Removing sharpie from Ludwig wrapped drum?

JakeyD

Junior Member
Hey guys, I just scored what is basically my dream kit. It's just a Ludwig Classic Maple, used, but it's the exact configuration and finish I have wanted for years, and I got a great deal on it. Only problem -- there is sharpie on one of the drums. Actually, it's a Dennis Chambers autograph, so I'm sure a lot of people would tell me to leave it on, but I kind of just want the drums clean.

Anyway, it's a standard Ludwig Classic Maple wrap -- champagne sparkle, to be exact. I figure that taking acetone (nail polish remover) or anything like that will do damage to the wrap, which I want to avoid, naturally. Any ideas on how to get sharpie off a wrap without damaging the wrap itself?

(Apologies if this is in the wrong forum -- couldn't figure out where else it might go!)
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Lighter fluid cleanly removes almost anything without harming the surface. I've even used it to remove price sticker residue from old LP 'paper' jackets (gotta be careful with that though...)

Simplest to put a few squirts on some soft toilet paper, Kleenex, or ideally a cotton ball, then rub the sharpie until clean. Keep a few more cotton balls handy for the best cleaning.

Bermuda
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Lighter fluid cleanly removes almost anything without harming the surface. I've even used it to remove price sticker residue from old LP 'paper' jackets (gotta be careful with that though...)

Simplest to put a few squirts on some soft toilet paper, Kleenex, or ideally a cotton ball, then rub the sharpie until clean. Keep a few more cotton balls handy for the best cleaning.

Bermuda
+1 ^ This.Lighter fluid will work,without damaging the wrap.The cotton ball won't fall apart like wet TP will.Mostenbackers grafitti remove might also do the trick.

Steve B
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Note for the op....

All petrol based solvents will damage the wrap given enough time. Even vegetable oil. So remember to fence the area with masking tape, apply the solvent, remove the solvent, then wipe down the area with a wet cloth to remove any remaining solvent.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
True, solvents aren't always kind to other petro products (especially the older celluloid wraps that shrunk and yellowed like old film!) but lighter fluid evaporates very quickly. There's zero chance of it staying on the wrap long enough to do any damage, especially since you're not squirting it right onto the wrap (although you could, but it would run down the curve of the shell anyway and you'd just be wasting fluid.)

Bermuda
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
True, solvents aren't always kind to other petro products (especially the older celluloid wraps that shrunk and yellowed like old film!) but lighter fluid evaporates very quickly. There's zero chance of it staying on the wrap long enough to do any damage, especially since you're not squirting it right onto the wrap (although you could, but it would run down the curve of the shell anyway and you'd just be wasting fluid.)

Bermuda
Agreed, you'd pretty much have to soak the wrap for real damage to occur.

I could see a situation where the gent gets a phone call mid-repair, sets his solvent soaked towelette on the drum, and loses a little sheen on the section of wrap he's working on. Alternately, he uses a high residue LF like the old Ronsonol that doesn't come clean with a dry towel and softens/clouds the surface if not washed down.

I think you're right, and that he'll be fine with 99.99% of the products on the market.
 

drummerfish

Senior Member
i've had luck using car wax. novus plastic polish is basically the same thing as well that works.

because the wrap is not something that will absorb the ink, it will come right off.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Congratulations on finding the kit of your dreams! You've been offered a couple of great solutions, especially the dry-erase marker or the lighter fluid, so I won't dwell on that.

I'm interested in the kit. I love that color, as well. How about some photos?

GeeDeeEmm
 

purist

Junior Member
In the lab I would use ethanol or methanol (polar solvents) to remove sharpie markings from glassware. Glassware however is non-porous. The sharpie mark in your drum might have, probably has, been absorbed into the wrap and will be difficult, if not impossible to remove completely. I wouldn't try lighter fluid as that is a non-polar solvent and will work best for non-polar residues like price stickers.

If your willing to take a chance on removing as much of the sharpie as possible, and leaving a faint residue, I would try methanol, ethanol, or isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol applied to a soft absorbent cloth.

Is it better to have a fresh autograph, or the residue of an autograph on your drum? Only you can answer that question.
 

JakeyD

Junior Member
Wow, this thread took off! Thanks so much for all of the replies. I'm going to give it a go with the dry erase marker first and see if that does the trick. If not I'm going to try lighter fluid, I think.

It's funny, by a pure coincidence, I already have Dennis's autograph -- on a Dennis Chambers signature Pearl snare, of course. In that sense I don't mind losing the autograph from this kit -- I want the kit to be as clean as possible.

I will definitely post pics when it arrives! It's currently on a boat somewhere in the Pacific on its way out here to Hawaii. Unfortunately all my good cymbals are back on the east coast so I'm stuck with a bunch of B8s and ZBTs -- not what I want to break the new kit in with, but oh well!
 

JakeyD

Junior Member
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who responded to this thread -- I did the dry erase marker thing and it worked like magic! The autograph was originally to the left of the badge on the snare but there is no trace anymore. Thanks again! Time to get this kit tuned up and jamming!
 

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