A step-by-step guide on how to remove permanent marker from thrift store shoes

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate it when I find a nice pair of shoes at the thrift store that I plan to resell, only to find the price written in ugly permanent marker on the bottom of the shoes. Like why? Why can’t we just use price tags like everyone else? I assume it has something to do with preventing shoplifting, but I digress.

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Either way, it can be a pain in the butt to try to resell the shoes with permanent marker all over the bottoms. And what’s more, it can be difficult to remove the marker just from your typical cleaning products without damaging the shoes. 

But I have some good news! I have discovered a few ways to easily remove these permanent marker stains. So take a look below and you will learn how to remove permanent marker stains from you thrift store shoe finds in no time. 

This method is very simple and inexpensive as well. All you need is some wet dry sandpaper which can be found at any hardware store or online as well. Here is the sandpaper I like to use, which can be found on Amazon.

Using wet dry sandpaper is one of the best ways to remove permanent marker off the bottom of shoes.

All you have to do is dampen the marker writing with water or some white vinegar, then all you have to do is gently rub the marker with the sandpaper in a smooth, back-and-forth motion. 

Voila, the permanent marker will wipe right away.  Fast and easy.

Note: Please be careful using this method on shoes with leather soles, however, because the sandpaper can sometimes leave tiny surface scratch marks. This method is best to use for shoes with non-leather soles.

Like Method #1, this one is extremely fast and easy to complete all you need are some of the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. You can get them at any store, like Walmart, Target, Walgreens, but I sometimes can find the best bargain on Amazon.

These magic erasers spongers will take the permanent marker right off the bottom of shoes.

Now all you have to do is take the sponger and firmly wipe it across the permanent marker writing while applying some pressure. Make a back-and-forth motion up to ten times.

Voila, again. The writing will wipe write off.


So there you have it. Now you know two of the best ways to remove permanent marker from your thrift store shoes. I’m sure there are hundreds of other feasible ways to remove the marker writing from shoes, these are just two of the best methods that work well for me. And another good thing is that I don’t have to break the bank to purchase the supplies.

Just take what you learned and it’s will definitely increase your shoe sales over the longterm. No more disappointed customers when they find writing on the bottom of the shoes they purchase from you. If you use the methods above, your thrifted shoes will appear good as new from now on. Happy flipping!