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How To Remove Permanent Marker, Sharpie From Soccer Balls?

How To Remove Permanent Marker, Sharpie From Soccer Balls?

A soccer ball is the main focus in any soccer game—fans are always following the ball with the anticipation that it will end at the back of the net. In other words, a soccer game cannot start without a ball.

In soccer pitches, players can often be seen performing different tricks like dribbling, jugging, leg overs, etc. using soccer balls. This stimulates a lot of fans and players alike which makes them more excited and interested in the sport.

Soccer balls are of immense value in soccer. In the past, they were mostly designed bearing a series of pentagons and hexagons colored white and black which gives them a nearly perfect sphere.

The passion soccer fans have for the game often pushes them into buying soccer balls and personalizing or branding them with permanent markers also known as a sharpie, the same way they write names on their favorite books.

Some pens are ready to write on the soccer ball

On some occasions, fans carry out numerous arts and crafts on soccer balls like writing inspirational quotes, signing signatures, and drawing beautiful images and shapes on them for personal reasons.

Some people even inscribe nice messages on soccer balls, box them, and give them out as gifts to their soccer-loving friends or relatives. A permanent marker is mostly used because after setting, it remains permanently on the leather surface of the ball.

For one reason or another in the future, you might want to erase whatever you wrote, painted, or crafted on the soccer ball. In case your biggest challenge is removing the permanent maker writings on the ball, we have you covered.


In this article, we have outlined easy-to-do methods you can use in erasing permanent marker inks from your soccer balls.

How to remove permanent marker, sharpie from soccer balls?

History has it that early balls ranged from stitched-up clothes, cow or pig bladders, and animal skulls.

Between 255 BC-220 AD the time of Ts’in and Han Dynasties in China, the Chinese used animal-skin balls to play in a sport known as ‘tsu chu’, where two teams usually competed to kick it into a goal post.

In the 1900s, soccer balls were manufactured from leather and the stitch on the panels were done using the lace of the same material, this made it easier to bounce and kick the soccer ball but sometimes heading the soccer ball was painful probably because of water absorbed by the leather from the rain.

In these modern times, soccer balls are manufactured using butyl rubber bladder for the inside and polyurethane or PVC panels, synthetic leather, and leather for the outside. The surface of soccer balls can either be embossed, textured, or weaved which permits better touch and control.

Due to the plain look, smooth feel, and soft texture of soccer balls, some soccer fans tend to relate them to art canvases where they can write or paint their deepest feelings, thoughts, and emotions.

The EASIEST Way To Remove Permanent Marker from Plastic and Other Surfaces

A permanent marker (sharpie) is a writing instrument that deposits a permanent residue once used on a surface and hardly comes off except when special techniques are applied.

We understand that permanent markers might be designed to remain permanent although human thoughts and decisions evolve through time.

The different methods you can use in removing a permanent marker from your soccer ball are listed and discussed in simple steps below.

Using rubbing alcohol

rubbing alcohol and soccer ball with pernament marker

Most soccer balls are manufactured from animal leather and synthetic leather. Alcohol is known as one of the most powerful methods used to remove permanent marker ink from leather surfaces. Rubbing alcohol contains 87.5% to 91% ethyl alcohol with denaturants and water.

When using alcohol in removing permanent markers from leather surfaces, you wouldn’t need to scrub hard as it has proven to be an active cleaning agent and also evaporates quickly.

Last update on 2023-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

To execute this method successfully, you need the following: The soccer ball you wish to remove the ink from

  • A soft piece of cloth
  • Alcohol
  • Cotton balls

Step 1

Pour a moderate amount of rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth, an amount plenty enough to completely soak the cloth.

Step 2

Rub the soaked cloth throughout the affected area evenly.

Step 3

Keep rubbing the cloth on the affected area until the stains vanish, then gently wipe off the area with a dry piece of cloth. Make sure there is no ink left on the surface.

Pros of using rubbing alcohol

  • It is very simple and easy to carry out
  • Needed equipment is easily accessible
  • You don’t need to rub hard and expend energy while using this method

Cons of using rubbing alcohol

  • Inhaling rubbing alcohol in a congested environment is harmful
  • Rubbing alcohol is highly inflammable

Using Hair spray

hair spray and soccer ball with pernament marker

It is often advised that making use of an aerosol-based hair spray, the oil-free type, is effective when cleaning permanent marker ink. It usually contains some amount of alcohol, which can loosen the dry permanent marker ink from the soccer ball.

Oil-free aerosol-based hair sprays can eliminate ink stains from a soccer ball without damaging its surface feel.

To execute this method successfully, you need the following: The soccer ball you wish to remove the ink from

  • Aerosol hairspray
  • Cotton ball
  • Towel

Step 1

Shake the bottle of the aerosol hair spray vigorously

Step 2

Spray a moderate amount of the hair spray on the stain

Step 3

Allow it to rest for 5-10 seconds, then rub it off with a cotton ball until no ink is left behind.

Step 4

Use a towel to wipe the entire area

Step 5

If there is still ink left behind, repeat steps 1-4 to get the desired result but do not overuse the hair spray as it may cause damage.

Pros of using the hair spray method

  • It is very easy to carry out
  • It does not take time to implement
  • Necessary tools are readily available

Cons of using the hair spray method

  • Not all aerosol-based hair spray will give you the desired result
  • Hair spray can cause damage to the soccer ball when overused
  • Inhaling hair spray can cause harm to the lungs

Using a mixture of lemon, toothpaste, and baking soda

lemon, toothpaste, and baking soda

Lemon juice is known to work as an abrasive agent on stubborn stains due to its acidic nature, baking soda and toothpaste are also strong cleaning agents.

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When these 3 items are mixed and used on sharpie ink, they produce an excellent result.

To execute this method successfully, you need the following: The soccer ball you wish to remove the Sharpie ink from

  • Lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • Toothpaste
  • A bowl
  • Water
  • Spatula
  • Brush
  • Clean cloth

Step 1

Gather all the needed items together.

Pour a moderate amount of baking soda in a bowl, then add toothpaste to it and mix them properly with a spatula.

Add a moderate amount of the lemon juice into the mixture, stir together to get a paste.

Step 2

Use a toothbrush to apply the paste to the affected area. Ensure to rub the paste in a circular motion.

Step 3

Apply more paste if need be and continuously rub the affected area. You will notice that the stains will eventually start coming off if you wait long enough.

Step 4

When all the stain finally disappears, gently clean the area with a clean cloth.

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Pros of using the mixture of lemon juice, toothpaste, and baking soda method

  • Items needed can be easily sourced from the house
  • It is easy to implement
  • It is very effective

Cons of using the mixture of lemon juice, toothpaste, and baking soda method

  • It is time-consuming
  • If the paste is runny, you might not get the desired result
  • Requires too many items


Autographs, quotes, and markings are usually done on soccer balls using permanent markers—and getting an autograph from your favorite soccer player can give a priceless feeling.

They can also be used to convey heartfelt messages on soccer ball surfaces to friends and loved ones.

We know how embarrassing it is to take soccer balls to the pitch with love texts on them from your girlfriend or boyfriend.

If you wish to remove any marking done using a permanent marker from your soccer balls, carefully carrying out any of the above-mentioned methods will definitely do the trick.