I was looking at purchasing a used pack but unfortunately the last owner wrote his name on it in sharpie. Does anyone know of an effective way to remove it from the material or lighten it?
Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol and a toothbrush?
Like Mark said, rubbing alcohol and stain remover. Soak the stain and the apply paper towels to absorb the ink. Acetone might work too.
I always took another Sharpie to the stain, overwrote it and then sewed on a name tape or morale patch.
“Goof Off” works well for this and is good to have around for all kinds of uses.
Pressure washer. Used one to remove alumihyde black from a UCP cordura nylon armor carrier. Probably should have just left it black.
Thanks for the ideas! Ill probably buy the pack and am sure one of these or a combo of them will work.
Hopefully not too necro post, but adding additional information if anyone ever needs it.
I've had good luck removing sharpie/ink from cordura and other nylon gear by saturating it with hairspray(which I keep around for waterproofing maps), scrubbing, blotting with paper towels then running it thru the washing machine. Repeat as necessary.
Also adding that I've used hand sanitizer with great success on a number of surfaces and materials. Being a gel of sorts it tends to hang out where you put it.
Sharpie (not the Industrial ones) and stencil inks are alcohol soluble. On hard surfaces, and even most rubbers (say, traffic cones) it will remove 100% with minimal effort.
So, go get some alcohol. You should own some anyway. This:
Denatured alcohol is alcohol.
(ETA: in other countries it can be called methylated spirits, denatured rectified spirit, or just Iso-propyl Alcohol, but read the label to make sure it's not watered down. In the UK, for example, the pure methyl spirits you can get at the drug stores are dyed purple and for cleaning, that's not so useful.)
Rubbing alcohol is no more than about 70% alcohol. The rest is water. If you are lucky. In the UK and other parts of the world, it can include all sorts of silly stuff that doesn't help you.
Hand sanitizers are... variable. But many are alcohol based, so again not as much of it, plus always other crap.
Good scrub brushes are also nice, but a toothbrush will do in a pinch.
Take the wife's advice, and soak. Get it in there, let it soak, then scrub. Wash it out, then go at it with just dishsoap the same way, then toss the whole thing in a washing machine. It's a used fabric thing, I always assume it is full of cooties or sand spiders, so wash stuff. Or, you know, have the wife do it.
Now to be serious, sharpie on fabric is hard to get it out. Soaking and washing or scrubbing will tend to fade sharpie marks and stencils, but will not remove them. If on labels, I sharpie them black, write my name elsewhere and don't worry too much.
If on a visible spot, I'll usually fade with alcohol, then rattlecan a bit to conceal if I can. My favorite paint is very good on fabrics, but you have to buy by the case so try what you have.
Not sure about for this, but I've used oven cleaner spray to clean enamel paint off of polystyrene model kits with no damage.
Oven cleaner can get exciting. Aside from pretty tough fumes, don't leave it on too long. Back in college, I worked in building maintenance for the married student housing (mostly visiting profs, etc.) and they were awful. We had to empty the places, paint them, etc. One job I did was taking apart the ranges to clean them. All the sheet metal comes off. So once we went to a second application of the oven cleaner to get the grease off an exterior panel, got distracted, came back a bit later and... shiny metal.
When alcohol doesn't work, for anything, I almost always use adhesive removers or graffiti removers. 3M makes good ones. They take off almost anything but are aggressive, so can make some synthetic surfaces a bit tacky or remove the sheet from it, so be careful but they do not generally remove well-applied paints, damage anodizing, or anything like that.
Almost always good to finish any cleaning with alcohol as well to clean the cleaning residue off the surface. As above, if fabric, you can just use soap and water as well so if going in a washing machine, that's fine also.
I found that the Tide stain pens to be decent.
damn surplus store near me likes to write prices directly on the pouches in pen/marker. nothing like finding something rare and they've written 4.95 across the front real big. At least they usually don't know how much the stuff they have is worth. Gonna have to try some of this stuff.
When I worked for a surplus store, they used Ronson lighter fluid to remove soldier's name off stuff that came in. It seemed to work well on both uniforms and equipment.