Mean Streak

Aug 10, 2010 by

Almost every time I present a workshop or seminar, someone will come up and ask, “What is that white stuff on your students’ desks?” 

Mean Streak

That’s when I break into my little spiel about this great product that was introduced to me by another teacher.  It is called Mean Streak by Sanford and is a permanent marking pen that comes in yellow, white, red, and black. 

Mean Streak

It can be used for writing things that you want to stay on all year or for a portion of the year.  It can be used on most nonporous surfaces, including chalkboards and students’ desks.  It looks like chalk on the board but cannot be erased or washed off with water.  Once I learned about Mean Streak I never went back to the messy nametags that I used to tape to my students’ desks, only for them to pick away at the tape or spill their water all over. 

Mean Streak

Then I started finding other uses for Mean Streak.  It’s great for marking some of my personal belongings that sometimes seem to sprout legs and never return to my classroom, like my heavy duty 3-hole punch and my favorite stapler.

 Mean Streak

When you are ready to remove Mean Streak, simply spray it with cheap hairspray and wipe with a paper towel!  As with any product, be sure to test the marking pen and hairspray on all surfaces before using. 

Mean Streak

After my little spiel, I am usually asked, “Where can I buy Mean Streak?”  I purchased mine from a small office supply store in Ohio and have never seen it anywhere else.  One marking pen lasts quite a long time, and by the next time I needed one, I no longer lived in Ohio, so I had to find a new source.  I found them at Amazon.  Ordering information is below. 


While writing this blog entry, I did some more searching and found a product that looks similar but comes in more colors.  I haven’t tried this brand yet, so I can’t vouch for it, but it looks like it would work, too.


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  1. Heather

    Thanks for the alcohol/ hairspray tip. I found one of those magic erasers helped a lot too when I was trying to get it off of a notebook that has that slight texture to it.

  2. Annemarie

    Yes! Magic Erasers! I don’t know how I ever survived without them!

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