questionswhat's your oddest use of a permanent marker?

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I splashed some bleach on a shirt once and it left a white circle. I had to use a blue permanent marker to fill in the white area. The ink didn't match the shirt's color but it was closer than the white.

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Using a permanent marker to write on things seems pretty common to me. But I've heard of people using them to mask door dings and to preform minor body "paint" on cars.

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@cengland0: I've done that, too, especially when the splash site wasn't in a majorly obvious place.

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I use a silver Sharpie to mark all the dozens of plugs of various electronic devices that need to be charged.

And a couple of times I've used a brown marker to partially conceal a scrape in a piece of furniture. Wouldn't do that on good furniture (there are much better products available) buy some of the furniture in my home office is typical laminate assembly-required and a marker does just fine on that.

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I use a brown Sharpie to fill in the dings and scratches on my wood furniture, especially the ones that a vacuum cleaner makes. You can find stain pens in the paint department for this, but they cost about $12-$15. (I need to find a multipack of brown ones, instead of just getting the only brown one in a pack of assorted Sharpies.)

The oddest use I make of markers, although it's boring, is to color in scratches on shoes. I was scrambling to get to a meeting of VIPs and noticed that my shiny black "lizard" pumps had big white spots where the tips and heels had scratched through the faux lizard skin. Grabbed my trusty Sharpie, filled in the spots, no one was the wiser. It's now my "go to" plan for shoes, furniture, ceramic tile, book covers, and other scratched items.

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I have used Sharpies for black shoes many times. I touch up around the edge of the sole and heel.

The oddest thing I have ever done is used a black Sharpie to touch up a gray streak in my mustache before a job interview. The rest of my beard is mostly dark with a little salt and pepper, but I have a "Bride of Frankenstein" streak that looks like it is coming straight out of a nostril. It worked really well, but smelled a little funny at first.

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@cengland0: I previously felt a little ashamed for doing this with a pair of black pants that got a rust-colored spot from some bleachy kitchen cleaner. Glad to know I'm not the only one to color in the spot in a pinch.

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Everything that comes into my house with a name on it needs to have the name/address/tracking number, etc. blacked out with a permanent marker and then shredded. It's such a pain and I gotta say, those woot bags don't shred easily! (Although I suppose it's better than the alternative. Glass half full, right?)

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My boy-girl twins used one on each other to draw mustaches "just like Daddy's!" Do you know how well black marker sticks to a kid's upper lip???
I did the touch up on my car with a marker and have done the same with some of the scratches on my wood furniture.

@neuropsychosocial: Spy? International Intrigue? Witness Protection Program? Weirdos out to get you?

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@neuropsychosocial: Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you...

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Corners of my dress shirts, they seem to wear first. AC/DC wall warts (I have a nice silver sharpie for this) seemed weird at first but now I wonder why I did not always do this.

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@caffeine_dude: See? We're not alone! The wall-wart-labeling trick is one of my favorites.

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A few drops of bleach on a vintage blue shag carpet left obvious white blobs. GF was all "replace the carpet" until I swooped in with my magic blue fine-point Sharpie. Now we can enjoy this luxuriant writhing mass of a carpet for years more. Now where did I put that leaf rake?

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I make flooring - always with multiple colors in it since there will always be some sort of contamination. We had a custom order that someone thought was a good idea which was almost totally one color and we knew would be difficult to make. Despite our best efforts, we still had some white spots in the brown material as it ran down the production line - Sharpies did the trick! We stumbled upon this by joking about it, then trying it and also hearing that we aren't alone in out industry in using the Sharpie trick. Luckily we never had to make another product like that again.

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ok. you want weird? how about catarack surgery? i have a large collection of pre-loved plushies. most have slight wear on their plastic eyes, so i remove the white spots from the pupils with a black sharpie. i also retouch their noses with a pink one.

in the creative but not weird: i label christmas presents without using tags so i don't have to worry about the tag sitting in a pile and which one that went with. (usually use a festive silver or gold for that).

I covered the porch ceiling with a prepainted white aluminum metal, but the sheet metal screws were twice the cost to get them in white as versus silver so i took a paint pen from my collection and colored them white.

