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Reviving Dry Erase Markers

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You might be able to extend the life of that dry erase marker. This is a guide about reviving dry erase markers.


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

2 found this helpful
February 4, 2012

Dried out dry erase markers? Your whiteboard markers may have more life in them. Dip the tip in a little ordinary rubbing alcohol. If color is drawn down into the alcohol, there's life in your marker, and you can write with it some more now that you have treated it. If this does not work, then the marker is probably out of lasting power.

By Kirsten from Logan, UT

Comment Was this helpful? 2

0 found this helpful
April 17, 2013

I simply snip the tip of the marker with scissors. Sometimes removing a bit off the dried tip will expose fresh ink. It works just about every time for me.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 10, 20060 found this helpful

Is there any way to recondition a dry eraser marker? I know it still has plenty of ink, but the cap didn't click well enough.

Thank you!

Maria from Derwood, MD

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
September 29, 20070 found this helpful

Wow - I just tried it and swinging the marker around on a string really does work brilliantly! and instantly!

Thank you for the idea!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 8, 20080 found this helpful

Wow, the spinning thing works well. I got a little too over zealous on the spinning and was winging it around like a helicopter, I think 3-5 good spins is enough. If not -do more. The ink does pool in the cap and I think i wasted a lot. If you have a hard time attaching string to your marker, just tie it then wrap tape around it too, this should be secure enough. Good luck.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
December 5, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks for the spinning idea. Worked like a charm for a homeschool mom on a budget:)

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February 11, 20090 found this helpful

Spinning with a string works like magic! I had a set of 4 dry erase markers that had stayed for 3 years in their packaging, still unused. When I tried them, 3 seemed dried out. I still wonder how it is possible, with the cap sealing well and all. Anyway, I was pissed. I had the idea to put them tip down in alcohol. After a couple of hours, one of them revived. But even after 3 days in the alcohol, the remaining 2 were still inkless. I found this thread via google, tried Atwilkes' spinning trick, and seconds later, the 2 stubborn markers were revived! Thank you Atwilkes.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 4, 20100 found this helpful

The spinning thing works like a charm! Thanks, atwilkes!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 12, 20100 found this helpful

Tried spinning around on a string, worked great, for about 3 minutes and then dried up again :(

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 19, 20140 found this helpful

Holy Guacamole! I have an old pre-1980's test tube centrifuge. A few seconds in that baby and voila. Just like new. Make sure to wear goggles.

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January 19, 20160 found this helpful

You can possibly take the end off of the dry erase marker with a pair of pliers and fill it with rubbing alcohol or water and put the end back on and wait over night.

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Read More Answers

0 found this helpful
March 28, 2013

My Expo Dry Erase markers are not old, but one just dried up and the lid was on it. Is there anything you can do to "rewet" them?

By Gypsy

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 31, 20130 found this helpful

Dip tips in very hot water, cover with cap for a few minutes.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 27, 20160 found this helpful

Put them in rubbing alcohol!

It worked for me!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
January 27, 20160 found this helpful

Put them in rubbing alcohol

Reply Was this helpful? Yes


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 10, 20060 found this helpful

I was just wondering if anyone would know how to revive dried out dry erase markers. My 2 year old got ahold of them and left the caps partly off when she was done and now they are dried out. Any tips on getting them to work again would be much appreciated!


Amy from PA


Reviving Dry Erase Markers

Try storing them upside down for a couple days with the tips facing down. The ink may refill the tip that way. Sometimes it works. It probably depends on how dried out they are. (07/20/2004)

By Anne H.

Reviving Dry Erase Markers

Here's a tip that was just posted, it reminded me of your request: (08/16/2004)

By ThriftyFun

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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