The White Pumpkin | Black Sharpie Debacle


Dear Fellow Humans of the Internet,

How do I remove black Sharpie from the surface of a white ‘Lumina’ pumpkin? Is there some kind of Home Economics meets McGuyver solution that I can employ that is also wholly non-toxic?

Thanks in advance,


Dear Favourite Local Garden Centre,

Why did you use a permanent marker to price the pumpkins? If I were slightly more anal retentive I would consider this Holiday Display officially ruined. Ruined! Instead I’ll probably just turn the pumpkin around and curse you silently under my breath.

Me (aka Total Sucker)

Dear Unknown Mammalian Creature Who Ate My ‘Long Island Cheese’ Squash,

I hope you enjoyed the succulent, immature squash fruits procured from my garden because next year you get nothing. NOTHING! Next year I will be sure to protect my baby, fertilized pumpkins with some kind of barrier device. Next year I will produce my own delightfully shaped pumpkins and will not be reduced to purchasing a white, $2.99 pumpkin ruined by permanent black marker.

I curse you,
The human who kept you in food all summer long.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

Subscribe to get weekly updates from Gayla

15 thoughts on “The White Pumpkin | Black Sharpie Debacle

  1. Glad you found something to take it off. I was going to suggest alcohol wipes which wouldn’t have met your criteria but still could of worked if all else failed:)

  2. Similar incident: took a look at the small, beautifully pink heather plants at the local box home improvement store. They weren’t in bloom at all, they were all spray painted pink….when we asked about it, the lady said some people actually preferred them.

    Glad you got the marker off the pumpkin.

  3. What works on non-porous surfaces is scribbling a dry erase marker over the sharpie marks and erasing the dry erase. It’ll take the sharpie ink with it. However, I think a pumpkin is porous :oP :o). That and you already removed it so go you. woooooo….

  4. Isopropanol (Isopropyl) alcohol would work, as would high percentage ethanol since they both vaporize really quickly, and you would only need very little amounts. Poor little squash :S

  5. There’s this product called “Goo Gone,” which is absolutely amazing. It’s citrus-based stuff. I found it at Walgreens, I think. Good luck!

  6. I always use hairspray to get Sharpie off of things (but I’ve never had to remove sharpie from food). I have noooo idea why it works, but it sure does. Even got the permanent marker off my friend’s car when she found her 4 year-old-niece was exploring passive-aggressive communication ;)

    I don’t ever use fingernail polish remover because it can (and will) often melt plastics, or remove veneers. Then you have a big stain nothing will fix.

    Thanks for the link to the polish remover you used, that looks amazing! I hate hate hate the acetone/acetate polish removers. Now if only there was such a simple solution for squash-eating mammals.

  7. I know you already got it off, but for the future, do they sell a product called, “Fit” in your local grocery store? It’s a fruit and veggie wash we use for cleaning fruits and veggies, does a nice job of taking wax off fruits. 100% from natural sources (at least the label claims that).

    I’ve used it successfully in taking gunk and markings off our kitchen counter too.

  8. Libra: yeah I am fully terrified of regular fingernail polish remover… and the polish too. But I recently found that remover and a polish at the health food store called “No Miss” that doesn’t have formaldehyde, toluene, etc.

    I bet the hairspray I use wouldn’t work as a solvent. I should do a test and see. Let’s say, I HOPE it wouldn’t work as a solvent.

    POM: Never heard of it but I will look it up.

    TARAH: Have heard of GOO, used it to fix a pair of shoes… oh wait is GOO Gone one of those citrus solvents?

    KIMIK: Dang I didn’t think of Isopropyl alcohol… Next time.

  9. Lemon essential oil… so great for everything (esp gooey things). I even used it to get the paint off our car when I brilliantly hit the big red pole at the gas station (all 3 ft of it).

Comments are closed.