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How to Remove Permanent Marker from Plant Tags

How to Remove Permanent Marker from Plant Tags

Over the years of vegetable gardening, I used thousands of plastic plant markers to label my seedlings. Occasionally I got lucky and the sun faded one, allowing me to reuse it. However for the rest, I always struggled to get the marker off the tags, rendering them useless.  

Looking back, I feel guilty over that waste in my garden, not to mention all the money I spent. 

As I added another batch of plastic plant tags to my Amazon cart and was about to press “Check Out”, I discovered an easy way to fully remove all markings from the plant tags.

In this post, I share this simple technique, that will save you money and give your plastic plant tags new life.

If you read my previous post, “How to Keep Your Plant Tags from Fading in the Garden“, you will see that I struggled over the years in keeping my plant tags from fading. Using the techniques shared in that post, my plant tags stopped fading, allowing me to keep track of the varieties I had growing. However, since they stopped fading, I was stuck with perfectly legible plant tags that had no future use.

Now I can preserve the writing on my plant tags, then remove them from the garden at the end of the season, clean them up and ready them for use for the following gardening year.

Here’s what you need to thoroughly clean the permanent marker off your plastic plant tags…ready, wait for it…Mr Clean® Magic Eraser! 

Yes, it’s that simple.

How to Clean Permanent Marker off your Plant Tags

  • Mr. Clean® Magic Eraser
  • Small Bowl with water
  • Rubber or Disposable Gloves
  • Marked Plastic Plant Tags
  • Paper Towel or Clean Rag


  1. You will want to keep your hands covered with gloves, because the eraser contains a chemical that will get into your skin and the ink coming off the labels will stain your fingers.
  2. Dip the corner of the eraser into the bowl and squeeze out any excess water.
  3. Rub the eraser on the marked plant tag, gradually removing the permanent marker. Continue until all the writing is removed.
  4. Use the paper towel or clean rag to wipe off any water from the tag and leave it to dry.
  5. Store your plastic plant tags for future use.

It’s really that simple! I was amazed how clean the labels had become and they’re now ready to be used again. From my experience I found that some tags required a little extra effort to remove the writing than others, however, they all cleaned up thoroughly. I’m relieved that they will no longer be a waste to add to the landfill. My only suggestion is to remove them from the garden at the end of the season, as a harsh winter may break and crack them.

** Tip! This technique works for paint markers as well. However, it does require a little extra effort to do so. Once you see the paint begin to lift, the rest of the paint will clean right off.


What do you use to remove permanent marker off your plastic plant tags?

Happy Gardening!



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Julia Dimakos

Hi, I'm Julia from Mono, Ontario, Canada. I began my gardening adventure after having children. Since then, my interest grew into a passion. I love growing vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruit and medicinal herbs. I'm here to show you that growing your own food is not difficult and in fact can be simple.