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How to Revive Dried Out Markers

There must be dozens of dried markers strewn about my house. And I can’t blame it all on the kids—I’ve destroyed more than my share of markers because of misplaced caps. While some markers may be dried out beyond repair (like the capless markers the kids left in the tree house for two years), I’ve found an easy way to salvage the majority of my markers. Here’s how you do it:

How to Revive Dried Out Markers

Things You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of hot water
  • Old hand towel
  • 1 bowl that you don’t mind potentially staining (or a disposable bowl)

Instructions:

  1. Search your home (and office, purses, kids’ backpacks, car, treehouse, etc.) for dried out markers and their caps (if missing). Gather the dried out markers and their caps and place in a pile separate from all your working markers.
  2. Put one cup of hot water in a bowl that you don’t mind potentially staining, or use a disposable bowl.
  3. One by one, put the tip of each uncapped, dried out marker in the bowl of hot water. Let the markers sit in the water for five minutes.
  4. Remove the uncapped markers from the water and place them on an old hand towel to dry for 24 hours. Make sure the caps are off the markers while they’re drying.
  5. After 24 hours of drying time, recap the markers with their respective caps. Voila! Your markers should work again!

How to Revive Dry-Erase Markers

Dry-erase markers are notorious for drying out (even if they are capped), especially if they are stored horizontally. There are two ways to revive dry-erase markers: the gravity method and the pliers method.

Gravity Method

Things You’ll Need:

  • String
  • Tape
  • Enough confidence to make swinging, overhead motions without feeling self-conscious

Instructions:

  1. Securely tape the end of the string to the bottom of the dry-erase marker.
  2. Here’s where the confidence comes in: Swing the marker around your head in a circular motion (kind of like a lasso). DO NOT worry about nosy neighbors!
  3. Gravity should force the remaining ink to the top of the marker. Test your marker to see if it works. If it doesn’t work, try out the pliers method described below.

Pliers Method

Things You’ll Need:

  • Small pair of pliers

Instructions:

  1. Remove the cap from the dried out dry-erase marker.
  2. Using your pliers, grab the spongy tip of the dry-erase marker and pull it straight out of the marker.
  3. Flip the tip around 180 degrees and use your pliers to grab the moist end of the tip (the end of the tip that was previously unexposed).
  4. Using your pliers and still gripping the moist end, push the writing tip back into the marker, dry end first.
  5. You can use the marker immediately. In a couple of days, the dry side of the tip will absorb the ink and you can reverse the tips again, if you desire. Make sure to store your dry-erase marker vertically.


 

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