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Permanent marker

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Title: Permanent marker  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Marker pen, List of pen types, brands and companies, Pen, Ron E Sparks, Skin pens
Collection: Art Materials, Pens, Writing Implements
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Permanent marker

The "chisel tip" of a marker
Sanford King Size Permanent Marker
Sharpie brand permanent markers.

A permanent marker or indelible marker is a type of

The permanent marker was invented in 1952 by Sidney Rosenthal.


  • Removal 1
  • Use in microscopy 2
  • Notes and references 3
  • See also 4


These markers are generally used on hard, non-porous surfaces, because instead of staining they form a surface layer that can be removed by acetone, xylene, or toluene. Isopropyl alcohol and ethyl acetate are preferred cleaners when used indoors, as their fumes are much less hazardous than toluene and xylene, the main components of paint thinner, or longer-chain hydrocarbons found in mineral spirits. Other common non-polar solvents include benzene, turpentine and other terpenes (which constitute essential oils of many plants with strong scents), most ethers, chloroform and dichloromethane, hydrocarbon fuels, and diacetone alcohol, among many others. Note that most of these solvents are very flammable, and/or their concentrated vapors are harmful to health.

Most brands of "OLFA" marker wipe off easily with acetone free nail polish remover, the kind containing ethyl acetate, a relatively non-toxic organic solvent.

Some markers are designed to be long lasting, for instance by having two inks, one specialized to resist solvents, and one specialized not to fade. These can be available in refillable form.

A permanent marker can also be removed by drawing over it with a 2-butoxyethanol which will do the job.

Use in microscopy

In addition to being used for labelling microscopy slides, permanent markers can actually be used to do a negative stain of a bacterial sample. This means the background is stained with the marker, but the bacteria are not. The bacteria can be seen because they are stained (lighter) while the background is unstained (darker).[3]

Notes and references

  1. ^ Ink composition resistant to solvent evaporation -- US Patent 7084191 Description. Date of Access: 2-4-2012.
  2. ^ "Expo FAQs | Answers for Dry Erase Board and Marker-Related Questions". Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  3. ^ S. Woeste and P.H. Demchick. 1991. New version of the negative stain. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 57:1858–1859.

See also

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