How To Get Sharpie Off Pumpkin (Problem Solved)

Halloween pumpkin decorated with a sharpie

Carving and decorating pumpkins has become an iconic event known to all. I have personally done that myself many times and I enjoy the process whether that is carving, decorating, or preparing pumpkin pie. However, if you want to decorate the pumpkin just from the outside with a sharpie, it can bring difficulties afterward as it’s hard to get off. That being said, how do you remove a permanent sharpie off a pumpkin?

The best way to get a sharpie off the pumpkin is to rub it with nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol. Toothpaste and baking soda may also work. To avoid this problem, try using dry erase markers for easier removal.

By far the most effective way of them all is nail polish remover because it often contains acetone, which is a solvent that dissolves tough marker from the pumpkin. Rubbing alcohol works in a dissolving way too.

Toothpaste or baking soda and white vinegar can work as well, however, this may depend on the sharpie used. Thye isn’t as effective, so I’d stick with the nail polish remover and rubbing alcohol.

The best solution to this is to use washable markers for decorating your pumpkins. This way, you can remove the markings and decorations very easily without investing time, energy, and effort into the simple task. I’d highly recommend the Crayola Black Washable Markers for the task.

Do Sharpies Stay On Pumpkins?

When talking about sharpies and markers, there are an endless amount of models, colors, and brands to choose from. As you might imagine, not all are the same and this raises the question, do all sharpies stay on a pumpkin?

In general, sharpies stay very well on pumpkins because the surface resembles a whiteboard. Permanent markers stick the best on pumpkins, but washable markers do a good job as well.

You don’t need to worry about sharpie not sticking on a pumpkin as that won’t happen. I’d suggest that the only thing you should worry about is the choice of a strong permanent marker or a washable sharpie.

Personally, I like to go with the permanent marker because I often don’t need to remove it from the pumpkin, so it can stay on and I don’t need to worry about the washing part.

However, if you need to use the pumpkin afterward preferably without the markings, I’d suggest using washable markers for the decorating process. This way, you can remove the markings easily. Although, the washing part isn’t a big deal with permanent markers either if you have proper supplies, meaning nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol.

What Removes Permanent Sharpie?

Permanent sharpies are effective ways to make a statement or write something down for a well, permanent, or at least a long time. However, this can also work against you if you don’t want it to stay there anymore. Luckily, there are more than a handful of ways to remove a permanent sharpie

Here are some products that remove permanent sharpie;

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Nail polish remover
  • Lemon juice
  • Toothpaste
  • White vinegar & baking soda

Some of the items above are everyday items found in most homes, such as toothpaste, lemon juice, white vinegar & baking soda. They are the least effective ways to remove a permanent sharpie but will work nonetheless.

Other ways to remove permanent markers from unwanted surfaces, including pumpkins are rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, and hand sanitizer. These aren’t rare either and they will dissolve even a strong thing as a permanent marker. Give it a hurl and you’ll be surprised!


To sum up, if you use a permanent sharpie for decorating your pumpkin, be sure to have nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol nearby. Alternatively, you can use toothpaste or baking soda and vinegar. The best choice, however, is to use removable markers so you won’t have this problem in the first place!

Writing this article got me thinking, I’m off for some decorating!

Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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