Marker & Toothpaste

It's no secret that life as a parent is filled with messes. Well, the other day my wife was cooking sushi (how cool is that?) and I was working on the car (lame...), and somehow in our shuffle in and out of the dining room, this happened:

Yes, that is sharpie on our nice dining room table. Katie immediately cleaned it with a wet wipe, to no avail. "Why do permanent markers even exist?" I asked, a little peeved and spouting out nonsense. The table was a gift from a friend, and though a solid one, we try not to put much stock in material possessions, especially with kids around. Still, that is kind of an eyesore, isn't it?

Back in the yonder days, we used to ask our neighbors or moms about how to clean up messes like this, now we just have Brother Google to help out. I searched and found this site, which suggested using toothpaste, of all things. Here is a little foreshadowing: I wouldn't be writing this if something didn't happen...

That is the picture from the first try. Not bad, right? So a second application and...

Boom! The table is clean! It took a lot of elbow grease and repetition, but don't most cleanups in life require that? (There's some existential thought for you.) I'm not sure why it works. Maybe toothpaste is a mild abrasive? It's supposed to clean headlights too. Perhaps I'll try that next and report back.

Since it worked, I thought I would share with the world. You have to write a practical post every now and then, right? So if you can't keep the markers away from the kids, make sure you have some toothpaste nearby. Or do it if you want a minty-fresh smelling table...just saying.