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How to Revive Crayola Markers in 4 Easy Ways

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

how to revive crayola markers

Have you experienced having a bunch of markers on your desk that sit there for ages waiting for you to use them but in times of need, none of them are working?

They are probably dried out because of improper storage but do not throw them just yet. Bring those markers back to life with these 4 easy ways how to revive Crayola markers.

Ways to Revive Crayola Markers

No. 1: Dip It in Warm Water


This is the suggested method to fix dried out Crayola markers by the brand itself.

This method can revive Crayola supertips and other water-based markers like Crayola regular, washable markers, or Ultra-Clean Markers.

What to do

  • Step 1: Put warm water in a glass or cup. Use a separate cup for each color.
  • Step 2: Uncap the marker and submerge the marker tip in warm water. Leave it there for 5 seconds.
  • Step 3: Recap and wait for 24 hours, then try writing with the marker to see if it works smoothly again.

No. 2: Dip It in Warm Water With Vinegar

This next trick is very easy and would only take less than 10 minutes to get markers to work again. This is best for Crayola water markers and other water-based markers.

What to prepare

  • Water (2 cups)
  • Vinegar (1 – 2 tablespoons)
  • Spoon or ladle
  • Large bowl or tall glass
  • Paper towel

What to do

  • Step 1: Pour 2 cups of warm water into a large bowl.
  • Step 2: Put in the vinegar, 1 – 2 tablespoons, and mix it for at least 30 seconds.
  • Step 3: Dip the tip of the marker into the solution. Use another glass for other colors.

If you are using a bowl you can hold it in an upright position or soak the whole barrel in a horizontal position. For tall glass, you can just leave the tip soaked for at least 5 minutes.

  • Check if the ink is coming out of the tip, this is a good sign that the dried ink is starting to loosen up.
  • Take the marker out and wrap it with a paper towel and let it dry for at least 2 minutes.
  • After drying, place the cap and lay it flat for around 15 minutes before using it.

No. 3: Put It Under Running Water and Wrap


Another suggested method to revive dry markers of all types, including Crayola dry erase markers. The trick would only work on markers that still have enough juice but have dried out for some reason.

What to prepare

  • Faucet with running water
  • Plastic or cling wrap

What to do

  • Step 1: Uncap your marker. To rehydrate markers tip, place the tip under running water. Duration will depend on the size of the marker and its tip.
  • Step 2: If you see enough color leaking out, turn off the water supply.
  • Step 3: Get a small portion of cling wrap, just enough to cover the whole tip up to the marker’s shoulder.
  • Step 4: Return the cap and lay it flat.
  • Step 5: Let it sit for a couple of hours before testing.

No. 4: Add Alcohol


This trick is for alcohol markers with removable tips. It’s not like you’re gonna refill Crayola markers with alcohol but it’s more of reactivating the dried ink inside the barrel.

What to prepare

  • Denatured alcohol
  • Dropper or syringe
  • Pliers or tweezers
  • Paper towel

What to do

  • Step 1: Remove the marker tip using pliers or tweezers.
  • Step 2: Load the dropper with enough alcohol.
  • Step 3: Add a few drops of alcohol into the marker’s barrel.
  • Step 4: Fix the tip back into the barrel.
  • Step 5: Give it a good shake.
  • Step 6: Lay it flat momentarily.
  • Step 7: Try to write using the revive markers on scratch paper.

Related post: Best ways to revive a Sharpie marker.


How to prevent markers from drying out?

If you love keeping Crayola markers but do not use all of them that much, proper storage is key to prevent ink from drying out.

  • Store them in a horizontal position.
  • Keep them away from direct sunlight.
  • Always keep caps tightly closed.
  • Keep them in airtight containers.

How long does a Crayola marker last?

As per Crayola, they do not have a definite shelf life, and lasting would depend on how the markers are stored. Once the seal is opened, usually markers can last 1 or 2 years.

Crayola color explosion markers dried out, how to fix it?

According to Crayola, there are two simple ways to fix it:

  • Try rubbing the marker tip onto a dry paper towel.
  • Cap it tightly and leave it tip down for an hour.

This method can also be used to fix Crayola gel markers.

How do color wonder markers work?

Intermediaarts explained that, unlike ordinary markers, this marker uses a patented coloring mechanism that uses Leuco dye whose color only appears when triggered by acid.

That is why it is mess-free, it only releases color when used with Crayola Color Wonder Papers. Wonder markers are also refillable.

How to recycle Crayola markers?

Anyone can recycle Crayola markers through their recycling program called ColorCycle. Crayola take back markers as part of its effort to improve product sustainability.

But before giving back the marker for recycling, you can still extract some juice from it to make watercolors. Just dip the marker in a bottle filled with water. Use separate bottles per color.

Furthermore, you can get more information about Crayola markers, here are some articles we gathered for you: 


There are plenty of ways how to revive Crayola markers. Drying out too soon is not a reason to throw them away. These tricks can work on markers as long they still have ink in the barrel.

When it is time to dispose of your marker, choose to recycle. Check schools nearby that are part of the ColorCycle recycling program.

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