Daily Wire Tip: Removing Marker Measurement Marks

By on May 22, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip


I love making your unisex wire bracelet along with all the other projects I have seen.  My question is how do you get rid of the permanent marks that you make on the bracelet without ruining the wire?  Is that the only marker that you should use when marking your pieces?


Most folks use just a regular marker to make the necessary marked measurements on their wire jewelry projects. To remove these marks, use either a polishing cloth or a cotton swab that has been dampened with denatured alcohol (which will not harm any type of wire). After using the denatured alcohol, clean the area with a piece of t-shirt.

Denatured’ alcohol is not the same as rubbing alcohol (which will not work). As this product has different appearances and uses all over the world, for full detail about this product, please follow this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatured_alcohol In the United States, it can be purchased at your local hardware store.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

Have a question? Submit your question here


  1. avatar


    May 22, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Another product you can use is Goo Gone. It’s a citris cleaner for crayon marker (for hard surfaces) lipstick, tape adhesive, among other things. I use it to remove all traces of tape residue, as well as the permanent marker on my wire. I find for me, the alcohol is a bit harsh, for health reasons.

  2. avatar

    Ginni Tutterow

    May 22, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I use an ultra fine point Sharpie marker on my wire. I find colored Sharpies harder to remove than black, and I have successfully removed the marker with

    1) nail polish remover on a swab
    2) my ionic jewelry cleaner with the little brush that comes with it
    3) my tumbler with stainless steel shot, if the piece is being tumbled anyway
    4) Ronsonol lighter fluid on a swab

  3. avatar


    May 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Actually, I use regular drugstore rubbing alcohol on a swab all the time, and it works. I use a Sharpie brand fine tipped pen, and have never had any problems at all. Perhaps this type of alcohol will not work with other brands of marker, but it works with Sharpie.

    Happy wiriing!

    • avatar

      Rebecca Brooks

      June 11, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      I know me too. It works fine ;^)

  4. avatar

    Carla Benefield

    May 22, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    My favorite thing to use is Avon’s “Skin-So-Soft” Bath Oil. I’ve used this product for years. And it doesn’t discolor the metal or won’t discolor your gemstones. Even opals and turquoise are safe with this product.

    • avatar


      November 23, 2011 at 3:59 am

      I agree with you Carla. Avon Skin-so-soft original bath oil works great. It will also remove sticky stuff from tape or price tags without harm.

    • avatar


      December 11, 2012 at 7:51 am

      I wondered about Skin so Soft. I use it for hundreds of things, so I tried it on wire that got sticky tape on it, and it was fine. I’ve used it to remove sharpie from plastic bags too. Great stuff, and only a tiny amount is needed.

  5. avatar

    Alex Netherton

    May 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Often, the denaturants in denatured alcohol can cause problems. Though expensive, you can get “neutral grain spirits”, which is 190 proof, (or 95% Ethanol) at liquor stores in most (but certainly not all) states. I will not mention a brand, but just ask for pure alcohol; they will know.
    Quite often, herbalists will use neutral spirits for making an extract called a “tincture” if this kind of purity is needed.

  6. Pingback: Removing Marker from Jewelry Wire | Jewelry Making Instructions

  7. avatar

    Pamela Newman

    February 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Dale,
    I know this may sound silly, but I use a regular pencil eraser to take off the sharpie marker. Those pointy tips you can add to the top of your pencil can get inside a ring. They are less messy or smelly. I’ve been using it for years. It takes off any color.

  8. avatar

    Tawny Corwin

    November 22, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I use hand sanitizer. So far so good.

  9. avatar

    Dena Ellison

    November 22, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I also use a extra fine tip sharpie, and for me, the marks have always come off just rubbing with a yellow Sunshine cloth.

  10. avatar

    Peggy Campbell

    November 22, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Using a dry erase marker will remove and permanent marker!

    • avatar


      November 23, 2011 at 10:52 am

      Cool Peggy! I didn’t know that :)

  11. avatar

    Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor

    November 22, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Well, it looks like I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you Dale. Rubbing alcohol does work for removing Sharpie markers (and alcohol ink), quite beautifully actually. I use it all the time. Even once removed super old permanent marker ‘labels’ on plastic totes which is more porous than metal and harder to remove. I do use the 99% stuff. Maybe the type you tried was the weaker kind?

    • avatar


      November 23, 2011 at 10:52 am

      No problem Cindy – I have found that certain types of rubbing alcohol contain additives, preventing the marker removal so to eliminate lots of questions about “brands”, I simplified my answer. Thanks!

  12. avatar


    December 13, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Hi, I’m new to wire-sculpture and wanted to add this comment. Lighter fluid works very well for removing the glue left from labels, tape, etc. really well. I love reading these hints. Thanks

  13. avatar


    July 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I can usually remove Sharpie marks by just rubbing my finger on my face then the marks. Something about the oils in my skin.? When I use Dry Erase or a China marker(grease pencil) & there are marks or tape residue I can’t get to with my finger, I use a WD40 pen. Not sure about other metals but, works great on silver. + I can get them for $1 at the Dollar Tree.

  14. avatar

    Marcia Gault

    October 27, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Use cooking or salad oil. It removes sticky residue from tape etc. and should work with the marks too. Just put it on a tissue and wipe. You might have to work a bit at it, but has worked every time for me. Much safer as well, and everyone seems to have it at home.