What I Learned About Sharpies and Toothpaste

Exploding pens and markers are pretty disappointing. Even more so when permanent ink destroys something important.

Today as I was deep into a Marie Kondo style tidying session, I picked up a marker. I should have guessed just by holding it that the royal blue Sharpie did not spark joy. But I had to press further and test if it could still write.

I gripped marker, I squeezed the cap…

My husband came running (I screamed) to find my hands dripping in viscous, bright blue goo. My desk was splattered with thick ink.

Soap and water did nothing to remove the permanent marker from my hands, nor did it clear the Rorschach blots that stained my desk. Rubbing alcohol removed the worst of the ink from my hands. Toothpaste, the internet advised, was the solution for the desk.

Driven by the belief that whatever I tried would be most effective if attempted immediately, I squeezed mint toothpaste all over my desk and scrubbed with a paper towel. I now see I was supposed to use a proper paste (not the gel I had handy) and a scrub pad instead of a meager paper towel. But, you know what? Gel and paper towels not withstanding, the toothpaste worked like magic. All the blue stains lifted from my desk in a matter of minutes.

Yes, I had to rinse my desk of toothpaste, and yes, my bluish fingers tingled for twenty minutes after from having bathed in all that minty gel. But my desk was good as new! And I was filled with gratitude for internet searchable household hacks, especially the ones that really work.