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I use black permanent marker to show kids chromatography (in this experiment, splitting out the colors). Use a coffee filter and draw a thick quarter size circle at the center of it. Take Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol might work too) and drip a drop at a time to the center of the circle. The filter will take in the alcohol and start to spread outward. When it hits the black circle, it should pull the ink and start traveling outward with it, separating it into its colors.

PS. Dry erase markers will dissolve permanent maker. If you accidentally use a sharpie on a white board, re-draw over the writing with a dry erase marker, then wipe off -- voila!!

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My kid is into costuming and dissolves Sharpie guts in alcohol to make small batches of die for synthetic materials. (Polyester & nylon fabrics & wigs, mostly.)

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There are some women in my office who use sharpies to draw on their eyebrows. Why anyone would pluck out their eyebrows and then draw them on with a sharpie is beyond me.

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I ran a marathon a few weeks ago, so I used the Sharpie to write the mile markers for all the water stations on my arm.

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Had a driver's side door ding on my black car. Looked HUGE to me - you know that's all I saw when I got in & out of my car. Knew I had touch-up paint from a previous black car. Found it! Of course it was dried out. sigh. Do I go buy another one? Nooooo I got my black permanent marker & fixed it. It's still there, of course. But It no longer looks like a meteor hit it.

Love permanent markers for hiding flaws on picture frames, furniture, etc. Sometimes you have to 'mix' colors to get the right shade. White-out (remember the stuff for typos?) works on white formica or painted items, btw.

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Back when I ran the computer lab at school, I used a black sharpie to touch up the scuff marks on the CRT's. It worked really well, just drew a line on the area, then rubbed it in.

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To write, "Operate on this limb" before surgery...that way I don't forget or get confused getting ready for surgery. =)

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@captainsuperdawg: I thank you! My furniture thanks you! And my brown shoes thank you!

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@captainsuperdawg: Possibly the best of a bunch of terrific answers!

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@mattysc: Best, funnest, most useful question of the day!

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@susan11125: That lumpy square part of the plug that's used to recharge a gazillion different electronic items. Don't know who coined the term, but it's a great descriptor.

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My nephews' swim team uses sharpies to write the events each kid will swim on the kid's arm/back. Especially with the younger kids it helps keep the meets moving along quickly because anyone can see if a kid is swimming in a particular race. And I learned from my sister that acne medicine pads tack sharpie of skin really easily. She says that Clearsil is best but Stridex or Target brand work well too.

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@lavikinga, @crethwilm: One negative part of having survived domestic violence is that the necessary vigilance continually reminds me of something I'd rather forget.

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@belyndag: You're welcome! Your furniture is welcome! And your brown shoes are welcome!

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@neuropsychosocial: I'm very sorry for what you may have endured. Permanent markers are not even remotely involved in that, imo. Of course, I could be wrong. :-/

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@neuropsychosocial: Ah. That makes perfect sense. Good for you! YOU are a survivor and got out alive. (Shred, sister, shred. If you ever need a disguise, remember markers make great mustaches...and eyebrows.)

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Along with the above uses, I think they smell really goooooood. :)

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used a black sharpie to blacken 2-3 small bleach spots on a favorite black shirt. I would have to re-do it every 3rd or 4th wash.

A great kids' activity is to get a set of all the colors of sharpies, some white tshirts, some rubbing alcohol and eyedroppers, and some plastic cups and rubber bands.
Stretch a part of the shirt over the open end of the cup, use the rubber band to secure it there, let the kids go to town on that circle with the colored sharpies, then drop some rubbing alcohol on the colored part. Let sit for a minute, then repeat on another part of the shirt.... easy tie-dye effect without the mess!

Rubbing alcohol WILL remove sharpie ink completely from almost any surface, including photographs without damage to the item being cleaned.

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Oh, the metallic silver sharpies are great for getting autographs on photos or collector cards at sporting events. Also great for labeling christmas or birthday gifts so you don't have to use tags or sticker labels.

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I keep one tied around my neck and use it to put tally marks on my skin every time I see the Silence.