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Can You Use Dry Erase Markers on Car Windows?

Can You Use Dry Erase Markers on Car Windows?

There are many reasons why you might want to write on a car window. 

You might work at a car dealership and need to indicate the sale price, or you might want to leave a note for someone on their car. 

Whatever the case, you may find yourself wondering if dry erase markers are safe to use on your car’s windows.

Dry erase markers can be safely used to write temporary messages on car windows without risking any long-term permanent damage. They are affordable, readily available, and easy to clean if you don’t leave the ink on for too long. Rain or snow will likely reduce the amount of time the dry-erase message is visible.

Since cars are made of metal, dry erase markers are not likely to stick to the surface of the vehicle.

Read on for more details on how to color your car with dry erase markers safely!

What is a Dry Erase Marker and Why Is It Safe To Use on Glass?

A dry-erase marker is a popular writing tool used to write on whiteboards. It can also be used on

  • Overhead projector film
  • Melamine
  • Signboards
  • Porcelain
  • Certain non-porous surfaces

It is permanent when used on porous surfaces such as paper or cloth but otherwise, it is erasable.

The marker contains 3 chemicals namely isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol), SD alcohol- 40, and resin. 

It should never be exposed to flames because some of these chemicals are highly flammable. The fumes from the chemicals are also toxic and can cause health problems.

But you can use dry-erase markers on car windows because the glass is non-porous. 

When the dry erase marker is used on the car windows or mirrors, they act as a whiteboard which makes it very easy to clean.

Materials used to write on any surface of the vehicle should be water-resistant, easy to remove, and visible. 

The surface should be clean to avoid scratching the glass or the paint. 

It’s not illegal to write on your car window. However, the writing shouldn’t obstruct your vision or cause distractions while driving.

Read on to learn more about writing on your car window and how to clean the surfaces afterward.

Will Dry Erase Markers Damage Car Windows?

Dry erase markers will not damage windows as they are fairly easy to clean with the help of strong soluble solutions such as:

  • 90-99% of Isopropyl alcohol solution
  • Peroxide
  • WD-40
  • Toothpaste
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Ben-Gay
  • Comet
  • Hairspray
  • A sharp razor blade will remove any stubborn stains left over after cleaning

There is a difference between a dry-erase marker and a wet one (washable markers). 

A wet-erase marker is semi-permanent and can be cleaned using a damp cloth.

Some people use white shoe polish on their car because it’s visible but it is also very hard to remove. 

To clean it, you will require harsh scrubbing which might ruin your vehicle’s paint job. 

It’s better to avoid anything that is hard to remove when writing on your car.

How to Get Dry Erase Marker Writing off a Car

If you want to remove any writing on the windows, you might want to consider the type of marker used. 

Ensure that the surface you want to remove writings from is clean before you start.

1. For a permanent marker, dip your paper towel or cloth in a strong solvent such as fingernail polish remover, MEK, isopropyl alcohol, methyl ethyl ketone or acetone. 

You can also use a wet cloth or paper towel to remove marker writings on the car window.

2. For dry erase marker writings, you can use some rubbing alcohol on a cloth and rub gently. Rinse the area with a wet cloth or paper towel.

3. For crayon or grease pen writings, use a clean razor blade to scrape the writing off the window.


Can I permanently mark glass?

It’s hard to mark glass permanently because it’s non-porous but there are other ways that can make the writings last longer. 
You can use acrylic paint pens although they won’t last as long as a permanent marker would.

Can I use shoe polish to write on my car window?

This is an easy, cheap, and quick way to write a visible message on your car window. 
However, avoid the body as it might cause damage to the paint during cleaning.

Are dry erase markers toxic on the skin?

Although most markers are harmless, there are others that contain methyl isobutyl ketone. This chemical irritates the nose and eyes and other symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, vomiting, and weakness. 

Avoid using any marker on your skin as it can cause severe symptoms. In case you get some markings on your skin, you can use rubbing alcohol. 

Afterward, wash your skin with soap and warm water to remove any chemical residue.

Will dry erase markers damage my car paint?

Dry erase markers are very easy to clean without abrasion or harsh chemicals. Therefore, it’s safe to say that your car paint won’t be damaged.

What’s the best way to write on glass?

It depends on what you want to write and how long you want the message to last. Write with a wet or dry erase marker if you expect the message to be up in a short time. 

Use acrylic paint pen, Oil-Based Sharpie Paint Markers, and permanent markers to write more long-lasting messages.

What can I use to paint my car window?

You will need water-based acrylic craft paint and different size brushes to bring out your designs.

You will need a razor blade to remove the paint.

How do I permanently write on glass?

You first clean the surface with vodka, white vinegar, or lacquer thinner for a clean surface. Tape the design on the inside of the glass and trace using your Oil-Based Sharpie Paint Markers. 

For permanency, bake the design for a few hours and the design will be permanent.

Does rubbing alcohol stain clothes?

If the marker, or paint you are using stains your clothes, you can try some rubbing alcohol as a stain remover. 

Remember to test the alcohol on a small inconspicuous part of your cloth and let it dry. 

If your cloth is unaffected by the alcohol, use a cotton ball to rub the stain off. Don’t pour the alcohol on the stain.

What is the difference between a bullet tip and a chisel tip?

A bullet tip is popular between the two and produces 2–3 mm stroke thickness. 

On the contrary, the Chisel tip produces 3 types of thicknesses ranging from 2–5 mm.

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Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!