It’s that time of year again, as hard as it is to believe. Back to school! My five kiddos started back this week- 2nd, 4th, 8th, 10th grades, and a freshman in college. This year is especially unique because moving my oldest baby away to college has been exciting and sad at the same time.
It’s an entirely new experience for all of us, so bear with me if I shed a few tears.
As you can imagine, with school supply lists and a college tuition payment that rivals that of a mortgage, we’re being frugal where we can. That, and the fact that our local stores have completely sold out of the vinyl folders my kids need, I’ve learned a way to reuse the ones from last year that are still in good shape, but unfortunately have permanent ink written all over them. Kids names, subjects, doodles, you name it.
Keep in mind, I’m talking specifically about the PLASTIC VINYL folders, not the paper ones. These last forever (why the teachers love them) but unlike days of old when we’d sketch in pencil or pen on our paper folders, sharpie or stickers are most effective way to mark on the vinyl.
So to remove permanent sharpie ink from a vinyl folder, you’ll need a few items that I’ll just bet you already have around the house-
Sunscreen (not oil free)
Dawn dish soap & water
A washcloth or rag
First, spray the sunscreen onto the ink.
Let it sit to penetrate the ink, then scrub it off with your rag.
Depending on how long the ink has been on a folder, it will most likely take a few attempts working the sunscreen into the ink before it comes all the way off.
For this specific post, I used this technique on a folder with only day old sharpie and the ink ran right off.
But before that, I used it on all of our older folders (some several years old), and it came off after repeating the process a few times.
Note- make sure you’re either outside or in an area that over spray from the sunscreen will not damage the surrounding areas.
Next, because the sunscreen is oil based, you’ll still feel it on the vinyl.
Rubbing alcohol on a rag works great to clean it off.
Again, repeat as necessary until it’s gone.
And last, because no one wants their folders to smell like rubbing alcohol, use your dish soap and water to wipe the folder entirely clean.
You may still be able to smell the sunscreen a bit for a while, but my kids definitely didn’t mind.
They told me it reminds them of summer.
Good as new!
If you liked this easy idea, you may also like some of my other tips-