A few months ago, I finally broke down and bought my 9 year old a nice wood desk for his room.  Up until this point, he would just do his homework at the kitchen island … of course while his younger brother flung macaroni noodles at him and his little sister tried to climb on his back. It was time. He needed a real homework space and a real desk.

I found a beautiful wood desk and immediately found a little nook in his bedroom to place it. Well, this is where the story takes a turn. I also have a wood growth chart upstairs where I make the kids stand and mark their height each quarter.  Remind me next time not to leave the permanent marker upstairs that I use on the growth chart. I thought I hid it in a good enough place. Ummmmm, not the case with three kids in the house.

One day after school the kids were being rather quiet and when I walked upstairs I discover not only did they destroy the growth chart with black permanent marker by writing lines on it like, “My mom is stinky” and “Go Auburn,” they also took the marker to Caden’s new desk. Aughhhhh. The growth chart I could deal with. But really? The desk too!? This is a piece of furniture I was hoping he could use until he heads off to college.

Like any sound minded mom who has no idea how to fix furniture, I ran to my computer and googled, “How to remove permanent marker from wood?” To my surprise, several DIY options came up, but the one that caught me eye … toothpaste! The article said it had to be the white toothpaste, but the brand did not matter. I started scrounging through my drawer of a travel tubes I knew I had, since I usually use the blue gel to brush with.  I applied a little bit on the end of a Q-Tip and started to rub. I rubbed back and forth and top to bottom for about two minutes. Boom. The black permanent marker was gone. I was shocked it worked! Not to mention, it did not mess up the area of wood by making a bleach mark or spot from the toothpaste. It only took a little bit of elbow grease and some patience.

In all, I had to remove 7 black lines from the wood desk, and the toothpaste worked like a charm. I can’t even see anymore where the marker once was. Thank you white toothpaste! If you want to see it for your own eyes, check out the video I posted on this site, under the YouTube section – it’s pretty amazing to see the magic happen before your own eyes. And happy scrubbing!


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