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How to Fix Dried Out Dry Erase Markers? 2 Easy Methods

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

Have you tried working with a marker that barely writes out your words? It can be really tedious, indeed. And looking for new ones, especially when we are busy, does not seem like a good idea.


When things go down like this, buying a new pack seems like a good option. But, it is always better to save your time and money by knowing how to fix dried out dry erase markers using water and let these simple tips eke out a little life of your dry erase marker.

2 Methods to Fix Dried Out Dry Erase Markers

Before You Start to Revive Your Marker


  • Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is known to work wonders on your pen. For a more detailed process, you can scroll down below.

  • Water

When giving your marker a bath in rubbing alcohol seems impossible, you can choose a simpler alternative – water. It is also known to effectively revive dried out dry erase markers by doing the simple steps below.

  • Bowl or Container

You will need something to put the rubbing alcohol or water in.

  • Plastic Wrap or Cling Wrap

It can come in handy in sealing moisture into your marker.

  • Needle-nosed Pliers

For the most common technique of bringing your dry erase marker back to life, you would need a pair of needle-nosed pliers. It is a simple step, actually. But the process may be impossible to do with your bare hands.

I highly recommend this tool when reviving stubborn dry erase markers because, as I mentioned, pliers disassemble markers without effort.

  • Tweezers

However, for households with well-found equipment like pliers, a tweezer is a good alternative. I never saw a home without tweezers.

This compact tool can pretty much serve anything, and that includes reviving markers. Find out how to fix yours by scrolling down below.


Follow these simple steps to give your markers the extra life they need. I will be making separate steps to use water and rubbing alcohol and another guideline on how to use pliers and tweezers.

METHOD 1: For Rubbing Alcohol or Water


Soaking your dry erase marker in water is a common technique and a widely-used concept. Learn how to do this method by reading the simple steps below, or you can read where we got this tip by clicking here.

  • Pour rubbing alcohol in a bowl (or warm water as a good alternative)

Put just the right amount of rubbing alcohol in a bowl or any container that you can find and start filling a small bowl with warm or hot water.

Pro tip: Take a bowl that you no longer use and don’t mind it being stained.

  • Moisten the tip of the dry erase marker

The next thing to do is remove the cap of your dry erase marker and wet its tip with a steady yet gentle water flow. If your marker is thinner than usual, a little bit of water will be more than enough.

My marker has a thin tip, so I just held it under the rubbing alcohol for five minutes. During times that I ran out of rubbing alcohol, I just used water, and it works just as well. However, bigger markers should be held under the liquid longer.

The water or alcohol soaks to the markers’ dried edges. This will let the ink flow freely once again. Here, you will see some ink that drains the marker tips into the alcohol or water.

Fret not. This process often occurs and is very normal.

Pro tip: It’s not really important to use hot or warm water because the use of cold water also works. But, if you want a quicker process, use water in high temperatures as it tends to diffuse with ink faster and therefore results in immediate results.

  • Wrap the tip of the dry erase marker with plastic wrap or a cling wrap film

Seal in moisture by wrapping the tip of your dry erase marker with a plastic wrap or a cling wrap that you can easily find in your kitchen.

  • Put the cap on and patiently wait for a few hours.

With the cling wrap or plastic wrap attached, put the lid on your dry erase marker. It would be a good option to let it sit for a few hours. After that, you can remove the cling wrap and try it out.

If the marker is still dry after doing all the steps, the only option is to repeat all four steps until you achieve the proper wetness. I noticed that extremely dried out ones would usually need a couple of repetitions.

Also, rotating the markers from the left side going up to upside down a few times daily can help revive your dead marker.

Pro tip: The effectiveness of this method solely depends on your dry erase marker’s dryness, as well as the brand’s quality and the marker’s size.

Another Pro tip: The number one method to keep your dry erase markers from completely drying out first is to ALWAYS store them with the lid on and never leave it in the open air.

Also, store your markers in a standing position. You can use a pencil cup or any small container to enclose gravity into aiding you to keep your dry erase markers in top performance.

METHOD 2: Using Pliers or Tweezers


Now that we are done with the process of reviving your dry erase marker using rubbing alcohol or water, it’s time to know how pliers or tweezers work their way.

  • Disassemble your dry erase marker’s body

Remove the cap of your dry erase marker. The next step will require you to pull out the chisel tip of the dry erase marker using pliers or tweezers if the former is not available.

Also, disassemble the ink cartridge aside from the marker barrel.

  • Flip the chisel around and reinsert it into the head

I was pretty much surprised that the other end of a marker was a chisel tip, too. After disassembling, I simply put it back into the head, and I reassembled the other parts as well.

This is an easy technique, given that you have the tools. It may not be a permanent fix to your marker, but it can certainly add life to your marker. Even I thought that mine was already a total goner.


Did you enjoy these tricks of how to fix dried out dry erase markers that breathe life back into your markers without spending a penny? These techniques helped me save many of my dried out markers when they still had tons of life left.

Although the first method was easier to do, it was time-consuming for me. As a busy person, I prefer method 2 in terms of swift effectiveness. But, if you have some more minutes to spare, you can go with the first one.

What method do you think is quicker? Tell us in the comments and help others save their markers by sharing this article. Also, here is a list of the top-rated markers for black dry erase board for your reference. Furthermore, please check my guide about whiteboard markers if you need.

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