Save Paper and Ink When Using Printables

Jan 31, 2013
When it comes to using printables for organizing, one way to save some paper and ink is to laminate the paper or insert it into a plastic page protector. Then you can use a marker to write directly on the plastic, erase it when you're done, and then use that same printable over and over again. When I first heard of doing this, I thought it sounded great but I had two questions. One, what would be the best type of marker to use? And two, what's the best way to remove the ink from the laminate or page protector?

Here is what I've found works for me:

  • An ultra thin-tipped marker meant to be used on CDs and DVDs (I have not tested it, but I believe any permanent marker can be used, preferably ones that don't smudge easily)
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Cotton, Paper Towels, or a Soft Cloth
  • Eraser (Optional)

In the photos examples below, I have my weekly meal planner in a page protector. You can see how fine the tip of my marker is.

Here is what it looks like when I write directly on the page protector. Please excuse my terrible handwriting!

To erase the writing, just take the cotton, a paper towel, or any soft cloth, put some rubbing alcohol on it and then wipe all the ink off. Permanent marker = not so permanent anymore! 

Thanks to this helpful blog post I found, I learned that a regular rubber eraser will also remove permanent marker from laminates or page protectors. This works really great when I want to remove just part of the text. For removing an entire page of ink, I use the alcohol since it takes less effort and does not leave smudgy marker residue behind.

I love being able to use this marker method of writing on printables and the possibilities are endless! I've even tried writing on tupperware and the alcohol removes the ink nicely. 

Have any of you tried writing on plastic and if so, what have you found works best for your needs? Please share!

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  1. This is such a great idea! I'm trying to figure out why I didn't think of that before printing out all those copies. Haha. (Shared on Pinterest on my Organization board.)

    Have a great first day of March! :)

    1. Thanks Amanda! Haha..don't worry, it took me a while to figure out the right combo of materials that would work the way I wanted. Thanks for pinning too! :)

  2. What I like to use are wet erase markers. They stay put and erase with a damp cloth. No rubbing alcohol required :) and they come in a variety of colors so you can color code things or just make it bright and colorful and less boring. thanks for the post!

    1. Good to know Melissa! Definitely like the idea of colorful markers. Thanks!


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