Sharpie markers !?!

Ok, I’ve read too many posts on various forums and even had email answered about this from Mitsui…

Are Sharpie markers (their ink) ok to use on cdr’s?

Some have pointed out that the ultra fine can scratch the surface. Well if you’re gentle it won’t, so, again, is the ink going to damage the information by seeping through the coating??

Mitsui apparently has a special coating to protect against this, but is it effective??

I have too many cdr’s I’ve marked on to have to re-archive, but I will if I have to…Anybody had cdr’s go bad because of sharpies??

ive got sharpie labeled cds that go back 3 or 4 yrs, and they still work fine. I don’t think its a problem to worry about. The ultrafine point is too thin for me, i like just the fine point, works great.

Originally posted by kwkard
ive got sharpie labeled cds that go back 3 or 4 yrs, and they still work fine. I don’t think its a problem to worry about.
Same here.


Sanford Sharpie
Fine Point
Permanent Marker
Series No.30000
That’s the one for me, works perfect with no seeping.
And it won’t unless your cds are made of paper :wink:

Only warning is - “Not for letter writing or cloth.”


Ditto here,I’ve used a fine point Sharpie
since I got my first home PC (end of 1999),and the CD that were marked showed no signs of ‘ink seepage’…

when i write on the underside, it screws them up a little.

There was a very informative post one year ago about the topic, but I couldn’t find it back for including it in my FAQ. It was in (or maybe CDRinfo or CDRlabs or CDFreaks or EAC, but I think it was Hydrogenaudio). I’ve searched for it without success.

If I remember well, there were actually some problems reported with the ink.

Here’s something a bit dated that I’ve found since asking this question…Mainly I wondered about personal experiences which several of you have shared…Thanks…

Hello all, I hate be the bearer of bad tidings, but this will be important to many of you. Do not use Sharpie or other solvent-based markers on CDs (pre-recorded or WORM/re-writable) because they will penetrate and damage the data surface inside. Here are two emails that I received written by Eric Teel of Jefferson Public Radio (Oregon) on this subject. I have spoken with him on the phone and confirmed it all. Peace & Love, - Randy ================================================= Date sent: Wed, 09 Jun 1999 From: Eric Teel To: “Association of Music Personnel in Public Radio list” Subject: Sharpie Problem Update Folks: Many of you will be disappointed to hear what I have to report… A few months or so ago, it was reported on this listserve that some stations were having problems with their CDs starting to oxidize and skip and otherwise become unusuable as (theory) a result of marking them up with Sharpie pens from Sanford. When I passed this information along to our music director, who had just recently completed a weekend-long volunteer sharpie party to try and mark up as many of our cds as possible, he got very worried. We decided to talk immediately to Sanford (company that makes Sharpies). They agreed there was a potential problem, and suggested we contact Amodex - a company that manufactures cleaning products. Sanford recommends Amodex highly for cleaning Sanford’s products. We sent them two test CDs. One was recently Sharpie’d, the other had been marked up many years ago. Here is what they told us: Because the resin used in CD manufacturing is so soft and porous, none of their cleaning products can get Sharpie ink off the the cd entirely. Though the surface may be clean in appearance, some of the components of the ink have penetrated and been absorbed by the inner layers of the disc. Heat makes the situation much worse - which for those of us in radio means ‘cut down on putting cds in play/pause mode for extended periods - where the temperature increases.’ Don’t use solvent cleaners to try and clean the discs, it will ruin the CDs. Just try to keep them stored in a cool place and from now on, if you must mark them up, mark the inner portion of the disc around the hole - where no information is stored. Thanks for reading, and good luck. If this does become more of a problem, we have already started kicking around possible ways to help stations nationwide deal with it. Eric Teel Jefferson Public Radio ====================================================== From: Eric Teel - Subject: Sharpie Problem Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 Mr. Ralston: Here is the information I told you I’d forward. This comes from Mr. Jan Andrews in the engineering department at NPR. This may be more information than you need, but here it is nonetheless. (This was in response to the results I posted to AMPPR by the way) "My NPR colleagues and I have looked quite carefully at the issue of labeling recordable CDs as NPR has begun archiving our programs to that medium, and we’ve been doing one-off recordings and CD premastering for several years. Sharpies, other solvent-based markers, and solvent-based cleaning solutions should definitely be avoided with both “pressed” CDs and recordable CDs (CD-Rs). The label side of both are indeed quite vulnerable, and at least one CD-R manufacturer, Kodak, differentiates its products by adding an extra protective layer of material (trademarked “InfoGuard”) to the label side. A few CD-R manufacturers claim it’s OK to use a “soft, felt-tipped marker” on their discs, but usually suggest limiting the writing to a predefined label area, which often has a white surface that would appear to be acting as an added protective layer. Several “safe” water-based, permanent felt-tip markers are made for or by CD-R manufacturers, but I’ve yet to run across a convenient source for any of them. A Dixon product, the “RediSharp Plus! Permanent Non-Toxic” marker, is widely regarded as “safe” and is inexpensive and readily available at office superstores, notably Office Depot – a #98207 twelve-pack of fine tip black markers should cost about

Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve begun to re-archive my VALUABLE music…

I’m using the Mitsui discs and NOT making one mark on them…I’ll just have to be careful about not putting them in the worong case. I know this sounds anal-retentive but I try to be as meticulous about my music as possible…

Well, now I’m gonna have extra copies of my Zep boots…Any traders??:cool:

hey i know this thread is alittle old but i found the thread on it at hydrogen audio. apperently a search for cd labeling and it came up.

one post in particular was very helpful. check it out.

From the Sharpie FAQ:

There seems to be several different styles of SHARPIE markers. Is the ink the same in each of the different styles?

“The black ink in the Fine, Twin Tip, Chisel and Super is permanent ink. The principle solvents are alcohols, but they also contain ethylene glycol monobutyl ether. All other SHARPIE ink colors are Permchrome ink. For these the principle solvents are also alcohols, but no glycol ethers are used.”

So some black sharpies contain a solvent called ethylene glycol monobutyl ether in addition to alcohol.

I have cdr’s from as far back as 1999 and they all are labeled with permanent markers. Most of the markers are Sharpies including a black and a green fine point, and a red very fine point. They are all fine. Some of the discs are even “silver tops,” and while the ink has run a little, they are all readable with no noted problems. The other brands of media include Ricoh and HP. I wouldn’t worry so much about this.

Sharpie markers and me go back to the 1x and 2x cd-r days. I still have cds that work from this period. Don’t worry about it.

Yes, mine go back to the 1x and 2x days as well. When I purchased my first drive I got a 50 pack of Ricoh 2x certified media- it lasted over a year! These discs are all still readable.