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What Is a Dry Erase Marker? We Have Your Queries Answered!

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

what is a dry erase marker

You may have accidentally picked a Sharpie and written things all over the whiteboard. Not being mindful may be caused by nervousness when preparing for a meeting. With all the writings in bold and permanent strokes, how would you remove them? In this situation, a dry erase marker that works like a magic eraser can save you.

What is a dry erase marker? It’s the weakness of permanent markers. Just trace the writings from a Sharpie by using a dry erase marker with the help of alcohol or acetone; you can remove both layers from different markers. Do you have any ideas about how it happens? No? Don’t worry; this article has got your back.

Background of Dry Erase Marker

In the middle of the 1990s, dry erase markers and boards came into existence. They replaced the century reign of messy blackboards. These markers are much better than chalk in several ways. They are easy to erase and not water-soluble. You don’t even need to apply much pressure when using them on a whiteboard.

Although it works like magic, sorcery is not one of the dry erase marker ingredients. Note that you still need to use it carefully as it has polymer, which is also found in permanent markers. Because of the polymer, it can still stain a porous material. However, you’ll find a different kind of polymer in a dry erase marker.

This marker contains an oily silicone polymer that makes the ink slippery to prevent contact with the surface. Thus, it’s a breeze to wipe off its marks on a non-porous surface.

In addition, an amount of dry erase marker solvent or alcohol makes the ink dry quickly. So, the ink just bonds with the surface without any occurrence of absorption. Moreover, you’ll find it easy to wipe the marks as the ink is in a specific place.

A dry erase marker can be both used on the traditional and glass whiteboards. The disadvantage in using the former is its ability to hold on to some pigments and form a streaked or ghosted appearance.

That’s why most people opt for glass whiteboards that have reliable strength. They are compatible with dry erase markers. You can leave it clear for a stylish look or back paint it with any color. Whichever you do, rest assured that the issues on traditional whiteboards don’t happen on the glass ones.

The dry erase marker is the most popular writing tool on whiteboards. It suits various types of whiteboards, such as signboards and overhead projector film. Other non-porous surfaces can benefit from it too.

Some of these markers have a strong chemical smell except the ones from Crayola, Amazon Basics, Expo, and Volcanics. So, you can choose them to avoid the undesirable odor.

Dry Erase Marker for Drawing and Coloring


As mentioned, what sets this apart from other markers is the ease to erase its markings. It’s possible as the dry erase marker is made of oily silicone polymer that is not absorbed by non-porous surfaces. When the ink dries out, you can effortlessly wipe it off by using your fingers.

To prevent your fingers from getting dirty, you can use a microfiber cloth or pencil eraser. This process should be done on dry ink as it would smudge if it’s still wet. I use facial cleansing pads and it works brilliantly. You may try it to see its efficacy!

Erasing the markings of a dry erase marker means straightening a line, writing on top of a solid color, and cleaning up the edges of the shape or image that you’ve drawn. You also have to be aware of some disadvantages. With its characteristics, the writings can easily be erased unintentionally. Resting your hand or leaning on the whiteboard can wipe off the ink.

Apart from erasing, many use a dry erase marker for drawing. Since it’s easy to erase, you have to know the proper position of your hand when drawing to not ruin your work. You have to be careful when some parts of your drawing are still wet.

Use your pinky finger to stabilize your hand when drawing with a dry erase marker. In this scenario, you don’t have to use your whole hand. This setting limits the area that your hand gets in contact with. So, it’s a great way to prevent erasing some content!

You can get a set of dry erase markers in various hues. Thus, some people use them for coloring. There are some techniques you can take to achieve a pleasing result. You have to do it slowly so you can create a fuller color.

It’s wise to make small lines and as you do it slowly, you can keep up in covering any space. Working in this manner lets you get the most out of the dry erase marker. Coloring will be more effective if you start from the outline of the shape. It applies best when using a light color on a black outline.

Ways to Extend the Lifespan of a Dry Erase Marker


Here are some tips to better understand the factors that affect the lifespan of your dry erase marker.

1. Dried marker tip

When your dry erase marker does not, you may blame it on a dried marker tip. To prove that your speculation is right, pull out the chisel tip, flip it around, and put it back in the marker. This is not the ultimate solution to make your marker last forever but it’s a way to prolong its life.

2. A market tip that is pushed too far

This usually happens with kids. They tend to do it when the ink doesn’t come out so they push the marker harder and harder. It can only result in damaging the marker because of applying unnecessary force.

Before I show you how to fix this issue, I would like to advise you to demonstrate how the marker tip works to the kids so they would know where the ink is coming from. While fixing, the cap should be on the marker as you need to slam it on as hard as you can. The force utilized in slamming the marker is quite enough to put the tip back to its right place.

3. Keeping extra caps

When no fixing can revive a marker, I throw the body and keep the cap. I have a zippie bag filled with caps from the dry erase markers that I’ve already disposed of.

I keep the caps in case something happens to the marker that I’m currently using. Accidents are inevitable like stepping on the cap and crushing it. You won’t worry about drying up the marker as you have an extra cap to cover it when not in use.

Final Words

What is a dry erase marker? This article has already shown you the answers. Now, you know everything about it, such as its composition and other usages aside from being an efficient eraser. Take note of the tips on how to prolong the lifespan of your dry erase marker so you can take advantage of its functions in a decent period.

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