Ink?

Take a brief look at this comprehensive list of cleaning agents that could potentially assist you in removing Sharpie ink from shoes:

  • Hairspray
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Rubbing alcohol (preferably 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water)
  • Toothpaste (specifically gel-based)
  • Nail polish remover (at least 90% acetone)
  • Detergent
  • Magic Eraser
  • White vinegar
  • Soapy water 

Does Sharpie Wash Off of Shoes?

The material type is the most significant component to consider when cleaning your shoes. Sharpie ink is rather challenging to remove from your shoes regardless of the material, but the likelihood of doing it with ease will vary with the shoe type. 

If you try hard enough, you could technically use soap and water if the marker stains don’t sit in the fabric sections of the shoe. However, using soap and water would take up the most time. You could also increase the risk of damaging your shoes by constantly scrubbing on the surface to remove the unwanted stains.

In short, Sharpie doesn’t intrinsically wash off of shoes no matter the material, but it’s not entirely impossible to try. The most significant downside to merely washing off permanent marker stains is how taxing the task could become. 

Fortunately, there are much more convenient methods to remove Sharpie ink from your various shoe sorts. 


How to Get Sharpie Off Leather Shoes

Let’s say you get a new pair of leather shoes. Somehow, you accidentally mark your shoes with a permanent marker or Sharpie. How will you get Sharpie off of your leather shoes without causing damage? 

Leather is one of the more sensitive materials to stain unintentionally, so you’ll need to find a strategy that won’t destroy your shoes entirely. Let’s delve deeper into the material itself and how this can affect the process you use to remove Sharpie ink. 


How to Remove Sharpie From Leather

There are a few ways to remove Sharpie from leather, but you should proceed with caution regardless of your decision.


Faux Leather

Despite the lower cost and prominent synthetics, faux leather is similar to genuine leather. When a factory first produces faux leather, they treat it with wax, polyurethane, and dye to give it a texture and color that resembles genuine leather. If you get permanent marker spots on your faux leather, it can damage it. Luckily, faux leather is primarily plastic-based. 

Given the materials faux leather comes from, it is slightly easier to remove Sharpie ink from it without the worry of severe damage. 

You’ll want to take a cloth (preferably white, so you can easily see the stain lift from the shoe) and wet it with a cleaning solution made up of rubbing alcohol and detergent. Do NOT rub or scrub the stain as this could lead to irreparable smears and peeling. Simply blot and dab the Sharpie marks until they start to fade. 


Genuine Leather

Genuine leather usually manifests from animal hides such as oxen, cattle, or buffalo. Genuine leather is a bit easier to damage, so the methods you use to remove ink stains will need to be more carefully thought out. 

Removing Sharpie ink from genuine leather will require as little liquid as possible, so you don’t accidentally ruin the animal-based material. Under no circumstances should you attempt to scrub the stains off genuine leather. 

One of the best cleaning agents to remove marks from genuine leather is a magic eraser. If you dip the magic eraser into plain water, you can gently wipe over the leather with the eraser to remove the ink. 

Another method is to create a cleaning solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. Blot the stain with a cloth dipped into the vinegar-water mixture until it disappears.


get sharpie off shoes

How Do You Get Sharpie Off of Rubber Shoes?

Rubber is a relatively resistant material and doesn’t damage or stain as quickly as leather, so you have more options when considering how to clean off Sharpie ink from a pair of rubber shoes. 

First, take rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, or acetone and apply a very generous amount of the cleaning liquid to a cloth. 

Then, rub and scrub the stain as vigorously as you can. Because rubber is exceptionally resilient, you can be very heavy-handed when attempting to remove a permanent marker stain from your rubber shoes. 

Once the Sharpie ink lifts from the rubber shoe, go over the same spot with soapy water to remove the solvent residue left from the cleaning agent you used. You can then pat the shoe dry or allow it to air dry. 

The most common shoes that contain rubber components are Converse shoes. The sole, as well as the tip of Converse shoes, are primarily rubber. Many people use Sharpie markers to decorate the tip of their Converse shoes because they don’t easily damage.


How To Get Sharpie Off Nike Shoes

Nike shoes contain an amalgamation of different components. The shoe company uses six distinct raw materials to manufacture its shoes. These materials are as follows:

  • Rubber
  • Cotton
  • EVA foam
  • Synthetic leather
  • Polyester
  • Genuine leather

Removing permanent marker ink off your Nike shoes will depend on where the stains sit. If the ink stains reside on any cotton or polyester portions of the shoe, you’ll want to use rubbing alcohol. Borax is also an excellent alternative for erasing stains from polyester. 

If Sharpie stains sit on the leather parts of the shoe (synthetic or genuine), distilled white vinegar mixed with water on a clean cloth is your best option. You’ll want to use this cleaning solution lightly by wiping the stains in very gentle, circular motions with your damp cloth. 

Getting Sharpie ink on the rubber pieces of a Nike shoe usually isn’t as detrimental of a predicament. You can use acetone or rubbing alcohol to rigorously scrub the ink from the rubber component of the shoe.


How To Get Sharpie Off White Shoes

How to get Sharpie off shoes that are white? Removing Sharpie ink from your white shoes will depend primarily on the shoe’s material. If your white shoes are mostly rubber, it will be best to remove the marks with alcohol or acetone. 

If your white shoes are primarily leather, you should opt for a magic eraser or a cleaning solution of water and white vinegar. 

If your white shoes are primarily cotton-based fabric, you’ll need to take extra steps to ensure the stain is virtually invisible. 

First, place the shoe onto clean paper towels with the stain facing down. Take a sponge and dip it into rubbing alcohol before dabbing it around the affected area of the shoe. Then, begin gently blotting the stain directly, allowing as much of the ink to transfer onto the paper towel. 

You can replace the paper towels as you see fit. Once you remove as much of the Sharpie ink as possible, thoroughly rinse the shoe with water and leave it to air dry.



How to get Sharpie off shoes? It can be tedious to remove Sharpie ink off of your shoes, but it’s not the end of the world. There are many ways to reverse the potential damage done without any serious cause for concern.

Additionally, a pro-tip to prevent permanent marker stains from damaging your shoes is to coat the shoes with a protectant or polyethylene (HDPE) spray before wearing the shoes. If any stains find their way onto your shoes after spraying them, they’ll be easier to remove due to the shield.

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