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How to peel permanent marker off glass

All that’s needed is a little water and taking your time

7:00am, September 14, 2017
permanent marker on glass

OUT, DAMNED SPOT  Ink from permanent markers may seem nearly impossible to remove, but researchers have demonstrated that the surface tension of water can peel the ink off glass.

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Permanent markers aren’t so permanent after all. All that’s required to peel the ink from glass is the surface tension of water and a little patience, scientists report.

When glass marked with permanent ink is slowly dipped in water, the writing lifts off the glass and floats intact atop the water. For the first time, scientists have now explained the physics behind the surprising phenomenon: The water’s surface tension breaks the seal between ink and glass, researchers report in a paper in press in Physical Review Letters.

“I think it's amazing, the fact that they can actually peel off this layer of Sharpie with just water,” says mechanical engineer Emilie Dressaire of New York University.

Researchers stumbled upon the phenomenon by accident, when labels kept peeling off glass microscope

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