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Restore a Permanent Ink Marker

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Students keep leaving tops off permanent and washable markers so they dry out. Can they be rehydrated to use again?

By Mary from Gulfport, MS


Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Jessica Marie A.05/15/2014

This is actually another question about restoring a Sharpie marker. Instead of using rubbing alcohol, can you use hydrogen peroxide to restore it? I don't have access to rubbing alcohol but I do have peroxide. Would it work the same way?

By artemis12502/04/2014

Hello all.

Here's a trick that I've found works quite well for not just restoring but re-filling permanent markers. You'll need a bottle of pure acetone (not nailpolish remover) and a syringe.

Fill the syringe with acetone.
Stand the marker point side up with the cap off.
Carefully push the needle all the way in to the felt tip (you may need to rotate it to get it in).
Empty all of the acetone into the marker.

A standard Sharpie can usually take 2 full syringes of acetone and retractables 1 - 1.5. Cap and stand them point side up for at least 24 - 48 hours before using.

If you overfill it'll be a bit wet for awhile but will even out again. I have markers that I've refilled 3 times now and still going strong. Hope I helped out!

By bkvander [2]12/09/2010

Place water based the markers in a freezer zipper bag and freeze overnight. Take out and allow to thaw, Voila! Rehydrated! This works on water based ink pads too. Permanent ink required re-inkers.

By Anonymous [848]12/08/2010

I haven't tried it but I've heard dipping the tip in vinegar works. Some people have said dipping the tip in isopropyl/rubbing alcohol works but that usually helps remove color stains so that doesn't make sense to me to use that.


Here are questions related to Restore a Permanent Ink Marker.

Question: Permanent Markers Dried Out

Different colored Bic markers.Is there any way to recondition Bic permanent markers? The caps were on tightly. In fact, they were still in the package. When I went to use them, not one of them worked. I have no idea where I bought them, so returning them is out of the question.


By Janis C S

Most Recent Answer

By OliveOyl09/22/2011

How long have they been sitting in the package? Stand them up in a cup with the points down to get the ink down to the tip. No good? Try soaking the tips in some rubbing alcohol to see if that gets them flowing. Still nothing? Email the Bic company and complain about your markers. They should have contact info on the package or Google how to reach them. They may send you some coupons or other Bic items.


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Restore a Permanent Ink Marker

Is there any way to restore a permanent ink marker when they get exposed to the air and dry out? Crayola markers can be restored with acetone.

Pat from North Chelsford, MA

RE: Restore a Permanent Ink Marker

I've always used vinegar, just take the end off the marker, put in a few drops of vinegar and stand upright for about 30 seconds. (10/21/2005)


RE: Restore a Permanent Ink Marker

You can extend the life of a dried out permanent marker somewhat by dipping the tip in rubbing alcohol and storing it tip side down overnight. If you try to use it before some time has passed, the marker is too wet with not enough color. Also, if the marker is really dried out, you may have to repeat the procedure. (10/21/2005)

By truerblue in PA

Archive: Restore a Permanent Ink Marker

Is there any way to rejuvenate dried out permanent markers?

By Nancy from Longview, TX

RE: Restore a Permanent Ink Marker

To restore permanent marker you can remove the plastic cap. Then dip the felt tip of the marker in a cup or mug with a small amount of rubbing alcohol in it. Let it sit and soak up the alcohol for 10-20 minutes. This has worked quite well for me with all types of markers. (08/20/2010)

By Rosiegirll

RE: Restore a Permanent Ink Marker

Years ago, at school, we purchased ink in bottles to refill them, and that worked all right. However, I wouldn't bother. I don't think they are worth the effort. Throw them out and buy new ones. I suppose if you think the marker is full of good ink, but just the tip is dried out, you could give the alcohol thing a try. Couldn't hurt. (08/20/2010)

By louel53

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